Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 10 – The Interview Lunch

The Luncheon Interview

 

 “The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.” 
~Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's quotation is a metaphor for the choices he made. Its meaning for you is although you've made it this far, all can be forfeited if you fail the final test that many employers require: a demonstration of your table manners. Many positions require attendance at meetings and events that involve dining; exhibiting top-notch table manners proves that you can be trusted to represent the company well. In a close race, the smallest details can reveal the victor.

Job Search Series – Nailing the Interview – Part 1 – Types of Interviews

Types of Interviews


“Besides getting several paper cuts in the same day or receiving the news that someone in your family has betrayed you to your enemies, one of the most unpleasant experiences in life is a job interview.” ~Lemony Snicket

It is my hope that Mr. Snicket will read the next few blog posts along with you so that he, too, might gain some snippets of advice that will help smooth the way to the job interview process. 

Let's start by taking a look at the various types of interviews you can expect to come across: 

Black Friday Etiquette

"If you get up early to go Christmas shopping today,
you can save a ton of money.
Of course, if you roll over and say, 'Screw shopping this year,'
you can save even more.”
~ Maxine

Maxine may be on to something. Black Friday is a day that has become infamous in the annals of consumer shopping, so maybe it's better if everyone just turned off their alarm clocks, went back to sleep and skipped the madness.

Dining Etiquette Series – Saying Grace Before Dinner

“In some families and at some events it’s customary to say a blessing or prayer before the meal begins. If that’s not your custom and you’re a guest, just sit quietly until the blessing is finished. If asked, do join hands around the table—doing so will complete the circle.”
~ Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, Manners For A New World

In the U.S., the freedoms of religion, speech and assembly are held in very high esteem. But, along with freedom should come civility. That means that we should not only respect the rights, beliefs and customs of others, we should also extend courtesy, consideration and understanding when we or when others exercise those rights, express those beliefs and celebrate those customs. In each the following dining scenarios, consider the response that you believe would be most appropriate: 

The Skillful Dinner Conversationalist

That which chiefly causes the failure of a dinner-party,
 is the running short—not of meat, nor yet of drink, but of conversation.
 ~ Lewis Carroll

There are many components to a successful dinner party – a welcoming invitation, warm and friendly hosts, engaging guests, delicious food served elegantly, and a beautiful and inviting dinner table. Those are the elements that will draw guests to a gathering. But, the dynamic that sets the occasion afire and keeps people talking about it long afterward is the conversation, good or bad.

Dining Etiquette Series – The Formal Dinner Party Menu

There was no food as yet on the glittering golden plates, but small menus were lying in front of each of them. Harry picked his up uncertainly and looked around—there were no waiters. Dumbledore, however, looked carefully down at his own menu, then said very clearly to his plate, “Pork chops!” And pork chops appeared.” ~ Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

We might not be able to summon our courses directly from the menu card the way the Harry Potter crowd did, but all the same there is a magical atmosphere that surrounds a formal dinner party. 

Dining Etiquette Series – Please Pass The Salt

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working
 together is success. ~ Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company

The famous American industrialist probably didn’t have salt and pepper in mind when he uttered these words. But they apply to this week’s topic. When part of the dining table -- whether at a casual business breakfast or a formal dinner party -- the salt and pepper shakers are placed on the table together, kept together when being passed and work together when both are used to season food. 

Dining Etiquette Series – The Complexities of Serving Coffee

Ah! How sweet coffee tastes!
Lovelier than a thousand kisses,
 sweeter far than muscatel wine!
 ~ Lieschen, Coffee Cantata by Johan Sebastian Bach

In the early 18th Century in Leipzig, Germany, coffee was a controversial commodity. Some years later, Bach composed Coffee Cantata about the coffee “brew”- ha-ha, which features the clash of a father and daughter over her love of the seductive beverage. (Here is the English translation.)

Today, we have some controversies of our own about coffee, or at least variations in the way we serve it in formal or semi-formal social and business luncheons and dinners.

Dining Etiquette Series – Dessert, At Last!

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.
~
Ernestine Ulmer, 1892-1987

No doubt many people will agree with this famous quote. But, in the formal multi-course dinner, dessert is the last course, at least in the U.S. In European, and European-influenced, countries you might find that the dessert course is followed by a fruit course to finish the dinner with a refreshing palate cleanser, and then followed by coffee and a sweet (more about the “coffee course” next week). But, in most cases, dessert will be the sweet finale to a luncheon or dinner.