Last night, I presented in the Etiquette Dinner for about 90 graduate students at SU. While it is important to know the basics like the appropriate ways of drinking soup, using folks and knives, passing items on the table, and etc., I believe that showing respect to the host/hostess is the foremost important etiquette. In many cases, showing respect means going with the flow. Here are some examples:
- When I eat with my India friends in an India restaurant, even though silverwares are provided, I will eat with my hands if all my Indian friends want to do that.
- I am not a Christian. If I am eating with my Christian friends and they want to make a meal blessing by holding my hands on the dining table, I will hold their hands, but I usually just listen to what they say.
- When everyone at the table uses hands on chicken wings and ribs, I will do the same.
- When I eat with my Korean friends in a traditional Korean restaurant, if they choose to sit on the floor, I will not object their choice by moving to a regular table with chairs.
What does showing respect or going with the flow mean to you? Can you provide some specific examples?
Again, the key of dinner etiquette is “doing the right things” so that everyone feels comfortable at the table. It is good to know the standards of dinner etiquette. It is also important to observe others’ preferences and possibly follow the lead of the host/hostess. What do you think?
The picture was downloaded from a webpage of University of Wisconsin River Falls.
The Fall Career Fair at Syracuse University took place at the Carrier Dome yesterday. I met with several hospitality recruiters in the Dome and asked them about their recruiting experience with different schools in the Northeastern region. They did not compare the calibers of students from different hospitality schools, but they indicated that they prefer those schools where students are curious about what their companies are doing and ask a lot of questions. I have found it very interesting that recruiters’ impression of a good hospitality program is not built upon how many students sign up for an interview, how many graduates they hire, or even how well the graduates perform at work after they are hired. Instead, they value the students’ curiosity.
When making a presentation on campus, recruiters can tell whether students have interest in their companies and the hospitality industry in general by observing students’ behaviors and listening to their questions. If students are quiet or playing with their cell phones (that is actually very rude), recruiters know that these students have no passion about the industry — “if they have passion for the industry and their major, they would LOVE to know what we are doing as compared to others even if they do not want to work for us,” a recruiter said.
Earlier this year, I published a qualitative study and another quantitative-focused study about hospitality recruiters’ selection criteria in college recruiting. According to the research findings, it is very important that students ask engaging and intellectual questions during the recruiting-selection process if they want to get a job offer. If students are interested in a topic, they will pay attention. For those who are curious enough to pay attention, they must also know the subject very well before they can come up with engaging and intellectual questions. I completely understand why recruiters will judge candidates or even the quality of a hospitality program based on the curiosity shown by the students.
Curiosity also works in both ways. If a job candidate does not feel that a recruiter is “curious” about her/his education and previous work experience, s/he may probably feel disappointed for the recruiter and the company.
Besides what is discussed above, what else can you tell based on a person’s curiosity?
The picture was downloaded from the Center for Career Services at Syracuse University.