Many job interviews include a meal, but an employer might tell you "This is an informal gathering to get acquainted. It's not part of your interview process."
So not true! During the interview process, everything you say and do contributes to the overall impression you make with a hiring committee. During an interview over meals (and at social hours), employers will be observing your table manners.
Dining etiquette (table manners) is an essential professional skill for graduate students and postdocs.
Traveling abroad for fieldwork or a research conference? Be aware that norms and etiquette can vary by country and culture.
Be it in the US or around the world, here are a few resources that can help you improve your dining etiquette and social hour skills:
- Etiquette Scholar Etiquette Scholar is an excellent site that includes learning materials for countries around the world.
- The Etiquette Advocate. Nancy R. Mitchell offers an excellent series of short dining etiquette videos on You Tube. Start with Dining Etiquette for Beginners and move onto her other videos as you need them.
- The MU Career Center offers a guide and a page on Dinner Etiquette
Etiquette Dinners are a fun way to learn and practice your table manners. The Office of Graduate Studies, several of Mizzou's schools and colleges, and some grant-funded training programs offer etiquette dinners on campus. Be sure to ask around!