8 Etiquette Tips for Dinner or Lunch Interviews

November 2, 2016

By Nicole Dauria, Executive Recruiter

So you have been asked to a lunch or dinner interview…

One of the major reasons a future employer will ask you to a lunch or dinner interview is if the position you are interviewing for has a lot of client interaction, but whatever the reason, there are some good rules to follow:

  1. Being on time is the first order of importance. Make sure you have the address in your GPS, you have allotted enough time for traffic, and time to get lost and also find parking.
  2. Dress for success. If you’re not sure of the attire, it is always best to over dress than under dress as a rule of thumb.
  3. In the day of having your cell phone managing much of your life, this is the one opportunity you need to TURN IT OFF! There is nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone and they are constantly looking at their phone. First impressions are everything and you don’t want to ruin an interview by not making eye contact or being distracted because of your phone.
  4. One of the most important facts you need to keep in mind is what to say and not to say during an interview. NEVER say anything bad about anyone or anything. You never know the affiliations your interviewer may have. Most of all, never talk with a mouth full of food.
  5. In the event you have never taken an etiquette class, there is plenty of information on the Internet to help you through dining etiquette.  Just remember to not talk with a mouth full of food or eat with your hands. Just imagine your mother is sitting next to you!
  6. Greeting your interviewer with a firm handshake and make sure you make eye contact is a must. Thank them for having you when you meet and make sure to thank them for the meal afterwards. This is the best time to ask for that next step in the interview process too!
  7. Make sure you are polite and courteous to the wait staff as well as everyone that joins you for the meal. Keep your conversation cautious and not overly personal. The majority of the interview should be taking place before the meal is served so the conversation can flow and not be interrupted by chewing food.
  8. What to order and not order off the menu is important too. NEVER order alcohol even if everyone at the table is drinking. Try not to order an entre that will entail you eating with your fingers like ribs or chicken wings. It’s a good idea to only order a desert if the interviewer is doing so and asks you if you want something. Most importantly, don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu!

Good luck and bon appetite!

Candidates Are Delaying Start Dates

August 23, 2016

By David Peterson, Managing Partner, DRI

Today more than ever, we see candidates accept a new position that really excites them but when their new employer is ready to schedule the start date, the candidate delays it.

In one particular case, our client extended a job offer to their perfect candidate for the job.  After accepting a job offer and being approved to start in two weeks, the candidate did not want to start for another 3 months. Obviously, this didn’t go over well with the hiring manager.  However, they agreed to wait.

In another instance, a candidate wanted to wait 60 days before giving his current employer a two week notice due to a possible bonus.  The bonus wasn’t a sure thing, but he was willing to take the chance.  In this case, the hiring manager moved on to hire someone else who could start right away. Delaying the start date can be very risky. In fact, moving the start date at all is a red flag to employers that you aren’t serious about taking the job.

So why all the delays? Candidates have given a number of reasons such as a planned family vacation, time to decompress from past position, completing a current project, waiting for bonuses and/or commission as in the example above. If you have to delay your start date, there’s a right way to go about.  It may take some negotiating.

Here are a few tips on how to handle negotiating a delayed start date for your new job:

  • If you’re not able to start on the employers preferred start date, be careful how you discuss this. Don’t say you can’t start on that date but instead ask if there is room for negotiation.
  • Be prepared to offer a solid reason as to why you have to postpone the start date. Then, ask if there’s any flexibility.  Chances are that if it’s a valid reason, your new employer will work with you on a new date start.
  • If there’s a previous commitment that you made and it’s on your calendar such as a planned vacation or destination wedding, most employers will understand. However, offer a reasonable start date in return. Sometimes offering your time for some training before the start date may help to bridge the gap and show your excitement about the new opportunity.
  • Be ready for give and take. If your current employer has a policy of a 4 week notice rather than a 2 week notice, try and split the difference and stay 3 weeks.  Your new employer will appreciate that you are trying to honor the requirement and leave on good terms. They will also appreciate the excitement this shows about starting your new job as soon as you tie up loose ends.

Have you ever delayed a start date? Tell us what happened.

3 Helpful Tips to Beginning Your Job Search

April 20, 2016

By Christy Fox, Marketing Specialist

Are you looking for a new job opportunity?  Will you be graduating soon without a job lined up?  If you are, you may be experiencing a range of feelings- excitement, fear, or happiness to name a few.  Job searching may be a brand new experience for some, while others are constantly looking for that perfect career opportunity so job hunting is very familiar.  Regardless of who you are, it is important to know how to navigate your job search process effectively.

Below are three tips that I found helpful in preparation for landing a new job:

Networking is key.

