University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

Business School Hosts 3rd Annual Etiquette Dinner

Sue Schlom introducing guest speaker to  students
Sue Schlom introducing Etiquette Royalty, Daniel Post Senning

Proper.

Stuffy.

Manners.

Grandparents.

Formal.

Which fork do I use?!

If these words come to mind when thinking about the “E word,” etiquette, you’re not alone. It can be a source of anxiety or what sets you apart from fellow candidates. Daniel Post Senning, great-great-grandson of Emily Post and the Manager of Web Development and Online Content at The Emily Post Institute, opened the 3rd Annual Etiquette Dinner with timely business specific tips for making a positive and memorable impression. At the intimate gathering, School of Business Administration undergraduate and graduate students alike tested out their dining etiquette and practiced a few new guidelines for making that business dinner or lunch interview a comfortable, successful encounter.

The great thing about etiquette is that most of it is common sense, explained Post Senning. In business situations one can make a positive impression with just a few small efforts.

· Arrive early but not too early (5-10 minutes before your interview)

· Say thank you twice, once in person (“Thank you so much for taking time to meet with me!”) and once in a prompt, handwritten note via snail mail. Keep a supply of stationary, stamps, and a great pen or two so you don’t have to scramble to get your note in the mail the next day. In a world of email your note may be the only piece of personal mail your interviewer has gotten all week.

· Be prepared to ask questions. Yes, you want to make sure they know about all of your skills and accomplishments, but a
successful business meal is as much about listening as it is about talking.

· And the standards still apply—don’t slurp your soup or coffee, keep your elbows off the table, and try all of the food offered
at least once.

According to Emily Post, the essence of etiquette is really about making the people you’re with feel comfortable. “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.”