Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


VP gets re-appointed

Another vote for SOGS

UBC to put its money on lobbying the banks

Viagra pops its head into London stores

Soothing surgical pain

Small ends his year with balanced books


Chomping down on useful etiquette

Caught on campus

Chomping down on useful etiquette

It is nearing the end of yet another year of higher education and whether this was your last dance or you're still getting jiggy with it, everyone is one step closer to landing their first "real" job.

The difficulty of finding a job and surviving an interview is common knowledge among today's graduates. With so many qualified candidates, many savvy employers have begun to use the dining room as a forum for the job interview.

Employers are not only looking for technically strong candidates, but a candidate capable of representing them in any business situation. Therefore your behaviour in the restaurant becomes another function of your ability to meet job requirements.

If the concept of proper dining etiquette puts you on the edge of your seat, don't worry. Etiquette is simply a set of tools to help you appear polished and professional. Here are a few basics to help any interview go smoothly.

You've arrived at a fully set table with about 10 of everything. What belongs to who? Looking at the setting directly in front of you all of your glasses will be to the right of your setting while anything for non-liquids will be to the left.

What fork do I use first? This is an easy one most of us learned from watching Pretty Woman – always work from the outside in. The cutlery for the first course is used first so, naturally, it is the first one you come across.

Where does my napkin go? Rule one is before you consume anything, even a sip of water, your napkin is on your lap. The only other two places your napkin will be is on your seat if you leave the table. No one wants to look at your dirty napkin while you're gone, so don't leave it on the table. Secondly, put it on the table to the right of your setting when you get up to leave the restaurant.

What should I order? If the interviewer has set the precedent or invited you to order an alcoholic beverage one is acceptable and ideally it will be a glass of wine to complement the meal. One strict rule is to always order something – even if it is only a bottled water. The act of ordering conveys authority at a point when the interviewer will be looking for how you converse with an unknown server.

Remember you are there for an interview not for dinner, so the meal is secondary. Order something easy to eat that will not distract you from the interview. Spaghetti and finger foods are to be avoided. You should not have to be told not to order the most expensive item on the menu, it is simply disrespectful.

What else should I remember? Etiquette is based on common sense, so if you're unsure what to do, use yours. If you're still stumped, do whatever the interviewer is doing. This way if the you make a mistake the interviewer will never know. Bon appetite.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999