Business Dining Basics

As originally published in the Ticker 11/17,

By Jessica Kweon, Peer for Career

Business dining has become an integral part of the recruiting process with the third or fourth interview usually involving a meal. On Thursday, October 30, Terri Thompson, business journalist and etiquette consultant, shared some excellent tips during the Dining Etiquette workshop hosted by the Starr Career Development Center.

First and foremost, the meal is an interview and the main goal is to receive the job offer, so you should focus on answering questions and making conversation. During the meal, try your best to avoid “chipmunk cheeks” and having a full mouth by consuming small bites. Nevertheless, do not neglect your food either; if you happen to not like what is being served, be mindful and try to stomach a couple bites, unless you have a strong aversion to the dish or for religious reasons you cannot eat the food. Avoid looking fussy about your food as it may turn off the hiring team. Keep in mind that the interviewer is most likely choosing the restaurant, so any dietary restrictions you have should be discussed beforehand. It is your responsibility to check out the menu beforehand and let him or her know about any concerns. Don’t over-complicate what to order; play it safe by ordering any specials or ask for recommendations. Additionally, make a conscious decision to not order alcohol, even if it is offered. After the meal, do not forget to thank the interviewer; send a handwritten letter or email a thank you note within 24-48 hours.

For additional tips, stay tuned for Terri Thompson’s Networking Etiquette Workshop in April!

What is an Informational Interview?

As originally published in the Ticker 11/10,

By Jiaxin Karen Lu, Peer for Career

An informational interview is a session during which a student will get valuable information regarding job outlook, industry trends, or any other career-related tips from a professional. The purpose of an informational interview differs from a traditional interview – the outcome is not a job offer, but an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the field, add to your network, and position yourself for potential hiring.

If you would like to set up an informational interview, reach out to any prior contacts you have met from networking sessions and your connections on LinkedIn. After you identify the professionals you want to speak with, contact them for a 20-30 minute informational interview at a setting that is convenient for them to meet. If the professional agrees to meet you at a certain time, make sure to show up at least 15-20 minutes earlier to secure a table and have your questions ready. After the session, politely thank the professional for their time and effort, and also send a thank-you note to show your appreciation and follow-up with any additional questions. You may also attach your resume if this was discussed.

In addition, a few resources that can help you obtain more relevant information about informational interviews or find contacts to start the process will be LinkedIn, interviewing workshops, or any other job search workshops at the Starr Career Development Center.

An informational interview is a great way for students to network with alumni or professionals, gain insight, and gather helpful advice on their professional development.







Networking Your Way to that Next Job

As originally published 10/28 in the Ticker,

 By Jessica Zukhovich, Peer for Career

Networking can be a daunting term, especially for those who are new to the task. But building a network is essential in order to succeed in any career. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.When meeting someone new, always make sure to give a firm handshake and keep direct eye contact. Body language has a huge impact on first impressions.

2. Introduce yourself and provide a background of our professional experiences and interests, but also ask questions and engage in a conversation. Try to make yourself memorable by finding common ground or differentiating yourself.

3. ALWAYS follow up. Send an email the next day thanking the individual for taking the time to speak with you, and suggest that you meet again over coffee, catch up over the phone, or just stay in touch.

Remember that networking is about building a relationship, so it takes time. Make sure to stay in contact with the people you network with; update them with relevant news in your life, ask related questions or for advice, and catch up in person every few months. These relationships will be extremely valuable when it comes to recruiting season and your overall career.

Finally, reading tips on networking is beneficial, but the only way to really master it is by actually doing it! Attend events hosted by the STARR Career Development Center, student clubs, and companies themselves. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will become with networking and the faster you will land that next job!

The Importance of Thank You Notes

(As published in the Ticker,

 By Mahir Khan, Peer for Career

The benefits of sending a thank you note are numerous because there are many things you are conveying to your potential employer. By sending a thank you note, you are leaving a positive impression with the recruiter, highlighting important skills you possess, and reminding them once again why you would be an outstanding recruit for their company.

Thank you notes should be utilized frequently, whether it is sent after an interview or following a networking event or speaker presentation.  They can be a valuable opportunity to ask for additional contacts within the company that may be able to speak with you, furthering your networking efforts.  In this way, a thank you note may provide you with your next informational or professional interview.

Sometimes there is confusion around whether thank you notes should be emailed or sent in the mail. While sending a thank you note by mail is more personal, email has the enormous advantage of being instantaneous.  This is important because it is always advised to have the letter sent within 24 – 48 hours.