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etiquette you need to know about


Published by the Penguin Group 2004

Follow this key to help you get faster key points on etiquette

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In the work place, cool it with the personal calls.

Don’t ever talk with your mouth full. It is rude and disrespectful.

Be on time. This is important in any situation.

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The tan boxes highlight social no no’s.

The white boxes illustrate etiquette tips

The orange boxes communicate little etiquette facts and tidbits.


Part 1: Business Etiquette 14 Getting Started: The Corporate Culture Business Booboos The Job Interview Be Prepared The Interview The Next Step Business Attire Hint, Hint Think Before Buying Details Business Appointment and Functions 15 Introductions Who’s First? Background Info Introductions at Business Functions Introducing yourself Responding to Introductions Greetings Standing Shaking Hands Hugs and Kisses

1 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 11 12 12 12 12 13 14 14 15 15 16 16


dress for




Walter Benjamin

He who observes etiquette but objects to lying is like someone who dresses fashionably but wears no vest.

The rules of business etiquette are unique, as is the entire approach to etiquette in the business world. And you must understand this special way of thinking about relationships and behavior and how it applies to your dealings with your superiors, your colleagues, and your subordinates. Knowing the accepted way of doing things—what to say, how to dress, and how to react in various situations—is vitally important and becomes even more important the higher you rise in the ranks. And technologies like cell phones, teleconferencing, and e-mail require people to learn new rules of civility.




GETTING STARTED: The Corporate Culture > > > >

What is the corporate culture The job interview The pressing issue of dressing The do’s and don’ts of compliments

If you think it would be nice but not necessary to know the rules of corporate etiquette, consider the studies by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Institute have concluded that success in getting, keeping and advancing in a job depends on 85 percent on people skills and 15 percent on technical knowledge and skills. Qualifications are one thing and, of course, important. Still, most decisions come down to the person—to the relationship we have with others.

CAUTION: When dressing for success, stay away from 100% polyester. It’s called a miracle fabric because it’s a miracle that anyone wears it.

CAUTION: The old gender rules have been pretty much discarded within the corporate culture. Gallantry, which is being oversolicitous toward women simply because they are women, for example, will get you no where, except perhaps into hot water.

Mastering the rules of business etiquette, then, can help your career. The first thing you should know is that these rules don’t have the same foundation as those you may learned as a child. Your childhood rules evolved from the code of chivalry, which called for deference to others on the basis of gender and/or age. However, relationships in the business world (or corporate culture) have always been based primarily on rank, much like any military system. Rank, or the degree of power vested in different individuals, gives a business organization the structure it needs to function effectively. How you behave toward a peer or toward someone of another status varies with the kind of business and the style of the individual business. Don’t worry if you’re confused. Some basic rules will help you adjust to various business and professional situations. And behavior that is grounded in good manners— which means having respect for others and concern for their feelings—will allow colleagues to forgive (but maybe not forget) many inadvertent breaches of business or corporate etiquette. BUSINESS BOOBOOS Surviving and thriving in the workplace isn’t always easy­—and may be especially

business etiquette


14 difficult for those who lack finesse and grace. Here are 10 rather basic behavioral mistakes to guard against. THE JOB INTERVIEW Believe it or not, you need to the basics of workplace etiquette right from the start—at the job interview. Sure you’re anxious, but here is a situation in which how you look and everything you say and do­—that is, your overall demeanor—may have a critical impact on your future. You have to be on your best behavior. And the person opposite of you seems to have all the advantages. Recruiters and interviewers usually take courses to help them develop sophisticated screening methods. The interviewer has the hometurf advantage, and you do not. You are being measured against standards and guidelines that are clear as a bell to the interviewer, but not to you. But you also have some important advantages of your own, including: 01. The company or organization needs someone, or it wouldn’t be interviewing people. 02. The company or organization is hoping you are the person for the job.


