Updates and Additions

A good friend, Trey Knapp – VP Finance at Sewell Automotive Companies, suggested that my update include a chapter on dining etiquette in the second edition of Workplace Secrets because many young jobseekers lack polish in formal business dining situations.  It’s not crudeness or impoliteness, but simply an innocent lack of knowledge.  Maybe you had a business meal etiquette lesson in college or maybe you received these lessons from your family.  In any event, you should know which bread plate and water glass is yours and which forks to use.

When I was interviewing, fresh out of college, I was often taken out to lunch as part of the process.  The purpose of the lunch was to get to know me in a relaxed environment and to determine if I could be trusted to have lunch or dinner with a client without embarrassing my boss or the company.  And that is where dining etiquette comes in.n 

Dining Etiquette

The interview lunch is a business lunch so prepare to answer questions and to listen.  An occasional question from you is important, so be prepared with thoughtful questions.  Also, remember that you and the people from your potential new company come from different worlds.  You are fresh out of school and they have been in the workplace for two plus years.  So they will not be impressed in hearing about your rowdy, off-the-hook keg party, pool party, shopping excursions or bar hook-ups.  Be cool and learn to adapt to the situation.

Dining etiquette is serious stuff.  If you do NOT have good dining etiquette, it will be obvious to your potential workmates and can cost you a job.

Proper etiquette at the table is important, even when it’s just you and your family having a meal, you still want to set an example.  A sampling of etiquette pointers follows; many more pointers will be included in the second edition of Workplace Secrets.

Basic table setting