"People don't care how much you know,
until they know how much you care." - John Maxwell
Basic social conversation rules:
- Keep it short; keep the conversation moving. Limit
responses to 60 seconds or less.
- Avoid opinion and emotion-evoking topics such as money,
politics & religion.
- Do not interrupt.
- Do not finish other people’s statements.
- If someone does or says something rude, ignore it.
- Do not complain.
- Do not criticize others. Say nothing evil about
former bosses or coworkers.
- Address a new acquiantance by his or her title and last
name until you are invited specifically to use a first name.
The Top Five most common topics
of conversation, in order:
- Current events-- Subscribe to and READ a business
publication to have something to say.
- Sports-- Even if you don't like sports, know what season it
is and the names of the home town teams.
- The event or job at hand-- If you show up at any event, you
need to know who sponsored it and why!
- The organization sponsoring the event-- For newbies, asking
others about the organization is a great conversation starter.
- Personal demographics-- Where did you go to school,
where do you live, how many kids do you have......
Conversation Timing Rules:
- At breakfast, business conversation can begin as soon as
the coffee is poured.
- At lunch, make small talk until orders
have been taken. Then you can talk business.
- At dinner, wait for the host to bring business into
Good questions for the
If the conversation is taking place during the
job interview process, it is perfectly appropriate to guide the
conversation toward job- or company-related topics. Naturally,
you should have already done your research about basic company
information. This is not the time to ask what the company
manufactures or where it's main offices are located. Instead, ask
questions only about
information that you could not have found prior to your
interview. A few good questions might be
- What was one of the best things your company did this year?
- What’s a day at the office like?
- What is the company’s corporate culture like?
- Inquire about company backed-backed programs for employees’
volunteer work in the community.
Always remember that an interview is an
Regardless of how relaxed the setting, anything you say can and
probably will be used by the interviewer to evaluate you as a job
candidate. Never respond “no,” when the interviewer asks if
you have any questions. You must always seem interested in the job and
Content for this web page was taken from Career
Services at Virginia Tech University, Placement
Manuals Online National Edition, Etiquette
and Elegance at Southwestern University, and the CNN