It might be handy to keep this list and refer to it often. > Expressing negative

attitudes If you are feeling and thinking negatively, your mind set will find expression in surliness, and temper, and general unpleasantness.

> Wearing inappropriate clothing Although we like to think that we judge others by their behavior and not their appearance, it remains true that we base our opinions of others, to a large degree, on what we see.

> Failing to make

introductions Allowing someone to stand around without introducing him or her can make everyone present feel uncomfortable.

business etiquette

> Disregarding social courtesies Forgetting to say please, thank you , and excuse me, and failing to perform other common civilities makes colleagues and superiors doubt your judgement.

These two facts are key. But you also have to be prepared by dressing appropriately, preparing a list of the points you want to make, and having a pretty good idea of what will happen and how to respond. By doing so, the situation won’t seem nearly as one-sided.

> Criticizing others in public

Be Prepared Find out everything you can about the company before the interview. Read any reports, reference books, or brochures you can find, and check out the company website, if one exists. Also, try to contact somebody you know who works at the company, preferably a friend, acquaintance, or someone who attend the same college as you did.

Generally the criticizer comes off looking worse than the person being criticized.

> Taking messages carelessly. > Making people wait > Pronouncing names wrong or forgetting names all together

> Using vulgar and

inappropriate language

> Giving someone the

runaround Which means thing like ducking responsibility and giving vague or conflicting answers.

business etiquette

Some of things you should find out about the company you are interviewing with are... > The correct pronunciation and spelling of its name > The business of the company: what it produces or what services it provides > Whether it’s a national or international company, as opposed to regional or local. > The size of the company. > It’s attitude toward women and minorities. Most companies have a stated policy on diversity and it can be found on its website




> How long the company has been in business.

> It’s general reputation. > The reputation the company has for

working conditions and environment. Before your interview, you should also find out everything you can about yourself. Take a long, honest look at yourself and be prepared to talk about your traits. One way to help with this process is to make a list of important points about yourself, including...

> Your level of education > How much and what and what kind of volunteer work you’ve done.

> Any honors and awards that you’ve received.

> Your interests and hobbies > Why you want to work for this company > The abilities you can bring to the company.

THE INTERVIEW In general, you should dress conservatively for interviews. However, dress can vary dramatically from company to company. Khakis and docksiders might be the standard at one place, where as wing tips and doublebreasted suits are typical of another. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask

Wear a tie to dress up your

outfit. Stick

to solids

or minimal patterns to look


CAUTION: Skirts and trousers should not be so tight that they convey a message of sexiness. Miniskirts and exposed cleavage are not appropriate business attire for women, just as tight “muscle” shirts or shirts that expose the chest are inappropriate for men.

business etiquette

an employee or someone in the human resources department about appropriate interview attire.

Present yourself well

during the

interview by not fidgeting.

When dressing for success, stay away from 100 percent polyester. It’s called a miracle fabric because it’s a miracle anyone wears it. Polyester and wool or cotton blends are much more serviceable and usually look better.

Upon arriving for your interview, enter the room, smile, and make eye contact with your interviewer. Then walk until he or she asks you to sit before taking a seat. During the meeting, don’t fidget or handle things on the other person’s desk. Also, listen carefully to what you are being asked and don’t treat any question as unimportant. If a question is difficult, pause before answering. Compose yourself. At the end of the meeting, thank the interviewer cordially and follow up with a note. Bear in mind that the first interview with a company will probably be a “screening interview.” The purpose of this interview is to screen out applicants. For instance, companies want to know whether you’re willing to relocate, have sufficient language skills, and fill other requirements or prerequisites.

when shaking hands Begin with your finger tips together and your thumb up.

business etiquette

Shake hands web to web, with a firm but not crushing grip.


