Business Etiquette: Mastering Meal Time Interviews

You applied for a job, made it through a cou­ple of inter­views and now they want to take you and may­be the final can­di­dates to lunch.  Are your table man­ners up to par?  If the posi­tion you are apply­ing for requires you to wine and dine with clients chances are they are tak­ing you to lunch to check out your table eti­quette.

Your typ­i­cal inter­view may include:

1. Lis­ten­ing to the inter­viewer
2. Answer­ing his/her ques­tions
3. Ask­ing intel­li­gent ques­tions
4. Appear­ing relaxed

Now, throw in a two or three course meal, well this can get messy.  Although meal inter­views may seem less for­mal they are just as impor­tant.  Dur­ing a meal inter­view you are being eval­u­ated on your social and table eti­quette among other things.

In order to sur­pass at a meal inter­view not only do you need to remem­ber your basic table man­ners (which fork to use, nap­kin goes on your lap, which is your bread plate, etc.) remem­ber the fol­low­ing as well;

  • Try to avoid food that is messy such as spaghetti or ribs
  • Avoid food that is heavy on gar­lic or onions…you don’t bad breath
  • Avoid alco­hol
  • Although your meal is more than likely free, you should not order the most expen­sive meal.  The gen­eral guide­line is to fol­low the inter­view­ers lead and order the same as the inter­viewer, if that is not an option then stay close to the price of the meal the inter­viewer ordered
  • Fol­low your host do not begin eat­ing or drink­ing any­thing not even water until your host does
  • The inter­viewer should never eat alone, if they order cof­fee or dessert, then so should you
  • Never offer to pay for the meal
  • Remem­ber to thank the inter­viewer for the meal and you may men­tion a pos­i­tive com­ment on the meal
  • Never ask for a doggy bag
  • Don’t for­get to express how much you enjoyed talk­ing to the inter­viewer and ask what the next step is
  • Send a thank you note within 24 hours

If you are up against oth­ers with equal qual­i­fi­ca­tions, table man­ners can be the decid­ing fac­tor if you are hired or not.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs in busi­ness and social eti­quette.  Jules co-author Power of Civil­ity where she shares strate­gies and tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional image.

Jules can be reached at: or 310–425‑3160

Manners Monday; What would you do: A potential employer asks for your Facebook password?

Shoulder Surfing during an interview_social etiquette

Today’s Mon­day Man­ners Sce­nario has to do with Face­book and a poten­tial new job.

As of May, the unem­ploy­ment rate is 8.2% with Nevada, Rhode Island and Cal­i­for­nia the only three

states whose unem­ploy­ment rates are in the dou­ble dig­its.  After months of send­ing out resumes and inter­view­ing, you finally have a job offer.  When you meet with the hir­ing man­ager to final­ize the details of your deal, the hir­ing man­ager asks you to go to the com­puter and log in to your Face­book account.   This act is com­monly known as “shoul­der surfing.”

Facebook’s offi­cial state­ment is that shoul­der surf­ing “under­mines the pri­vacy expec­ta­tions and the secu­rity of both the user and the user’s friends” and “poten­tially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unan­tic­i­pated legal liability.”

What would you do?

National Etiquette Week — 2012

May 7  – May 12 is nation­ally known as National Eti­quette Week, a week of bring­ing aware­ness in all areas of eti­quette from the board­room to the classroom.
In honor of National Eti­quette Week, we are doing our part in pro­mot­ing gra­cious­ness & civil­ity.   Pur­chase a copy of the Power of Civil­ity this week for only $17.99 reg­u­larly $24.00

The Power of CivilityThe Power of Civil­ity is packed with thought-provoking per­spec­tives on what civil­ity really means, as well as prac­ti­cal solu­tions for incor­po­rat­ing civil­ity best prac­tices into your work and life. In this com­pre­hen­sive book, eigh­teen top civil­ity and eti­quette pro­fes­sion­als go beyond the typ­i­cal “please and thank you” con­ver­sa­tions about civil­ity and chal­lenge you to think about your per­sonal stan­dards, account­abil­ity, val­ues, and what it means to be com­mit­ted to choos­ing civil­ity, whether at home, at work, in your com­mu­nity, or in pub­lic — at home and abroad.

This book pro­vides the tools you need to boost your social intel­li­gence and build your cul­tural com­pe­tence, giv­ing you the con­fi­dence and poise to go any­where and be wel­comed as a car­ing and con­sid­er­ate cit­i­zen of the world. Dis­cover the power of civility!

