Business Etiquette Series, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Business Etiquette series! I’m already so grateful for the feedback I received after Part 1. Each time I receive an email or comment, it reinforces the fact that there truly are so many of you interested in etiquette!

Today’s topic is over Interview Etiquette.

What you say and do during an interview has just as much impact, if not more, than your qualifications. Call if unfair if you like. I’m just here to help you get ahead. 😉

As an employee of a company, you are their living, breathing brand. Every company wants to make sure it’s represented well, so it makes sense they care how you present yourself. Do you carry yourself with confidence? Or are you overly confident and think you can do no wrong? Finding that balance is key.

When you have the opportunity to interview with a company, keep in mind that those few, precious minutes will be what the company is basing its decision on. Maximize those minutes by preparing and knowing what to do.

A few key points to keep in mind:

  • Have a general idea of what the company does overall. Feel comfortable asking specifics about the job you’re considering
  • Show up 5-10 minutes before an interview. You don’t want to rush in right on time or late, but you also don’t want to be a burden on the company by showing up half an hour ahead of time.
  • Don’t bring in any beverage or chewing gum with you. A small bottle of water is acceptable if it’s needed, but you should leave your latte in the car.
  • Dress professionally. Even if this job is one that requires scrubs or a uniform, wear professional dress. We’re going to cover this topic in the near future in depth, but, essentially, wear something you can move in (not too tight) but that is something you’d see in a bank or professional office. Make sure your clothes fit and are not sloppy.
  • Take the time to iron your clothes.
  • This is not the time for fun hair colors or crazy makeup. Always ask yourself, “Do I want them to notice my (insert anything in here…hair, clothes, etc.) or do I want them to notice me?” During an interview you always want them to notice you.
  • Give a firm handshake while looking the person in the eye.
  • Use a title, such as Mr. or Mrs., until told otherwise.
  • Bring a hardcopy of your updated resume to the interview.
  • Sit up straight with your legs/feet close together.
  • To the best of your ability, remove “um” and “like” from your vocabulary. Filler language can make you seem nervous and unprepared.
  • Thank them for their time and the opportunity to interview.

Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? I’d love to hear your suggestions! Also, don’t forget to check out the first post in this series here!

Business Etiquette Series, Part 1

I rarely do series posts here because I tend to get a little scatterbrained. However, I really want to emphasize business etiquette, particularly as it’s the time of year the school year is winding down and many college graduates are job hunting.

Etiquette is particularly important in the business world, which is a fairly conservative environment. I hope this series will be of benefit to you! As always, please let me know if you have specific questions you’d like answered, and I’ll make sure I respond.

Just like in any other area of etiquette, understanding what is expected of you will help put you ahead in the game. I hope this series helps you grow more confident in your job/job hunting!

To begin, let’s start with a few basic business do’s and don’t’s.

Do:

(1) Offer a firm handshake accompanied by eye contact when greeting someone
(2) Dress appropriately for your job (we’ll cover more of this later)
(3) Treat the person in person with you with priority over email or the telephone
(4) Show up 5-10 minutes early for an interview or meeting
(5) Keep your resume up-to-date

Don’t:

(1) Use casual nicknames, such as sweetie, in a professional environment
(2) Carbon copy (CC) someone onto an email response without the prior consent
(3) Use your phone during meetings or business luncheons
(4) Use the title of Doctor socially unless you are a medical doctor
(5) Chew gum while with customers or during an interview

 

Do you have anything you’d like to add to the list?

 

An Easy Summer Side – Caprese Salad

Gardening is not one of my talents. Try as I might, most of my plants just go ahead and give up way before it’s time so as to not prolong the inevitable. The only exception I seem to have (at least until it’s scorching hot) is with my herb garden.

This year we planted basil, thyme, mint, rosemary (well, it’s the lone survivor from past years) and multiple tomato plants. As you can tell, it’s a small garden, but it’s full of items we use regularly.

One of my favorite dishes to serve as a side or an easy appetizer is caprese salad. My kids love it, so we make it often while my basil plants are still kickin’.One of my favorite things about this dish is that it’s so easy to make a little or a lot.

The Recipe:

Simply cut up ripe tomatoes and layer with torn mozzarella (not the slices or shredded…go for the real deal). I like to chiffionade the fresh basil leave to make it easier to eat. Drizzle quality olive oil and basalmic vinegar like Ariston Traditional Modena Balsamic Premium Vinegar Aged 250ml Product of Italy Sweet Taste on top. Sometimes I’ll add a smidgen of salt directly on top of the tomato slice. Fresh mozzarella isn’t overly salty, so you’ll need to see your preference on this.

A variation of this could be to skewer on toothpicks a cherry tomato and mozzarella ball with a basil leaf in between. You’ll still drizzle with olive oil and basalmic vinegar or you could combine the two for a vinegarette dip.

Do you have a favorite summer recipe?

 

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Nostalgic Food From My Childhood

My mom is a great cook who was raised by a great cook. Many summer days and nights I remember her cooking all of the meals outside and on the grill. Steaks with baked potatoes and a salad full of garden-fresh vegetables was a standard summer meal. She also fried okra and chicken fairly often. Especially the okra. To this day, I think fried okra may be my all-time favorite food.

We had family over regularly for fish fries. She’s known for her barbecue and homemade breads.

My mom is notorious for big breakfasts, even though growing up I wasn’t much of a breakfast eater. We usually had eggs, bacon, toast or biscuits and some sort of fruit. Now that she’s a “granny,” though, and not just a “mom,” my kids have Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes each time they stay with her.

One meal in particular, though, is nostalgic for me. I honestly haven’t made it as an adult because it won’t be as good, I’m sure. I may cave soon, though, because just thinking of it gets me excited!

It was the meal where I knew my mom had had a longer day (she was a high school math and computer science teacher), but it was amazing. Fried spam, ranch-style beans and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Seriously. Out of everything my mom made, this meal has continued to stand out to me. The spam had a crust from where she had fried it, and it was the perfect salty bite. The Kraft mac and cheese kind of congealed as it cooled, making large bites easier. The ranch-style beans were different from the pintos my granny regularly cooked, making them a bit special, even though they were from the can. The best part? It was a splurge. This meal didn’t happen often, and it came together quickly. Clean up was a breeze, which was an added benefit for me.

Maybe I will have to try this meal just once for my kids to carry on the tradition.

“Shoulders Back and Eyes Up”

I head the phrase “shoulders back and eyes up” pretty often growing up. It wasn’t that my mom was formal. If you know her, she’s very relaxed and easy to be around. However, she understood the importance of displaying confidence. Afterall, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else take that chance?

It truly is amazing the difference posture makes in how others perceive you. Why are we willing to give anyone the opportunity to think we aren’t capable?

People are naturally drawn to confident people.

Standing up straight conveys confidence. In addition to how we appear to others, standing up straight is healthier for you, as well. By standing up straight, you’re allowing your lungs to fully expand as you breathe. Increased oxygen is linked to increased brain activity, such as having a better memory. Increased oxygen also gives you more energy.

Additionally, how you look is actually linked to how you feel. If you stand up straight, there are studies that indicate you actually have an increase of confidence and not the just appearance of an increase of confidence. How cool is that?

So, keep those shoulders back and your eyes up! The world needs you.