This is an excellent opportunity to expand your network with employers in the area. Prepare yourself for any situation by learning dining etiquette prior to the dinner, and practicing your etiquette that evening. There will be time to mingle and dine with employers who have career opportunities similar to your interests. Employers always enjoy the evening engaging with students, so come meet them!
- Do your homework. You'll be more confident and prepared if you go into a business situation knowing what's expected of you, and knowing about the company and the position you're interviewing for. Bring multiple copies of your resume and references, and make sure they're kept neat and unwrinkled in a folder.
- Be on time! In fact, plan to arrive 15 minutes early. That way, you won't be rushed and will give your interviewer the sense that you're punctual and prepared.
- Dress professionally. It's always better to be overdressed and more traditional than too trendy or casual. If possible, find out what the expected dress code is. In an interview, a business suit is usually a safe choice. In most industries, conservative is better.
- Send thank-you notes. This small gesture can make a world of difference when you're being considered against other candidates. Anytime an employer gives you their time, whether it's a formal or informal setting, be sure to email them within a day and follow up with a hand-written thank you note. You want them to know that their time was appreciated and valued, and that you enjoyed learning more about their company/position/etc.
Remember your dining etiquette:
- Use Utensils. Work from the outside in if you are faced with several forks and spoons.
- Eat Slowly. The focus should be on networking, not on the food.
- Stay relaxed. This is an opportunity for your potential employer to see how you act in a more relaxed environment than the interview room, but that doesn’t mean you can be casual.
- Take cues from your host. If you are unsure about what to order or how to conduct yourself, just look to your host!
- Books about etiquette are available for your perusal in the Katherine Kemper Career Library.
For specific questions about etiquette or to practice etiquette in a business setting, make an appointment to see your Career Counselor by calling 859.257.2746.