14 The interview will be held at the company site, a hotel suite, an airport lounge, or even by telephone. You must arrive on time (but no more than a few minutes early). If you are being interviewed by telephone, make sure that you have your materials on hand. If you don’t, get the name and telephone number of the interviewer and call back promptly. Whether you’re being interviewed on site or by telephone, don’t volunteer information you haven’t been asked for. The Next Step After the screening interview (and perhaps other preliminary interviews), you’ll have a meeting with the hiring manager. This person makes the final decision, and this interview is the most unpredictable. The interviewer usually has no formal training in interviewing, may ask the wrong questions, and may be vague. The hiring manager is casting around for enough information to make the decision. The manager may be

Never offer only your fingertips, causing a weak, limp handshake.

The handshake should only last about 3 seconds.


Remember that the interviewer wants to know more than your past employment record or your grades and courses in school.

He or she wants to get a feeling for your personality, your train ability, your potential for success.

So, you shouldn’t dwell too long on your past experiences or make repeated references to past achievements. The interviewer heard you the first time.

Starts and stops crisply.

business etiquette

looking for the undefined “certain something.” “So, tell me about yourself.” When an interview poses this challenge, reply by being enthusiastic but honest and polite. Make eye contact. Talk about your strongest skills and your greatest areas of knowledge. Use positive, active language such as “I enjoy detail work. I am committed to excellence.” In general, it is a good idea to think of a job interview as an opportunity, not as a test. BUSINESS ATTIRE Never, ever underestimate the critical importance of attire within the corporate culture. What you wear says a lot about you, and you can damage or even destroy your chances of success in business by dressing inappropriately. What do your clothes say about you? Do they say you have good sense and good taste? Do they say you have self-respect and that you have respect for those you deal with every day? People, particularly your superiors, are apt business etiquette

to conclude that the quality of your work will match the quality of your appearance. Hint, Hint If your organization has a dress code, observe both the letter and the spirit of the code right off the bat. Don’t assume that a white shirt and striped tie will fit into any office situation. If the organization does not have a dress code, you can’t go wrong by studying how the senior managers dress. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. It only means you care enough to get things right. Say to your boss: “I’m a little puzzled by the variety of styles I see here. What kind of dress best represents the company?” Avoid extreme fashions. Don’t buy things just because the fashion gurus says so. Think about what is good for you and your career rather than what is in vogue. Think before buying When you decide to add to your closet, think in terms of entire wardrobe. Many variables affect what you should choose for your


14 Although business casual dress is widely practiced, classic business dress is gaining in respect and popularity. The fact remains that we perform better “in uniform,� so it’s a good idea to dress up a notch rather than dress down. Corporate America is gradually accepting body piercing and tattoos, but very gradually. If you want

wardrobe and what you should wear on given occasions. Check out the side bar bullets for some variables you would be wise to consider. When it comes to dressing, your accessories are every bit as important as the basic outfit. Pay careful attention to details such as shoes and jewelry. Sometimes the little things are what people notice the most and remember the longest.


a tattoo and piercings to express yourself, consider getting them on places that can be easily covered. Only you can decide whether to risk exposing them in your work culture. Check the human resources to find resources to find out if there are any company policies on the matters.

> Regional variations. Take climate and geography into account.

> Business environment. Think about the type of company you work for and the kind of work you do.

> Type of position.

Consider what you want your outfit to say about you.

business etiquette




before sitting down

a lipstick trail is the red badge of discourtesy. Take precautions before you reach the table. This is also the time to visit the restroom for hair repair and other finishing touches. Remember to greet everyone before sitting down. Gentlemen must rise to greet latecomers. A server will draw the chair for you. Enter from the left.


OF discourtesy

dining etiquette




After you are seated, wait for your host to make the first napkin move. When the host places the napkin on his or her lap, the guest should follow suit. Similarly, at the end of the meal, the host should be the first to place the napkin on the table to signal that the meal is over, having made certain that everyone at the table is finished. Large dinner napkins should remain folded in half and placed across your lap with fold facing your waist. Never “flap� the napkin to unfold it.






