Business Dining Etiquette
Remember you are making an impression at the meal as at the interview. Table manners count so be sure you take dining etiquette seriously.
Pace University Career Services Read on for tips to successful dining etiquette INTRODUCTION: As part of the interview process, typically the second interview, you may be invited to lunch or dinner with the employer. Employers look for good communication and interpersonal skills and a meal is an excellent place to show off such qualities. WATER THE TABLE: BUTTER SPREADER WHITE WINE RED WINE SOUP BOWL BREAD & BUTTER PLATE SALAD FORK DINNER FORK DESSERT FORK DINNER PLATE DINNER KNIFE SOUP SPOON TEASPOON SMALL TALK: Small talk is simply conversation about everyday happenings, which everyone can participate in. Be prepared to converse! � � � � � � DURING THE MEAL: BEFORE THE MEAL: � � � � � � � If your place is set with more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in. � When looking at the place setting in front of you, remember: solids on your left (bread Project a positive and friendly attitude � plate), liquids on your right (water, ice tea, always smile, maintain eye contact and nod coffee). your head. � Hold cutlery correctly. Sustain the conversation by asking questions � Cut your meat or meal one piece at a time; and listening carefully. avoid dicing it into bite-sized pieces all at Change subjects tactfully. once. Topics to discuss: weather, sports, movies, � Cut your salad into bite-sized pieces. books, immediate environment. � Watch out for bones or pits to avoid an Topics to avoid: politics, religion, sexuality. awkward situation. Discussions usually do not revolve around � With dinner rolls, break off and butter one business talk. small piece of bread at a time on the plate; avoid making a sandwich. � When sharing a sauce with others, spoon some of it onto your plate; don't dip your food into it. Shake hands with all present at the table. If � Pass food to the right. necessary, introduce yourself. Concentrate on � Pass salt and pepper together, handling near remembering your host/hostess' name. the base. Remain standing until host/hostess takes � When you speak, put your silverware on your seat. plate, not on the table. Place your napkin on your lap after everyone � If you need to leave the table temporarily, is seated. Keep your napkin on your lap until place your napkin on your seat. theentiremealisfinished. Let the host take the lead when ordering; this will give you an idea of what to eat. If they order an appetizer, order one. If they order a soft drink, you should too. � Whenyouarefinishedeating,placetheknife Review the menu and decide what you want and fork prongs down side by side on the to order quickly. plate with the handles at 4 Order foods that are easy to eat such as � o'clock; the waiter will understand this as the chicken,fish,orsalads.Avoidsloppyhard "Iamfinished"position. to eat foods like spaghetti or ribs and do not � Whenyouarefinishedwiththemeal,place order the most expensive item on the menu. your napkin to the left of your plate. � Make sure you thank the host for the meal. � Shake hands with the recruiter before you leave and maintain good eye contact. AFTER THE MEAL: DOS � Dress professionally � Sit up straight � Keep your elbows off the table � Say"please"and"thankyou" � Maintain good eye contact � Strive to come across as relaxed, friendly and interested; stay upbeat and positive � Take your time eating, talking and listening � Drink a glass of juice before the meal to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you from starving � Drink from your own water glass; it's to your right � Use this opportunity to gather more informationaboutthecareerfield,corporate culture and duties � Employers view the meal as a time to judge how the candidate interacts with others. DON'TS � Don't ask the waiter to explain everything on the menu � Don't order the most expensive item on the menu � Don't order alcohol or smoke cigarettes � Don't use toothpicks in the presence of the recruiter � Don'tlickyourutensilsorfingers � Don't order unfamiliar food, sloppy or hard to eatfoodsthatrequireusingyourfingers � Don't slurp your soup or beverages � Don't dip your food into a bowl others have to use � Don't ask others for leftovers; "Are you eatingthosefries?" � Don't speak with your mouth full � Don't argue over the check or offer to pay the tip; the host who invited you must take care of both * Remember you are making an impression at the meal as at the interview. Table manners count so be sure you take dining etiquette seriously. Information Source: Barbara Pachter of Pachter & Associates; The Hope Heart Institute Newsletter, Seattle, WA, April 1998 NACE Job Choice 1997