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Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette

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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2008, 06:59
pelihu wrote:
I was invited to dinner with a firm (we'll call it firm A) on Monday night. On Tuesday night, I had dinner with another firm B (both would be considered among the 3 most popular for this year) and the person I sat next to asked what I did the night before. I told them I had dinner with Firm A and he responded, oh yeah, you sat next to such and such. How was that?



Don't you think that was too much information to give up? I don't think you should lie, but when the recruiter asks you what you did the night before.... I would just say that I attended a recruiting event and leave it at that. If they want to probe more information, then I'll tell them....
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2008, 08:48
gmatclb wrote:
pelihu wrote:
I was invited to dinner with a firm (we'll call it firm A) on Monday night. On Tuesday night, I had dinner with another firm B (both would be considered among the 3 most popular for this year) and the person I sat next to asked what I did the night before. I told them I had dinner with Firm A and he responded, oh yeah, you sat next to such and such. How was that?



Don't you think that was too much information to give up? I don't think you should lie, but when the recruiter asks you what you did the night before.... I would just say that I attended a recruiting event and leave it at that. If they want to probe more information, then I'll tell them....


The thing is, they already knew what I was doing the night before. What I wanted to point out was that word travels amazingly fast around wall street firms. If you go around telling a firm they are your top choice, other firms will definitely know about it as well. Top firms will definitely target the same candidates, but you should always be aware that whatever you do will get around quickly. If you are an ass at a recruiting event, you probably killed yourself not just at one firm, but a whole bunch of them.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2008, 17:29
Sounds almost like a game of poker.

You tell them the truth, but you hold your cards close to your chest and only reveal your hand at the end of the game.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2008, 09:15
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Regarding table manners, I actually think this is very very important. Of course not everyone has great manners but many of the higher level executives have been to many formal dinners so chances are high that you may come across one that is a stickler. And I'll admit, although I'm not a high level exec at a major firm, I'm a bit of a stickler so watching someone make egregious errors makes me cringe a bit inside.

There are many nuances to table manners and you don't need to follow them all but here are some basics:

1) your bread plate is always to your left. don't grab the one on your right because you will screw things up (especially if the table is round). If you forget, just wait until you see other people use their plates.

2) don't put butter on the entire piece of bread and eat it like a sandwich. you need to tear off a bite sized piece, butter it, and then eat it...and repeat.

3) always offer the bread to others before you eat it yourself.

4) left hand is for the fork, right hand is for the knife...cut meat, then switch off so your right hand has the fork. eat. cut only one bite sized piece at a time. yes, if you are European, you do not need to switch and i know that but you may come across an executive who doesn't know that and ironically thinks you're the one who is misinformed so play it safe. if you are left handed, you can do everything with the opposite hand. when cutting, your left hand should hold the fork with your index finger pointed down. don't grab the fork with your fist. also, hold your fork right side up. i really dislike it when a person holds their fork backwards (the concave/convex part)...it's rare but i see mistakes in this sometimes. Also...utensils are outside in and the top ones are for dessert.

5) if you need to rest your utensils, put them on your plate so that the dirty part does not go back onto the tablecloth. when they take your plate, they will take your utensils for that course so you don't need them.

6) when leaving your table to go to a restroom, etc...move your napkin from your lap to your chair. Don't put your dirty napkin on the table.

7) Water glass goes on the right side. Don't order alcohol unless the executive offers it first.

8) Don't get too weird and picky about your food "e.g. I want my steak done medium rare but slightly on the rare side but the outside burnt and partially butterflied but not so that the butterflied opening is chared, etc.". If you are vegetarian, just order something that you can eat from the menu. If the menu does not have anything for vegetarians, ask the waiter and they will almost always make a "grilled vegetable" plate for you.

9) Don't order messy stuff like baby back ribs, spaghetti, pizza, etc...unless you're in that kind of restaurant where this is the main feature.

10) If you get wine, the executive will usually order but if he/she asks you to order and you really feel like ordering, find something midrange (in terms of taste and price). I generally stick with a pinot noir at $80 or so but sometimes will ask if the other person is more in the mood for a shirah or cabernet sauvignon. I usually don't order white (usually stick with chardonnay or sauvignon blanc) unless I know the other person prefers it.