Wine will be served during a formal dinner: If you don’t want wine, place your finger-tips lightly on the rim of the glass when the server approaches to pour. NEVER TURN YOUR GLASS UPSIDE DOWN. Say “I’m not having any today” (or this evening or tonight). The today sends a message: You don’t disprove of wine, and the others should feel no compunction about enjoying their wine if they choose.


see, swirl, sniff, sip, swallow.

Wait until your host has lifted his or her glass before you drink.

> Red wine (and Brandy)

Glasses are held by the bowl because the warmth of the hand releases the bouquet.

> White wine and champagne are always held by the stem.

> Red wine glasses can also be held by the stem .

dining etiquette






When eating soup, tilt the spoon away from you (dip the outer edge of the spoon rather than the edge closest to you, into the soup first). This technique diminishes dribble danger and looks more appealing. Sip from the side of the spoon. Yes, you may tilt the soup plate away from you to access the last of the soup. Leave your spoon on the soup plate. However, if the soup is served in a two-handled bowl, leave the spoon on the underlying saucer.

When eating soup tilt the spoon away from you.

dining etiquette



Use the fish knife to break the fish and push it onto the fork. You hold the fish knife differently than you do a dinner knife because you are not actually cutting the fish but merely breaking it apart. Hold the knife between your thumb and your index and middle fingers. If the fish is soft and boneless, you need use only fork. The prongs can either be up or down when the fork is resting on the plate after you’re finished.

Remove fish bones with your thumb and index finger, place on the side of the plate.






Here you get more serious with the use of your knife than you did during the fish course. But you should still use it more like a surgeon than a lumberjack. Place your finger about an inch down from the handle, on the back of the blade, to help you press down firmly. Hold the fork in your left hand, prongs down. Spear the meat and hold it firmly in place with the fork. Only cut enough food for each mouthful.

It’s ok to put a small amount of potatoes and veggies on the fork along with the meat.





As with the fish course, you will use the salad fork and knife for this course, leaving the knife on the table if you don’t need to cut anything. If cheese is served with the salad, place a small portion of cheese on your salad plate together with crackers or bread. Use the salad knife to put cheese on the crackers or bread.

Use the salad knife to put cheese on the crackers or bread.

Only cut enough food for each mouthful.

dining etiquette



Yes, this is all about McDonald’s Etiquette! At the other end of the spectrum, MICKEY DEE’S has etiquette too. Informal does not mean sloppy. Here are some key points for handling them with grace:

01. Only use a fork and knife if it strictly needs one, McChickens and McDouble’s are called “hand”burgers for a reason. 02. An Orange Hi-C is fantastic with a McDouble and a side salad. 03. Watch the sound. Make sure you chew with your mouth closed and don’t slurp.

04. A diet coke is best with a McChicken and a small fry. Add a apple pie for some sugar. 05. Keep your playing field clean. Those little packets of mustard, ketchup, sugar, and so on. 06. Try a Frappuccino with McDonald’s gourmet oatmeal filled with fresh fruit.


TABLE AT MICKEY DEE’S Follow these steps to ensure a formal meal at McDonald’s fast food restaurant. Each of these points will guide you in creating a sloppy convenient meal into a well mannered feed with etiquette.



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Place your entree in front of you and use the container as your plate.


Your drink should be placed to the right of your entree at the top section of your tray.


The french fries should be placed on their side on a napkin. Gently shake them to access each fry with etiquette.


Keep your tray clean, DO NOT get messy when using it as a side plate for dipping your fries in ketchup.


Use napkins to clean your face after consuming your entree and french fries.

Be respectful and clean up after yourself by depositing your trash and putting your Tray away.

CAUTION: Wearing a suit and tie is not a smart idea when consuming grease and using multiple condiments. This could end in a messy lunch break and cause for inappropriate etiquette.

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Find out how to set your table with 5 easy steps! While also learning tips on etiquette while eating at McDonald’s.

Everything Etiquette  

Redesign of an etiquette book.

Everything Etiquette  

Redesign of an etiquette book.