Part of making a good impression to employers and networking contacts is demonstrating social and dining etiquette. Throughout your career, you will find yourself in numerous social situations in which you are expected to interact with a wide variety of professionals.
Introductions and Greetings
- When introducing yourself, state your first and last name.
- When facilitating introductions, use that name that was given to you during the introduction, e.g. "Michael" is "Michael" not "Mike."
- A firm handshake is crucial. It conveys a sense of confidence and should always be done while standing.
- Nametags should be placed on the right side, so individuals can easily look at your name when shaking your hand. If you write your name on the nametag, make certain that your writing is legible.
- Maintain eye contact as you speak.
- If you forget someone's name, you may say something like, "I'm sorry I know that we have met before, you are...?"
- At the end of your conversation, be certain to make a closing statement such as "It was a pleasure to meet you."
Social conversations can be awkward. The following are possible conversation topics:
- Current events
- Books and trade publications
- Topics in your line of work
Topics to avoid:
Also, be careful not to monopolize the conversation. You should listen attentively so that you can effectively respond to comments and questions posed by others and give other individuals an opportunity to speak as well.
In the business arena, your interview or networking discussion might include lunch or dinner with executives. One of the many ways that you can make a positive impression is to demonstrate that you have good dining etiquette.