RVD.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2008, 08:00
RVD wrote:

1) your bread plate is always to your left. don't grab the one on your right because you will screw things up (especially if the table is round). If you forget, just wait until you see other people use their plates.



7) Water glass goes on the right side. Don't order alcohol unless the executive offers it first.

RVD.


A good tip: if you forget, just make little "b" and "d" signs with your hands buy forming a circle with your thumb and index fingers. Your "B" will be on your left hand (bread) and your "D" will be on your right hand (drink).
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2008, 09:24
GMATforFal08 wrote:
A good tip: if you forget, just make little "b" and "d" signs with your hands buy forming a circle with your thumb and index fingers. Your "B" will be on your left hand (bread) and your "D" will be on your right hand (drink).


my biggest issue with that is I always go: "Is it bread and drink or beverage and dinner roll?" :P
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 15 May 2008, 05:18
kryzak wrote:
GMATforFal08 wrote:
A good tip: if you forget, just make little "b" and "d" signs with your hands buy forming a circle with your thumb and index fingers. Your "B" will be on your left hand (bread) and your "D" will be on your right hand (drink).


my biggest issue with that is I always go: "Is it bread and drink or beverage and dinner roll?" :P

i wish i ignored your post, now i will be confused too :/
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 15 May 2008, 15:28
dabots wrote:
kryzak wrote:
GMATforFal08 wrote:
A good tip: if you forget, just make little "b" and "d" signs with your hands buy forming a circle with your thumb and index fingers. Your "B" will be on your left hand (bread) and your "D" will be on your right hand (drink).


my biggest issue with that is I always go: "Is it bread and drink or beverage and dinner roll?" :P

i wish i ignored your post, now i will be confused too :/


I won't say where I heard this so that I don't embarrass myself (okay, it was the John Tesh show), but you should think BMW - bread, meal, water. I haven't forgotten since (and I don't have to use my hands).
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 22:45
kryzak wrote:
wow, sucks to be a lefty... :P


I'm a European lefty, and I have to admit that I never bothered learning to cut with my right hand. In some very posh circles what I do might be considered rude, but all in all I've almost never had any remarks. If I have any problems in the US, I'll blame the cultural differences :)

I would like to thank pelihu for providing such a deep insight on US etiquette. I was aware of all the points that he made, except the point and shoot one: I thought I misread the first time I read that passage! :lol: I didn't even know that people did that. Talk about cultural differences... (Far Eastern etiquette must be even worse).

I would like to ask a question though: the points that pelihu makes, are they rigorously applied in every circumstance in the US, or is that in an ideal world? For example, putting the butter on your plate first is something you should do, but that I don't bother doing unless I'm having dinner for the first time with my step-family :) What about business dinners?

Thanks for the insight!
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 22:51
pelihu wrote:
kryzak wrote:
Question for peli, what if you're left handed? Do you cut with your left and hold the fork in the right hand, then switch to eat with the left? :)


No changes if you are left handed. Still cut with the fork in your left hand and knife in the right hand. I think this even applies to the European style.


The "even" made me laugh :-D
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 22 May 2008, 22:54
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RVD wrote:
Regarding table manners, I actually think this is very very important. Of course not everyone has great manners but many of the higher level executives have been to many formal dinners so chances are high that you may come across one that is a stickler. And I'll admit, although I'm not a high level exec at a major firm, I'm a bit of a stickler so watching someone make egregious errors makes me cringe a bit inside.

There are many nuances to table manners and you don't need to follow them all but here are some basics:

1) your bread plate is always to your left. don't grab the one on your right because you will screw things up (especially if the table is round). If you forget, just wait until you see other people use their plates.

2) don't put butter on the entire piece of bread and eat it like a sandwich. you need to tear off a bite sized piece, butter it, and then eat it...and repeat.

3) always offer the bread to others before you eat it yourself.

4) left hand is for the fork, right hand is for the knife...cut meat, then switch off so your right hand has the fork. eat. cut only one bite sized piece at a time. yes, if you are European, you do not need to switch and i know that but you may come across an executive who doesn't know that and ironically thinks you're the one who is misinformed so play it safe. if you are left handed, you can do everything with the opposite hand. when cutting, your left hand should hold the fork with your index finger pointed down. don't grab the fork with your fist. also, hold your fork right side up. i really dislike it when a person holds their fork backwards (the concave/convex part)...it's rare but i see mistakes in this sometimes. Also...utensils are outside in and the top ones are for dessert.

