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!