For something that doesn’t get taught in a class in business school, professional etiquette is extremely important. No one wants to seem awkward in a formal dinner situation or make a mistake in an important meeting! Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with this list of business etiquette dining do’s and don’ts, whether you'll be enjoying food and beverages at an informational interview or networking event. To practice your skills in person with Seattle business leaders and learn more from two incredible keynote speakers, attend UW AMA's 7th Annual Etiquette Dinner this Wednesday night: tickets available here. Supplies are limited so reserve your seat immediately for the amazing opportunity to connect with professionals and learn more about business decorum.
1. Turn off your gadgets in meetings.
Make sure to avoid picking up your phone to answer a text or check your emails.This is seen as disrespectful in a business setting, and setting your screens aside is just good manners to show you're giving your full attention.
2. Always stand up when being introduced.
Standing establishes your presence and shows respect for the person or people you're meeting. You make it easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand.
3. Take your time eating.
Rushing through the meal can make the situation awkward if you're the only one done eating just a few minutes after it begins. Taking small bites also means you can engage more in the conversation since your mouth won't be stuffed with food.
1. Don’t say "thank you" more than once or twice during a conversation.
Offering thanks is, of course, polite, but you only need to say it only once or twice within a conversation. Otherwise, you may dilute its impact.
2. Never ask for a to-go box.
After all, you are there for business—not for the leftovers. Takeout boxes are okay for family dinners but not for professional occasions.
3. Don't cross your legs.
Both men and women do it, but it can be distracting and too casual for a professional setting. Plus, there's nothing worse than rattling the whole table when you accidentally hit it with your knee.
With these tips and tricks, you'll be ready to dine with grace at not only the Etiquette Dinner but also all your informational interviews over coffee, formal banquets, and catered recruiting events.