Business Etiquette Tips

How to Interact with Employers 


Introductions/Conversations for Career Fair Networking

Remember to dress professionally and bring copies of your resume in a portfolio or other professional carrying case. 

  • Introduce yourself to the company/organization representative and offer information on your current eligibility for employment:

    • "Hello, Mr./Ms. ______________, I am a senior in Marketing here at Southeastern. I'll be graduating in December, and I'd like to know more about career opportunities with (say name of company), or,

    • "Hello, Mr./Ms. ______________, I am a junior majoring in Psychology here at Southeastern, and I'd like to learn more about career opportunities with (say name of company). Do you hire my particular major?" If they say no, you may ask what majors they do generally hire. Depending upon their response, you may elaborate on the types of skills you have acquired in your program of study that you believe they are looking for in job candidates.

  • Always use appropriate title to address someone unless he/she invites you to use the first name.

  • Repeat the name of the person you are introduced to as you greet him/her. It will make them feel good and help you to remember their name.

  • Never let your conversation with a company/organization representative last more than five minutes; remain aware of others who approach the employer table who may wish to speak to the representative.

The following is a list of topics which can be used to form appropriate questions for the representative.

  • Once your conversation with the representative ends, offer them a copy of your resume, and ask them for a business card.

  • Relative size of firm in the industry/potential growth for the industry/competitors

  • Product lines or services/potential new markets

  • Location of home office/geographical locations/relocation policies

  • Number of plants, stores, or sales outlets

  • Methods of training, evaluation, and promotion

  • Organization structure by product line, function, etc.

  • Recent items in the news/present price of stock

  • People you know who work for the company; name of recruiter/interviewer

If you are interested in a particular employer, follow up with a telephone call approximately one week after the Career Fair, and tell them: 

"Hello, Mr./Ms. _______________. I met you at Southeastern Louisiana University's Career Fair last week. I'd like to thank you for speaking with me and for sharing information on the career opportunities with (say name of company). I'm calling to reiterate my strong interest in working for you, and hope that you will strongly consider me for employment with your organization if you have any position vacancies in the future."


Reception (informal business gathering)

If you're having a beverage, hold your drink in your left hand. Keep it there to avoid a cold and clammy handshake. 

  • If holding hors-d'oeuvres, try to position yourself close to a table so you can put down your plate to shake hands.

  • Circulate - meet people you have not met before.

  • Do not pile your plate with food; do not stand around the food table.

  • Do not go back for repeated helpings (you may want to eat something before you go).

  • Do not chew with your mouth open or speak with food in your mouth.

  • Do not pick or poke at your teeth.

  • Read business cards when people give them to you. Ask questions.

  • Do not use your cell phones during the middle of the reception.

  • Turn ringers for pagers and cell phones off.


 Appropriate Topics of Conversation

A compliment about the event, host, food, wine or the venue. Possible items of interest to everyone involved in the event 

  • Sports

  • Current events

  • Best selling books

  • Do not tell inappropriate jokes

  • Do not discuss religion, politics or sex


 Interviewing "Do's" & "Don'ts"


  • Give a firm handshake

  • Make eye contact

  • Politely treat the interviewer as an


  • Smile, nod, give feedback

  • Be confident, assured

  • Do background research on the

    company before the interview

  • Convey what skills you possess

    and what you can contribute to the position/company

  • Listen attentively

  • Ask about the next step

  • Thank the interviewer

  • Write a thank-you note


  • Use first name (unless invited to)

  • Smoke or chew gum

  • Assume a submissive role

  • Show anxiety or boredom

  • Say 'uh', 'um', 'okay', 'yeah'

  • Look at your watch

  • Be overly-eager or ramble on

  • Ask about salary, vacation, or other benefits

  • Ask what the company can do for you

  • Put the interviewer on the spot

  • Call and bug them every day



Job Interview Lunch 

  • Order from the lunch menu. 

  • Do not order alcohol (even if interviewer does).

  • Do not order foods that are messy to eat or require you to use your hands.

  • Do not start eating until the interviewer / host does.

  • Do not talk with your mouth full or eat with your mouth open.

  • Eat slowly; do not place elbows on table.

  • The expectation is the employer will pay for the meal.