5) if you need to rest your utensils, put them on your plate so that the dirty part does not go back onto the tablecloth. when they take your plate, they will take your utensils for that course so you don't need them.

6) when leaving your table to go to a restroom, etc...move your napkin from your lap to your chair. Don't put your dirty napkin on the table.

7) Water glass goes on the right side. Don't order alcohol unless the executive offers it first.

8) Don't get too weird and picky about your food "e.g. I want my steak done medium rare but slightly on the rare side but the outside burnt and partially butterflied but not so that the butterflied opening is chared, etc.". If you are vegetarian, just order something that you can eat from the menu. If the menu does not have anything for vegetarians, ask the waiter and they will almost always make a "grilled vegetable" plate for you.

9) Don't order messy stuff like baby back ribs, spaghetti, pizza, etc...unless you're in that kind of restaurant where this is the main feature.

10) If you get wine, the executive will usually order but if he/she asks you to order and you really feel like ordering, find something midrange (in terms of taste and price). I generally stick with a pinot noir at $80 or so but sometimes will ask if the other person is more in the mood for a shirah or cabernet sauvignon. I usually don't order white (usually stick with chardonnay or sauvignon blanc) unless I know the other person prefers it.

RVD.


Eating must sometimes be a pretty stressful experience for you! :-D

Kudos though for your insightful post.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2009, 11:36
Awesome article !!..Every b-school grad should read this. Thanks Pelihu.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2009, 15:55
RVD wrote:
4) left hand is for the fork, right hand is for the knife...cut meat, then switch off so your right hand has the fork. eat. cut only one bite sized piece at a time. yes, if you are European, you do not need to switch and i know that but you may come across an executive who doesn't know that and ironically thinks you're the one who is misinformed so play it safe. if you are left handed, you can do everything with the opposite hand. when cutting, your left hand should hold the fork with your index finger pointed down. don't grab the fork with your fist. also, hold your fork right side up. i really dislike it when a person holds their fork backwards (the concave/convex part)...it's rare but i see mistakes in this sometimes. Also...utensils are outside in and the top ones are for dessert.


I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "hold your fork right side up." I do know that if you're eating meat (or anything that requires you to use stab at your food with the fork,) you are supposed to hold it so that the tines point downward (which would mean the convex part of the fork facing upwards and the concave part facing downwards.)

I personally find the American/"zig-zag" style ridiculous, and I've never been in a situation where the Continental/European style was ever frowned upon.

If you want to be really pretentious, you can pay special attention so that food hardly touches your lips. To do this, you really have to eat food in really small bite-sized amounts (unless you have a HUGE mouth), which is probably a good thing.

RVD wrote:
5) if you need to rest your utensils, put them on your plate so that the dirty part does not go back onto the tablecloth. when they take your plate, they will take your utensils for that course so you don't need them.


Some would say a utensil that has been used should NEVER touch the tablecloth, even the clean/handle part.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2009, 01:44
xenok wrote:
I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "hold your fork right side up." I do know that if you're eating meat (or anything that requires you to use stab at your food with the fork,) you are supposed to hold it so that the tines point downward (which would mean the convex part of the fork facing upwards and the concave part facing downwards.)


This is also an American/European difference. In the US style, "right side up" would mean with tines pointing upwards. One other US/European difference, in the US you're not supposed to use your knife or anything else to help guide small foods (i.e. peas, corn) onto your fork. I believe in the European style it's considered perfectly ok to use a knife or bread for this. I agree with you xenok, that most businesspeople these days have been exposed to enough international culture to realize that not everyone follows the American eating customs, and wouldn't frown on people following the European style.

xenok wrote:
Some would say a utensil that has been used should NEVER touch the tablecloth, even the clean/handle part.


I have heard the same, with the placement indicating to the waitstaff whether you are finished or still eating (X = still eating, parallel = finished).
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 14:31
Useful information! Makes me worry a bit about the little knowledge I have about proper etiquette. I may look into getting a book about the basics, as you recommended.
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Re: Guide to Recruiting and Schmoozing - Part 3 - Etiquette   [#permalink] 16 Sep 2011, 14:31
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