Manners of Fact

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Looking for work? Manners matter.

Hilarie Blaney Modified: July 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: June 9, 2011
Nationwide unemployment is sitting above 9%, and while Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate is just 4.5%, plenty among us are job searching or seeking career changes. It means that the job market here is not just competitive, it’s tight. While you update your resume, consider that the impression you leave on your potential employer after you land the interview is more important than anything else.

Businesses are trending towards testing the social skills of prospective employees more than ever. If you find that your interview will be over a meal instead of across a desk, don’t be surprised. So what’s an interviewee to do? Brush up on your basic mix of interview and table manners before you head to that potentially life-changing lunch:

  • Follow the lead of your host, or interviewer. (If he or she sits down, that’s your cue to sit down.)
  • Never order the most expensive thing on the menu.
  • Don’t order anything sloppy – pasta is out.
  • Keep your cell phone stowed and on silent – you would not pay attention to it in an office interview, right?
  • Your napkin belongs in your lap (never on the table) and should stay there until you leave the restaurant.
  • Know how and in what order to use your silverware.

Hopefully the uniqueness of the interview setting will allow you to relax some, but be sure to maintain the professionalism you would have were you sitting across a desk!