Often the job search process involves an interview over lunch or dinner or networking at a reception. Candidates do not want to be remembered for displaying poor etiquette in a business dining situation. To help our students succeed, the Graduate Career Center at Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business requires all full-time MBA students to participate in a business dining etiquette event. Your professional etiquette becomes an important component of your professional brand.
The Basics and Beyond – Some of the basics are things you learned from Mom and Dad or maybe Grandma. Don’t speak with food in your mouth. Don’t put your elbows on the table. Don’t pass food across the table. While the event includes fun reminders about these basics, it goes much further. We talk about how to hold your drink during the cocktail reception to avoid a clammy handshake. We explore how to pass items around the table, how to identify which bread plate and water glass are yours and we tackle the daunting issue of which piece of silverware to use when. Students have an opportunity to practice throughout the session and are able to ask specific questions as well. Special thanks to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care who sponsored the etiquette event for our MBA students last week.
Professionalism – What to order from the menu at a business meeting is discussed as well as how to handle the check. Students learn how to make a toast and when it is appropriate to reciprocate. Proper manners are a demonstration of your personal brand so building a solid understanding of professional behavior serves you well in your job search and throughout your career.
To be remembered for positive reasons after an interview or business meeting, be sure your professional etiquette is on target.