Frequently Asked Questions

If your boss enters the room when you are meeting with an important client, how do you handle the introductions? 
You should introduce the more important person first. Address the client first and introduce your boss.

You are entering a cab with an important business client. You position yourself so the client is seated curbside. Is this correct? 
Yes. When your client steps out of the cab, he or she will be on the curbside and not in the traffic or sliding across the seat.

When you greet a visitor in your office, should you tell them where to sit? 
Yes. Indicating where your visitor should sit will make him or her more comfortable.

You have an appointment to meet a business associate for a working lunch and you arrive a few minutes early to find a table. Thirty minutes later, your associate still has not arrived. What should you do?
Order your lunch and eat. You have waited long enough. You should expect an apology from your associate later.

You are greeting or saying good-bye to someone. When is the proper time to shake their hand? 
It is rarely improper to shake someone's hand.

You are talking with a group of five people. With whom do you make eye contact? 
Try to make eye contact with each of the five, moving from person to person.


  • Business can be summed up "It's all about people." Be sure to talk and visit with people, and arrive early sometimes to do so. Keep notes or a database on people with names, phone numbers, etc. And always try to personalize your connections with people and try to be thoughtful. Always return phone calls.
  • Employers look for a sense of self-worth. Believe in yourself. If not, how can your employer expect you to do a good job in representing a company? Credit your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
  • The most important thing to remember in business etiquette is to be courteous and thoughtful to the people around you, regardless of the situation. Always consider the other person's feelings, and stay with your convictions as diplomatically as possible.
  • Always return phone calls even if you do not have an answer yet. Call and inform the person what you are doing to get the requested information, or direct them to someone who can get the information.
  • First impressions are important. The first twelve words you speak should include some form of thanks if appropriate. If you are meeting someone for the first time, express your gratitude.
  • One of the greatest fears people have is speaking in front of a group. If the group is twenty or two hundred, be prepared, be confident, and be yourself!

Four ways to feel comfortable in a room full of strangers:

  1. Approach individuals who are standing alone.
  2. Treat everyone you meet as through he or she were the most important person at the gathering.
  3. Listen more than you speak.
  4. Stay within arms-length distance of the individuals whom you have just met.

Rules of introduction:

  1. Stand up
  2. Smile
  3. Always shake hands, firmly
  4. Make eye contact
  5. Repeat the other person's name

When professional criticism comes your way, follow these guides to gain benefit:

  1. Listen closely
  2. Take responsibility
  3. Ask for specifics
  4. Recognize your feelings
  5. Think about your response
  6. Thanks for the feedback

The contents of this reference guide are copyrighted by their original author(s).