Etiquette is an important element of social living. In business, it acquires more importance, because it is a community of different civilization and awareness. Etiquette encompasses many areas of human conduct. Dressing for business activities occupies a significant part. Besides protocols, for basic decency and self confidence proper dressing is required. Etiquette plays an important role during interviews as well. The way of conducting during interview makes or mars the success of the interview. Smile is one single element, which covers both etiquette and valuable language during interviews. Similarly, one should observe a number of points of etiquette, which experts have divined and defined.
Etiquette generally means conventional rules of social behavior. It is also the customary behavior of members of a profession towards each other. It would include the unwritten code governing such behaviors. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990)
Etiquette is the expected behavior among humans in their day to day life. It is mostly culture based and will be different for different geographical regions of the globe. For instance, in certain communities, entering the house with your footwear on is a bad manners (Food for mind, 30 May 2009).
But, business etiquette calls for some more sophistication. It involves different aspects of interpersonal relationship and communication. Most important of Business etiquette is your dressing pattern. What you dress up for a regular office attendance need not be the same when you are attending a business meeting. Even with regard to your regular work place dressing, many organizations have dress codes. While compliance with standards of etiquette is coming under the category of good behavior and manners, sometimes, matters of etiquette would be brought to mandatory requirement. To go with the same example of office attire, the companies which insist on wearing uniform as per their service conditions, might take one into task for not complying with that requirement.
There are many written and unwritten rules and guidelines for business etiquette and it behooves a person in business to learn them Invariably, business etiquette relates to one’s put up while at work, interaction and communication with other members of business community and established protocols demanding one’s behavior. ( Williams, P. 30 May 2009).
Dress is a matter of comfort and a requirement of social living. Animals and birds don’t have to dress up, unless it is for special occasions of fun and frolic or things of religious nature. In India, animals are dressed up on occasions. Business dress or attire plays an important role. It forms an important part of one’s personality aspects, namely, appearance. In an employment interview, dress means a lot to gain the first impression. The choice of right color and the color match would make the interviewer well pleased with the candidate’s put up.
Besides that, proper and appropriate dress gives good self confidence. Some experts suggest specific colors to have more effect than others for impressing people. Navy, Charcoal gray, Black, Khaki and White are the colors suggested by them to impress people. For men they suggest different cut among suits like American, Italian cut or British cut, the ties to go with them and the type of shoes to wear with them. Likewise, for women at work place, different types of skirts, shirts and shoes are suggested. An element of jewelery is also included in the attire a woman candidate can choose (Business Etiquette, 30 May 2009
Interview is a process in which two individuals interact with a purpose. Mostly, when we refer the term interview we imply employment interview. But, in business activities, we are having a number of occasions where interview plays a role. We interview customers during product survey and promotion. We interview employees for opinion surveys. Like employment interview, we interview employees again when there comes an opportunity for promotion.
In all these occasions, the etiquette and manners part of both the interviewer and the candidate, come within the ambit of interview technique. A well mannered interviewer and a well mannered interviewee, both spend the interviewing time usefully and pleasantly.
In an interview, the first impression is carried throughout the interview. What gives one scope to get this first impression is one’s smile. Studies have reported that interviewees who smiled, even though it could be fake smile, attracted more positive evaluations than with their non- expressive counterparts. (Krumhuber, E. et al 2008). Therefore, keep smiling decently throughout the interview is one part of etiquette. It pays dividends too!
The other aspects of etiquette during interview include one’s posture and other elements of body language. One’s non-involvement in the interrupting events, if any, occurring on the part of the other in an interview is also a good point to observe in terms of etiquette.
Our focus being one on etiquette related topic, team working as an etiquette based activity gains significant importance. When one is in a group working, one has to follow a number of courtesies, mannerly acts and etiquette. Teams can be basically classified as operational teams, service teams and cross functional teams.(McGreevy, M. 2006)
Rachel Wagner (2009) prescribes seven workplace etiquettes which every team has to follow. They include attitude, non-verbal communication aspects, time keeping, technical etiquette such as attending eMails, doing one step ahead of the group, value contribution to the group and a word of appreciation when group members do something good.
Etiquette is the basic requirement in business. Keeping oneself neat and tidy, one must conform to the dress code of the business community. Likewise, in the course of interacting with people in business, particularly during organized or planned interviews, observation of rules of etiquette is imminent. Similarly, when working in teams, etiquette occupies a position of paramount importance.
Business Etiquette, 30 May 2009 (http://www.pasadenaisd.org/rayburn/Clubs/BPA/contest/businessattire.html)
Food for Mind, 30 May 2009(http://www.kmantra.co.cc/2008/02/13-examples-of-good-and-bad-manners.html)
Krumhuber, E. Manstead, A.S.R., Cosker, D., Marshall, D., Rosin, P.L.(2008) "Effects of Dynamic Attributes of Smiles in Human and Synthetic Faces: A Simulated Job Interview Setting. " Journal of Nonverbal Behavior1 (2009): 1-15. Platinum Periodicals. ProQuest. ( 29 Apr. 2009)
McGreevy, M. (2006) “Team working –Part 2: How are teams chosen and developed?” Industrial and Commercial Training,(38,7) 365-370
Williams, P (30 May 2009) More than just eating with right fork, Ravenwerks-Global Business ethics, 30-05-2009 (ravenwerks.com/practices/etiquette.htm)