The Power of Civil­ity Table of Con­tents
The Power of One
Choos­ing Civil­ity
By Lew Bayer

Civil­ity Begins at Home
By Deb­o­rah King, AICI CIP

Pub­lic Civil­ity
The Case for Face-to-Face Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
By Deb­o­rah McGrath

Stand Out—Don’t Stick Out

Per­sonal Account­abil­ity and Civil Busi­ness Essen­tials
By Tiffany Nielsen

The Power of Lead­er­ship Civil­ity
Lead­ing by Exam­ple
By Laura Barclay

Build­ing an Excep­tional Pro­fes­sional Image

Six Keys to Suc­cess
By Jules Hirst

Lunch Box Civil­ity
A Tool for Lead­ers
By Pene­lope Paik

Develop Your Per­sonal Brand and Power it with Civil­ity
By Yas­min Anderson-Smith, MCRP, AICI CIPCPBS

Net­work­ing with Civil­ity
The Ulti­mate Busi­ness Tool
By Cheryl Walker-Robertson

Nav­i­gat­ing the Social and Psy­cho­log­i­cal Com­plex­i­ties of Inci­vil­ity
By Suzanne Zazu­lak Pedro

Civility—Making it a Lifestyle
By Cindy Ann Peter­son, AICI FLC

To Say or Not to Say, That is the Ques­tion
Polit­i­cal Civility–The Real­ity Show
By Shelby Scarborough

Civil­ity Com­mu­ni­cates Con­fi­dence
Five Traits that Pave the Way to Suc­cess
By Tara Crawford

Civil­ity on Cam­pus
How to Get an “A” in Con­duct
By Denise F. Pietzsch

Uncov­er­ing Dia­monds
The Chal­lenge of Inter­gen­er­a­tional Civil­ity
By Pat Walker Locke, AICI FLCCPC

Din­ing with Civil­ity
Man­ners Mat­ter at the Table
By Non­nie Cameron Owens

for Mutual Respect
A Booster Shot for Civil­ity in Health­care
By Suzanne Nourse, CEPC

Cul­tural Con­sid­er­a­tions and Civil­ity
How to Get Along as You Get Around
By Anita Shower

Pur­chase you copy today for only $17.99 and free shipping.

Don’t let your career be held prisoner by networking anxiety

networking etiquetteJoin me this Fri­day April 27, 2012  for a free net­work­ing event at Checa Chic Bou­tique in Santa Mon­ica were I will be cov­er­ing the do’s and don’ts of net­work­ing eti­quette.

Date: Fri­day April 27, 2012

Time: 10:00 am — 12:00 pm

Loca­tion: Checa Chic Bou­tique
3004 Lin­coln Blvd., Santa Mon­ica, CA 90405


Business Introductions: Who You Know

Business IntroductionsSuc­cess often boils down to who you know instead of what you know. In busi­ness, who you know are the con­tacts you make dur­ing your career and these con­tacts can be made in var­i­ous ways. Whether it is at an inter­view, a busi­ness meet­ing, a net­work­ing func­tion or even the super­mar­ket check­out lane, the intro­duc­tion cre­ates a last­ing impres­sion with the con­tact that can help open doors for you.

Proper busi­ness eti­quette for an intro­duc­tion is made up of four fun­da­men­tal skills.

  • Stand­ing Up
  • Smil­ing
  • Eye con­tact
  • Firm Hand­shake

When meet­ing some­one it is impor­tant to stand up. Ris­ing from the con­fer­ence table, your desk or the table at the restau­rant shows that you respect the other per­son and puts you on equal foot­ing for the begin­ning of your relationship.

Remem­ber that the intro­duc­tion is the first impres­sion the other per­son has of you, so you should always be smil­ing. Smil­ing presents a pos­i­tive image and atti­tude and fail­ing to smile can lead the other per­son to think you are unin­ter­ested in them.

Eye con­tact is another key com­po­nent of the intro­duc­tion. By mak­ing eye con­tact, you are focused on the other per­son and show them that you are interested.

A firm hand­shake is essen­tial to a pos­i­tive intro­duc­tion. It shows you are pro­fes­sional and con­fi­dent. To per­form a proper hand­shake, you should fit your hand into theirs to where the web­bing between your thumb and fore­fin­ger meet. Squeeze firmly and shake once or twice. If you have clammy hands, it is ok to sneak in a quick wipe to dry your hand before the hand­shake no one likes shak­ing a moist hand. You do not want your hand­shake to be too firm, demon­strates over­con­fi­dence, or too weak, demon­strates nervousness.

