When it comes to interviews and alcohol, first thing’s first. If you don’t drink, don’t drink. In business, it is better not to have alcohol, because you want to keep a clear head. Never walk around an event with a glass of wine pretending.
Here are some of the rules of interviews and alcohol:
While waiting in a restaurant for your interviewer to arrive, do not order alcohol.
If the interviewer asks you if you would like an alcohol beverage, ask first, “Are you having one?” (In an interview meal, the interviewee orders first and the interviewer orders second.)
If the interviewer is not having alcohol, you do not have alcohol either.
If the interviewer is having alcohol, you may join him/her… or not.
If the interviewer is throwing back three and four alcohol beverages, do not join him/her. Stop after the first.
An interviewer downing multiple cocktails is a red flag. Remember, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.
If you do order alcohol, get a glass or red or white wine. Only because I care, will I tell you not to order white zinfandel when out on business. It’s considered a little on the tacky side. If you want to keep the ball in the box in your fridge at home, that’s fine. I promise not to tell anyone.
Plenty of non-alcohol beverages behind the bar: pop/soda, soda water with a lime (looks like a cocktail), or cranberry juice. Again, better to keep a clear head in business.
Culture and Manners Institute
I often hear employers complain about the lack of “professionalism,” but what does that mean?
Professionalism is about practicing etiquette — behaving in a way that is respectful of others and reflects well on your business. The purpose of etiquette is to make the people around us feel comfortable. But people often mistakenly think being more casual will make others comfortable. Not so. Sometimes being casual creates discomfort. In business, err on the side of formality. Here are a few examples:
When writing emails, use a Salutation (Dear, To…) and a Closing (Sincerely, All the best, Regards, Gratefully…). Proofread to eliminate careless grammatical errors and upgrade texting language to full sentences.
Stand up to greet people or when introduced to someone else.
Use honorifics (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.) until one gives you permission to call one by one’s first name. In general, if someone seems old enough to be your parent, use the honorific. In college, practice professionalism by calling PhD professors, “Dr.” and any non-PhD staff “Mr./Ms.”
Professional dress from an etiquette perspective means dressing out of respect for others. Whether you work in a casual environment or a traditional suit environment, modest is hottest. Plunging necklines, high hemlines and boxer shorts hanging out create discomfort and distractions.
Speak well of others. Don’t be lured into office gossip. Discuss, don’t argue.
Professionalism doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a life-long practice, with many happy returns.
Culture and Manners Institute
By Sam Kunz
Spring break is right around the corner and that means rest, relaxation, and recharging. But it is also a great time to hone and focus your career search tools. Wisely investing some time over spring break can help you get a leg up on finding that summer job, internship, or simply be better prepared for when opportunity decides to knock on your door.
Going home? This is a great chance to network and set up summer internships or jobs. Also you can use this time to explore possible careers by contacting companies or businesses that interest you. Their human resources office is a good place to start if you are looking for an informational interview or a job shadow. Our own Maine Mentor Program is a fantastic opportunity to connect with UMaine alumni who are now professionals in hundreds of career fields. And don’t be fooled by the name, Maine Mentors are not only here in Maine. We currently have mentors in over 39 states!
Maybe this should be filed under “late notice,” but there are many companies that offer week long internships during typical spring break weeks. Usually the applications need to be submitted several months in advance, however the actual deadline depends on the company. But keep this in mind for future breaks. In fact, why not research possible internship programs for next spring over this break?
Juniors (or sophomores), are you thinking about grad school? This is a great time to explore graduate schools and programs that you are considering attending. It wasn’t that long ago you were visiting campuses looking for the right fit for your undergrad education. It’s kind of the same now, except that you are a little older and wiser. Before you contact the graduate school admissions office, plan out the questions you need answered to help you determine if the program is a good “fit” for you, gain a little insight on applying, and then get on campus! Applications won’t be due for quite some time (usually December or January), but remember any work you do now will help out when those deadlines come around the same time as you’re preparing for finals.
Are you participating in Alternative Spring Break or doing some other volunteer work? Just remember that volunteering isn’t only good for the community, the world, and your soul… it’s great for your resume, too! Don’t sell yourself short. Sure, employers want to know about your education and work experience, but they also want to know a little more about you. This shows that you value community, have drive, and aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You can read more about the growing relevance of volunteerism on your resumé in this New York Times article.
So you get the idea. It’s break, but make the most of it! The Career Center will be open our regular hours over break, so if you are staying in the area come on up and see us! We would be glad to go over your resumé, cover letter, or help you plan to make the most of your time off!
Otherwise, have a great break and check back soon for our next blog post!
March 19 & 20, 2014
March 20, 2014
March 26, 2014
Info Session: March 25 – 6pm-8pm – Coe Room
Pike Industries Inc.
March 27, 2014
General Dynamics/ Bath Iron Works
Info Session: March 27, 2014 – 5pm-6:30pm – Career Center Library
City Year WebEx
April 1, 2014 – 2pm-3pm – Career Center Library
Army National Guard
Info Session: April 2, 2014 – 4:30pm-5:30pm – Career Center Library
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|Interviewing (After)||Interview Dress|
Normally, you would stay away from spaghetti in a business meal and opt for something less messy — a smaller noodle like macaroni or penne. But sometimes, a little spaghetti into our business or social lives must fall. That said, we are finally going to settle this spaghetti and spoon thing once and for all. The etiquette authorities are divided, so I will quote them directly:
Letitia Baldrige: Letitia Baldrige’s New Manners for New Times, 2003
“If you are a purist about eating spaghetti, linguine, or any other long, thin noodles, you will not use a spoon as a support. You will go it alone with the fork. The secret is in twining just a small number of strands around your fork (four or five.) Keep turning your fork around slowly until all the strands are rolled compactly around it and you’re ready to put it into your mouth.”
Judith Martin: Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, 2005
“A fork is the only utensil that may be used to eat spaghetti while anyone is looking. It must make do with whatever cooperation it may muster from the plate and the teeth. The fork is planted on the plate and the spaghetti is then twirled around the tines of the fork. If you can manage to use the grated cheese to add grit to the mixture for better control, so much the better. The twirled forkful is then presented to the mouth.”
Maria Everding, Panache That Pays, 2007
“Wind a few strands at a time, around a dinner fork, and lift to your mouth. Using a tablespoon and fork is archaic. Do not cut pasta.”
Elizabeth Post, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 1992
“The fork is used to spear a few strands of spaghetti, the tips are placed against the bowl of the spoon, which is held in the left hand and the fork is twirled, wrapping the spaghetti around itself as it turns. If no spoon is provided, the tips of the fork may be rested against the curve of the plate.”
Amy Vanderbilt, Complete Book of Etiquette, 1954
“The aficionado knows that the only graceful and satisfying way to eat real Italian spaghetti (which comes in full-length or perhaps half length rounds) is to eat it with a large soup spoon and a fork.”
Marjabelle Young (Stewart), White Gloves and Party Manners, 1967
“Spaghetti is quieter and less messy if you wind it around a dinner fork held against a large spoon.”
Pro-… uh, wait a minute:
Suzanne von Drachnenfels, The Art of the Table, 2008
“As a base to steady the fork while the noodles are wound, sometimes a spoon is held in one hand, a technique frowned upon in Italy.”
Life is about choices and next time you have spaghetti, you will have to take a side.
Culture and Manners Institute