Business Etiquette: Common courtesy gets an MBA

July 15, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The word “etiquette” often brings to mind a gawky pre-adolescent balancing a book on her head. However, in the business world, etiquette involves far more than choosing the correct fork, and it can make – or break – a deal.

“Much business etiquette is the same as common courtesy,” Sherrie Dvorak, senior recruiter at Frontline Source Group in Dallas, said. “Be polite, arrive promptly. It should be common sense.”

Dvorak agreed with Clarence Thomas that “good manners will open doors that the best education can not,” as she recalled past interviews, where candidates arrived several hours late or not at all.

“I do not care how well qualified you are,” Dvorak said. “If you arrive late without calling or are rude on the phone or in person, you will find yourself perpetually unemployed.”

Her advice? “If you have to be late, then call.” Dvorak said. “But my best advice is to be on time. Punctuality is the first step to telling a potential employer that you respect the interviewer and the company.”

Basic rules for interviewing are easy enough to find, but once you land a job, the dos and don’ts for intra-office communication are a little trickier. New employees often wonder whom to introduce first in a given situation and when to move to a first name basis.

Ann Sabath, author of Business Etiquette, offers a few basic rules for such situations: in an introduction, mention the name of the person of higher status first, and do not move to a first name basis until invited to do so.

“Go with the flow of your office,” Dvorak said. “But be careful. In business, it is better to err on the side of too polite than too casual.”

Dorothea Johnson, the founder of the Protocol School of Washington, as quoted by the New York Times, said, “I’m hearing more and more from top executives that the people skills are very important, in many cases more important than the technical skills.”

“The bottom line is that advice on business etiquette is easy to come by,” Dvorak said. “Buy a book or search the internet, but do yourself a favor and learn the basics. You will never regret it.”

Please visit us on the web at

Frontline Source Group is one of the fastest growing Information Technology, Accounting, Legal, Human Resource and Administrative staffing and permanent placement firms based in Dallas Fort Worth Texas.Frontline specializes in matching top talent with companies for permanent, contract and contract-to-hire placements. We work with clients and candidates in all areas of North America.