Use dinner etiquette skills that make a good first impression

May 1, 2018

Quinita Thomas

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10 seconds.

    That is the time it takes for an interviewer to decide whether or not you get the job.

    First impressions create opportunities. Proper manners and dinner etiquette aren’t skills that are as valued as they were 40 years ago, but in a business setting, these can determine what others think of you.

    People who come across as polished are more likely to be hired, according to a study conducted by Oregon State University. It’s important to make a good first impression.

    Students should be taught how to present themselves in front of future employers before they graduate. Learning how to dress, talk and act for interviews and meetings in college gives them the time to practice and perfect these skills, feel comfortable and help students make a good first impression.

    Whether the meeting is in the office, or over a business dinner, folks still need to know what to wear. For instance, if you choose to wear jeans and a sweatshirt, chances are that you will not get the job.

    Proper business attire, like dress slacks, a tie, a blouse or a blazer shows that you care about how you’re presenting yourself. It shows you’re professional, responsible, organized and reliable.

    On top of wearing appropriate business attire, teaching students how to introduce themselves in a professional manner is also important. Proper introductions demonstrate courtesy and propriety.

   Students should learn proper etiquette techniques in order to prepare for what to say, and how to appear. Providing a gentle yet firm handshake along with a smile indicates a friendly but confident personality.

    For some interviews, there’s a chance that you’ll attend a business dinner. Your dining etiquette can often determine whether or not the employer wants to work with you.

   UCCS is making strides in terms of teaching students these skills.

    I attended the Etiquette Dinner on April 19, and it opened my eyes to what proper etiquette should look like, including not seating myself until the host sits down, making sure not to excuse myself from the table and other tips.

    What if the dining event involved more than just you and your future employer? Knowing how to pass things around the table is key. Reaching over a person to pass the salt and pepper will be considered rude.

    While these actions seem small, they speak volumes. It shows you’re taking the time to accurately portray who you are as a potential employee. If you can’t pay attention to the details of a dinner, you’re not showing that you can in the job setting either.

   When you can demonstrate your etiquette, you’re showing respect, professionalism and the ability to understand how to present yourself professionally.