It is proper busi­ness eti­quette to make your own intro­duc­tions if no one is intro­duc­ing you.  Do not be overly aggres­sive or too shy.  A good rule of thumb is to approach the per­son or group, hold out your hand, say hello and give your name, com­pany and title. This addi­tional infor­ma­tion will help break the ice and help jump­ start the conversation.

After being intro­duced, con­tinue to use the person’s title (Mr., Dr., Pro­fes­sor, etc.) until that per­son says oth­er­wise. Most peo­ple strug­gle with remem­ber­ing names, so by remem­ber­ing it, you are show­ing that per­son how impor­tant they are. Use what­ever mem­ory trick works for you to remem­ber the person’s name and then, if nec­es­sary, write it down after­wards. If you do for­get a name, it is ok to ask them to repeat it, but be apolo­getic and make a bet­ter attempt to remem­ber it the next time.

When you are mak­ing the intro­duc­tions, busi­ness eti­quette says

  • The most pow­er­ful per­son should be introduced first
  • Fol­low that with your clients, high level exec­u­tives, or spe­cial guests
  • Always use the person’s title when introducing them

Fol­low­ing these steps will help all of your intro­duc­tions turn out pos­i­tively and as your busi­ness rolodex grows with con­tacts so will the oppor­tu­ni­ties for you to move up the cor­po­rate lad­der or land your dream job. Remem­ber “ it’s all about who you know.

Jules Hirst is a sought after speaker and a rec­og­nized eti­quette coach.  She con­ducts lec­tures, work­shops, sem­i­nars and webi­na­rs in busi­ness, social & wed­ding eti­quette.  Jules co-author Power of Civil­ity where she shares strate­gies and tools for build­ing an excep­tional pro­fes­sional image.

Students Learn Business Etiquette Skills at MIT Charm School

MIT under­stands you can be a genius and still not know what fork to use, this is why the school cre­ated MIT Charm School.

International Protocol ~ Conducting Business In Japan

Gift giv­ing is com­mon in Japan and are often given at the first busi­ness meet­ing. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Imported Scotch or cognac
  2. Elec­tronic gifts and toys for the kids
  3. Lux­ury for­eign name brands are preferred

It is also a good idea to have your gifts wrapped in Japan to avoid using paper that would be con­sid­ered unat­trac­tive to the Japanese.

Help­ing You Avoid Busi­ness & Social Faux Pas

Politics and Etiquette: Incivility in the Workplace and Congress

Here is a great arti­cle form the Boston Globe which dis­cusses inci­vil­ity in the work­place and Con­gress.  What do you think?  Is there a problem?

Olympia SnoweMaine Sen­a­tor Olympia Snowe  is just the lat­est exam­ple in pol­i­tics and busi­ness to demon­strate the ugly effects of inci­vil­ity. She said last week that she is not going to seek another term in the US Congress.

The three-term Repub­li­can sen­a­tor did not make her deci­sion because she was fac­ing a dif­fi­cult reelec­tion bid. Instead, she blamed the intense and some­times destruc­tive par­ti­san­ship in Wash­ing­ton. That, in a nut­shell, is the prob­lem with inci­vil­ity. At a cer­tain point, peo­ple say, “No more. I don’t have to put up with caus­tic, vit­ri­olic, neg­a­tive behav­ior.’’ And they dis­en­gage, refuse to serve, quit their jobs.

It’s not just in pol­i­tics that inci­vil­ity causes a prob­lem. In busi­ness, it is costly to replace a worker. There’s down­time between when a per­son leaves and a qual­i­fied replace­ment is hired. There’s a learn­ing curve for the replacement.

While busi­nesses don’t expect to keep a worker from leav­ing for a good rea­son — a bet­ter posi­tion, a relo­ca­tion — good busi­nesses ensure that employ­ees don’t leave for pre­ventable rea­sons. When a per­son leaves because of inci­vil­ity, that’s preventable.

And it should be unac­cept­able to the Amer­i­can pub­lic. I can accept any elected official’s deci­sion to return to pri­vate life; what is unac­cept­able to me is a res­ig­na­tion caused by the atmos­phere in Con­gress. The atmos­phere of the past few years is reflected in Con­gress’ steadily declin­ing approval rat­ing, which hit a record low of 11 per­cent in Decem­ber 2011. It is time to demand civil behav­ior from Congress.

