Tuesday, September 20, 2011

American Dining Etiquette

How to Prepare for Dinning Interview?

When I heard from my friend that her daughter had an interview over the meal in the restaurant, I wondered why employers wanted to interview candidates in that public place instead of their office. Besides, I had doubts whether interviewing while eating could be an earnest job interview to evaluate candidate’s potential effectively. I was also interested in what an appropriate dining etiquette would be in the business setting. Based on my earlier mentioned concerns, I was naturally led to research more about dining interview and came to realize that it is one of the most widely- used meeting formats in this hospitality industry. Needless to say, job seekers should learn dining etiquette as well as establish dining interview strategy in advance.

<Dining etiquette is important in business setting>

Nowadays, many employers are more likely to conduct the second or third round interviews in restaurants. It is because spending something over meals would be natural way to predict with confidence how potential employees react in a specific situation. Therefore, prospective employers are willing to pay for dinner or luncheon table in order to observe the candidate in a public setting and see our demeanor in social setting. Through the entire process of the dining interview, they eventually figure out whether the interviewee would be qualified socially and professionally. To be successful in the dining interview, table manners are fundamental.
I think it will be a geat chocie for  international students to learn the appropriate table manner while studying in America. Why don't you go to a high-class restaurant now and then to experience the formal dinner?

< Always begin eating with the flatware  farthest from your plate!>

Let me give you a hypothetical situation.

If the interviewer orders a glass of wine and asks if you would like one too. How would you answer? First answer, “Since the interviewer asked, you don’t want to be rude and accept his invitation and order a glass of wine as well. Second one, “Thank you. But I’ll just have water please.” Which answer will be correct?

The first one, is an improper response because having any alcohol-even if the interviewer offers is inappropriate in a job interview setting; the second one is a proper response because when it comes to alcohol, the only appropriate response in a job interview is to politely decline.

Before the dining interview, the candidate should absolutely check do’s and don’ts in terms of American dining etiquette!

For instance, never start eating before a signal from the host to do so.
Do not order too expensive dishes and choose the food hard to cut into bite-size pieces.
Don’t use your bread for dipping into soups or mopping up sauces.
Don’t make noise such as slurping and burping…
Don’t talk with your mouth full.
Don’t’ stretch across the table crossing other guests to reach food, wine or condiments… instead ask a guest sitting close to pass the item to you.
Don’t ever offer your criticism about the food…If you cannot pay any compliments, at least remain silent..
Picking teeth or licking fingers are very unattractive..
There are hundred and hundred dining etiquette tips..however, everything is based on the commonsense, right?

Although the candidate may be nervous, he/she should do the best to relax, while maintaining an assured posture throughout the interview. Also keep it in mind that elbows should be off the table all the time Based on the above recommendations, it is not surprising that the reasons why people do not get hired are from small mistakes or carelessness, such as poor hygiene, too much perfume, late for interview, and limp handshake. Therefore, candidates should pay attention to details.

After the meal, “indicate that you are finished with your meal by placing the knife and fork, on your plate following their 4 o’clock pattern. Be sure to place the napkin on the right hand side of your table setting. In case of leaving the dining table for short space of time, put your napkin on your chair.

Typically in an interview, you are the guest and so the meal is paid for by the employer whether the organization is a business, non-profit, educational institution. Remember to say “thank you.” A thank you note the same day is necessary by using E-mail and a hard copy after the interview. Follow up and follow thorough such as writing samples, references, or other proof of performance should not be overlooked. Through self-evaluation process after coming out of the interview, we can build into our strategy ahead of time to determine appropriate follow up or adapt effectively for a next interview.

The dining interview can be a great opportunity for job seekers. The meal setting makes everyone more comfortable and sociable, and some of the awkwardness of the traditional office interview can be alleviated in rather relaxing atmosphere. However, it is not an easy task to make a good impression on a hiring manager and eat simultaneously. To sum up, an interviewee should think strategically, be professionally sociable, and mind table manners during the dining interview.

A candidate invited to the restaurant can have a confidence because having a chance to the dining interview means being selected to be a strong contender for the job. Therefore, the chance of impressing the interviewer will be highly increased as long as the candidate maintains dining etiquette based on commonsense. 

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