You have heard it a thousand times; “It’s all about who you know.”  You may think that your connections are not relevant to the jobs you want, but your network is still one of the most valuable tools in your job search.  Even if you send 200 resumes out online in a month, you’re more likely to get an interview or conversation from the one resume that someone you know passed along for you.  The following contacts are just some who could be a vital piece in finding your next job opportunities:

  • College professors
  • Alumni from your college
  • Past employers
  • Previous coworkers
  • Contacts from networking events

Whether you are making short phone calls, writing e-mails, attending networking events, or connecting on social media such as LinkedIn, be sure to update your contacts on your job status.  If possible, let them know you’re looking for jobs.  Even if your network can’t directly help you land a job, their network may have opportunities that you can be connected to.  Always keep the lines of communication open and be candid about what you are looking for.

It’s easier to find a job when you already have a job.

Picking up a temporary position or even an internship can be beneficial in the process of finding a full-time gig.  Many employers show concern when seeing a gap of time on your resume since your last job.  While it’s commonly known that job searching can seem like a full-time job in itself, it is important to find a way to continue working.  For example, substitute teaching jobs are available for anyone with a Bachelor’s degree and are welcomed in many school districts, along with seasonal or temporary retail jobs, or get creative and start your own side business to fill in the time gap.  Added bonuses of working while searching are the opportunity to continue networking with different people in different fields and a way to make income while you continue to job search.  Additionally, it is likely that your future employer will be impressed that you stayed occupied and continued to build your resume even during a transition phase.

Be prepared and proactive.

Job opportunities and the chance to share your professional information can show up at any time.  For that reason, it is safest to keep these job searching and interview materials up-to-date and current:

  • Resume
  • LinkedIn and any other social media profiles
  • Reference Sheets
  • Cover letter template
  • Business cards

Keep in mind to be organized with your materials and keep them on hand (or at least saved on your phone) to be able to send anytime and anywhere.  Whether you are at a job fair, having coffee with an old friend, or even at a family function, there’s always a chance to make a connection to a job opportunity.

Not only do you need to make sure all your documents are up to date, but it is important to stay current on the market you are looking in.  Following relevant industry news, job opportunities available and companies you are interested in will help to prepare you and give you an edge in interviews.  It is also helpful to follow employers or job seeking social media sites that can be beneficial to you.  Make sure to have a clear vision of what type of positions you would like, or at the very least, what job functions you are interested in so you can relay that to your network.

Job searching can be a long and exhausting process.  Just remember that networking, staying busy, and being prepared will be extremely helpful over the course of your job search.

What other tips have you found helpful while job searching?

New Type of Job Candidate Emerges

March 2, 2016

By John Yurkschatt, IT Director, DCA

Today’s job seekers are savvier about their searches and available resources including how to use a number of social media platforms to enhance their success rate.

Moreover, in 2016, the power has shifted back to the job seeker. It’s definitely a candidate-driven market. That means candidates can afford to be picky and many are being down-right demanding.  What else should you know about today’s job seekers?

-Always looking for their next opportunity. Career exploration has become the norm. In fact, candidates in their 20’s, will have a dozen or more jobs by the time they hit their 30’s.  They don’t like staying in one place too long. They not only change jobs, but often changes industries as well.  They believe there’s always something better out there.

-Want more purpose in their work. Today’s candidates are looking for meaningful work, something that is bigger than themselves or the job. There are not necessarily accepting a job based on the size of a paycheck but rather a worthwhile mission and promising team to join.

-Attracted to companies having a great social media reputation. Candidates are more apt to accept a job offer from a company that has positive social media practices, beliefs and reviews. In fact, a study cited by Fortune Magazine showed that 72% of job candidates trust what they read about employers on Facebook.

-Interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing them. During interviews, candidates are evaluating the company and whether they really want to work for you. Therefore, an interviewer needs to be mindful that someone with the right qualifications, experience and attitude may have other offers to consider.

-Want a shorter hiring process.  The most in-demand people usually have other offers.  Great candidates won’t wait around or put up with a long hiring process. Many employers land the best people simply by interviewing them quickly rather than making them wait weeks before setting up a meeting or second interview.

-Want to be contacted through mobile platforms. After referrals, no recruiting channel is more important than the mobile platform. Prospects and candidates must be able to do everything from applying to accepting jobs directly and seamlessly from their mobile devices including smartphones, iPads, etc. Because it has the highest message response rate, all recruiting communications and messaging must migrate to the mobile platform.

-Thinking about starting own business. Today’s candidates have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and may consider dabbling in an outside endeavor such as app development or graphic design.  While most companies still frown upon “working on the side”, it is not stopping them from researching if there’s a need in the market for their product or service and acting on it.

If you’re in the job market, can you relate to the bullet points?  Are there any candidate expectations that we missed?