The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South Campus seminar teaches interview etiquette

By Linah Mohammad/reporter

A handshake, nametags and dinner etiquette can all help an applicant land a job.

That was the message conveyed by Armie Snarley, a business and dining-savvy specialist, at a presentation sponsored by Women in New Roles (WINR) on South Campus Oct. 7.

“Most potential employees fail to get a job because they cannot maneuver the table at a professional dinner interview,” Snarley said. “The first impression is the most important thing, and if it is bad, it hardly ever changes.”

Snarley also discussed the most important business manners — the nametag and the handshake.

“Your nametag has to be on the right side because when I shake your hand, I can look straight down in the line of sight and I can see your name,” she said. “I won’t have to find your name.”

In the business environment, a handshake has to be firm and steady.

“There is nothing like a firm handshake,” she said. “Two pumps are enough.”

When going on a second interview, do not dress down.

“In the business setting, you need to dress up to dress down,” she said. “You also need to be punctual. If you’re on time, you’re already late.”

If you need to cancel, do it personally because it shows the potential employer that you care.

When dining, “keep your food simple, not messy, and take small bites,” Snarley said. “Because they want to talk to you, you can’t talk if you have food in your mouth the whole time!”

Hosts need to “put your best foot forward,” she said. People need to look polished and professional and show hospitality.

“Know the restaurant, pick a table and pay in advance,” she said. “Have everything ready for your guest.”

Snarley offered other tips for job applicants:

  • Once guests arrive, follow them to the table.
  • Enter and exit a seat from its right side.
  • Do not start discussing anything with a guest until eating starts.
  • Lay the napkin on the lap when starting to eat. Lay it down on the chair when excusing oneself.
  • When the meal is finished, leave the napkin on the left side of the plate.

“When your cutlery is laid out in front of you, it can be a little overwhelming,” she said, “but it’s easy: start from the outside and work your way in.”

Business specialist Armie Snarley gives seminar attendees interview tips Oct. 7. Snarley stresses the importance of a firm handshake and a properly placed nametag. Linah Mohammad/The Collegian
Business specialist Armie Snarley gives seminar attendees interview tips Oct. 7. Snarley stresses the importance of a firm handshake and a properly placed nametag. Linah Mohammad/The Collegian

Maria Cardenas, a member of South WINR and a counseling major, said the presentation was helpful.

“I had no idea about any of this, not the napkin etiquette or the different eating styles,” she said.

About 30 students attended the presentation.

“These students can go anywhere, be anything they want,” Snarley said. “And this is what these 55 minutes were about — thinking outside the box.”

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