What to do when a meal, job interview mix

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Job seekers may find themselves across a dining room table from someone hiring, and how they conduct themselves could make the difference between getting on the payroll and hitting the street again.

Diane Gottsman, a manners and etiquette expert, says there are several rules to remember including what you do first and where cutlery goes.

"Until I touch my napkin, you don't touch your napkin. You touch nothing at the table," Gottsman said. "Just remember the car you want to buy with your first year's paycheck. BMW...bread meal water."

Gottsman also advised about what meal to order and what not to order. "Don't order so much you look nervous. Don't order so much you look gluttonous. Order right down the middle," Gottsman said. "The answer to an offer of liquor at a job interview is always no."

Choosing the right meal could be your meal ticket. A steak is easier to cut and mash potatoes are also easy because they stick together.

Gottsman adds the number one mistake recruits make is having their cell phone on the table.

Gottsman says the cell phone should stay in a purse, briefcase or pocket. Purse goes on the floor as well. Then comes table manners.

"My fork, tines down, is over my knife. This is a sign that you have training and this sets you apart from the rest," Gottsman said.

"I like to say that you can use this information at the waffle house, or the White House because this is not just for high brow. This is every single day," Gottsman said.

Diann Catlin holds etiquette classes here in Jacksonville.  For more information go to her website at www.lessonsinetiquette.com.

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