Rude­ness and inci­vil­ity in the work­place — and Con­gress — are pre­ventable. Pre­ven­tion begins by chang­ing the work­place cul­ture and that means change must be embraced from the top down. That change is grounded in three pow­er­ful prin­ci­ples that should gov­ern inter­ac­tions in the work­place: be con­sid­er­ate, be respect­ful, and be honest.

It’s time for con­gres­sional lead­ers to rec­og­nize that the cur­rent cul­ture is toxic and to take respon­si­bil­ity for restor­ing civil­ity in the House and Senate.

Source:Boston Globe

Writ­ten By: Peter Post

10 Tips on How to “Talk Politics” When There is No Escaping it!

We should all know we never speak about “Pol­i­tics”  at the din­ner table, at a gath­er­ing with fam­ily or Politics in the Workplacefriends, the office, but what are you to do when there is no escap­ing it.  Here are 10 tips writ­ten by Diane Gotts­man of The Pro­to­col School of Texas.

1.  Allow the other per­son to state his or her opin­ion - Don’t inter­rupt – allow oth­ers to make their feelings heard.

2.  Ask ques­tions – Even if you dis­agree with the com­ments of oth­ers, show respect by ask­ing per­ti­nent ques­tions. You may be sur­prised to learn something new!

3.  Keep your voice down to a low roar- Don’t allow your­self to get worked up and start a shout­ing match with your cowork­ers or din­ner guests.

4. Edu­cate your­self on impor­tant issues – It’s impor­tant to at least be famil­iar with the beliefs and plat­form of each can­di­date to allow for knowl­edge­able dis­cus­sion. Remem­ber, being well-informed is always best!

5.  Don’t take it per­son­ally – Keep the dis­cus­sion in per­spec­tive and ask your­self how much anx­i­ety and con­flict you are

will­ing to undergo at the office or with friends by argu­ing over who the bet­ter can­di­date may be. Never resort to name call­ing or shame tac­tics, “I can’t believe you are that ignorant!”

6.  Vote – it’s a cop-out to say, “I don’t like any of the can­di­dates so I’m not going to vote” – if you don’t vote for some­one, any­one, you have no room to complain.

7. Pol­i­tics is not off lim­its at a din­ner party or social event – be pre­pared! You can answer with “I’m off polit­i­cal debate duty tonight – argue amongst your­selves” and opt out or jump in and make your point.  Do what feels right but always keep in mind you are a guest and don’t want to offend your host.

8. Keep it clean – Use your best judg­ment and keep your inter­ac­tions civil – you host will thank you for not incit­ing fur­ther furor among his or her guests.

9.  Don’t assume that every­one wants to talk pol­i­tics – Ask­ing some­one how he or she intends to vote in the elec­tion is inva­sive unless the infor­ma­tion is offered first.

10.  Use your sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing – Be mind­ful of how you are mak­ing oth­ers feel by voic­ing your strong opin­ions and avoid monop­o­liz­ing the entire con­ver­sa­tion with pol­i­tics. Have other con­ver­sa­tion top­ics handy in your con­ver­sa­tional arse­nal to pull from when the con­ver­sa­tion is too heated.

German Manners Watchdog Says Kissing at Work Is Form of ‘Terrorism’

Workplace RomanceA Ger­man man­ners watch­dog was call­ing Thurs­day for a total ban on work col­leagues kiss­ing one another in the office, say­ing that the peck on the cheek is a form of “terrorism.”

The Knigge Soci­ety — Knigge trans­lates as eti­quette or cor­rect behav­iour — says the prac­tice has flour­ished in offices around Ger­many in recent years, with women kiss­ing women and men kiss­ing women, some­times even twice in the way of the French.

It says it has received wor­ried calls from Berlin, Munich and Dus­sel­dorf over recent months about what to do if some­one should attempt to kiss them in greeting.

Hans-Michael Klein, the chair­man of the group, said, “This is valid imme­di­ately. There should be no kiss­ing, at least not in the office.”

Klein explained, “The sus­pi­cion for many remains that there is, or may be, an erotic com­po­nent to the kiss­ing. Kiss­ing sim­ply gets on the nerves of many at work. It is a form of ter­ror. In busi­ness the hand­shake is con­sid­ered the cor­rect greet­ing rit­ual. Stand apart from one another approx­i­mately 60cm [24in] and shake.”

Any closer, he said, would be cross­ing over a “socially defined distance zone.”

Klein added that, while he had respect for the French habit, and the Russ­ian one of men kiss­ing men, this was not the Ger­man way. He added that it was an affec­ta­tion of the so-called Schickim­icki set — the in-crowd.

Pub­lished August 10, 2011| NewsCore