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Basic Business Etiquette
for Young Designers
Before the Interview
Find the directions and any parking 

issues on your own.
Don’t ask how to get there,
or be late because you got lost.
Use...
If it’s a morning meeting, get up 

an hour early. Give yourself time 

to be unhurried.
Five minutes early is on time.
Personal Grooming
No shorts,
flip flops,
image: flip flop fanatic
or t-shirts.
Designers wear 

shirts with collars.
Make sure your
shoes are shined,
your clothes
are pressed,
you have no holes 

in your socks,
Comb your hair.
Don’t wear a jaunty hat.
Keep your
portfolio
case clean.
You dress for where you want to be in life,
not where you are.
At the Interview
Be confident, not arrogant.
Stop, look, and listen.
Pay attention to what is being said,
watch the body language, and take time 

to answer a question.
Bring your laptop with a pdf. or Keynote
presentation of your work.

Don’t rely on wifi to access your site.
Bring physica...
Bring your resumé and letters of 

recommendation, business card, 

and a small leave behind.
Stand up when anyone enters the room
Shake his or her hand and introduce yourself
immediately.

Never say, “You don’t reme...
Make an interesting observation
about the company, such as,
“The X project you did is one of
my favorites.”
Ask how much time the interviewer has.
Check as you go through the work, ask

“How are we on time?”
When finished, thank him or her for the time.
Stand up and shake hands.
After the Interview
Write a thank you email and written note.
Mail the physical note.
Dear Ms. Jones:
Thank you so much for seeing me today.
I know how busy you are and appreciate 

the time you gave me. I wo...
The Job Offer
If you get the job, write or email everyone
who helped along the way and inform them
of the positive news.
You’ve been offered a job, but have other
options still open. What do you do?
Be honest. Explain that you are looking at
another or several offers and will have a
decision for them by a certain time. ...
On the Job
Common Mistakes:
Chewing gum
Texting, email, or telephone personal calls
Incessant talking
Lateness
Sick days
Messy desk a...
Positive actions:
Learn how to answer the telephone and what
the correct response is to any question.
Ask questions if you...
When you make a mistake:
Follow the three “R”s:
Recognize
Remorse
Rectify
Recognize the error:
“I understand I made a mistake here.”
Show remorse.
“I am sorry.”
Rectify the problem:
“I’ll stay late and work on the weekend to 

correct this error.”
Compliment others generously:
It must be true or it sounds like pandering.
You can’t say, “Your haircut looks great.”

if ...
Be gracious to everyone:
The ass you kick on the way up 

is the one you kiss on the way down.
Social Etiquette
Rule One: Always make others comfortable.
This is why etiquette rules exist.
Always open the door for others.
Go first in a revolving door to push it.
Don’t groom yourself or others in public.
At a restaurant or meal
Stand when others arrive at a lunch or dinner.
Your guest sits
looking out
in a restaurant.
The place setting left to right:
BMW: Bread, Meal, Water
Put your napkin in your lap the minute you sit.
Never start eating until everyone is served.
Don’t talk and eat at the sam...
Never use your cell phone at the table, 

for anything, ever.
Important

Hold the knife and fork correctly. 

Practice every hour if necessary.
image: forbes.com
image: forbes.com
If you eat a bone, something rotten, or olive pit,
discreetly remove it with your napkin and set it
on the edge of the pla...
If you need to leave the table, say

“Please excuse me.” not “Excuse Me!”
which is a command.
Lay your napkin on your seat...
When you are finished, place your fork and
knife on the plate at the 4:00 position.
image: forbes.com
Thank your host.
Refer to Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete
Guide to Etiquette frequently.
Newer etiquette guides are too lenient.
Sean Adams Basic Etiquette for Designers
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Sean Adams Basic Etiquette for Designers

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Etiquette for designers from interviews, meetings, job offers, and fashion to dining. Don't embarrass yourself and others. Watch this.

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Sean Adams Basic Etiquette for Designers

  1. 1. Basic Business Etiquette for Young Designers
  2. 2. Before the Interview
  3. 3. Find the directions and any parking 
 issues on your own. Don’t ask how to get there, or be late because you got lost. Use Google Maps
  4. 4. If it’s a morning meeting, get up 
 an hour early. Give yourself time 
 to be unhurried. Five minutes early is on time.
  5. 5. Personal Grooming
  6. 6. No shorts,
  7. 7. flip flops, image: flip flop fanatic
  8. 8. or t-shirts. Designers wear 
 shirts with collars.
  9. 9. Make sure your shoes are shined,
  10. 10. your clothes are pressed,
  11. 11. you have no holes 
 in your socks,
  12. 12. Comb your hair. Don’t wear a jaunty hat.
  13. 13. Keep your portfolio case clean.
  14. 14. You dress for where you want to be in life, not where you are.
  15. 15. At the Interview
  16. 16. Be confident, not arrogant.
  17. 17. Stop, look, and listen. Pay attention to what is being said, watch the body language, and take time 
 to answer a question.
  18. 18. Bring your laptop with a pdf. or Keynote presentation of your work.
 Don’t rely on wifi to access your site. Bring physical examples in good shape.
  19. 19. Bring your resumé and letters of 
 recommendation, business card, 
 and a small leave behind.
  20. 20. Stand up when anyone enters the room Shake his or her hand and introduce yourself immediately.
 Never say, “You don’t remember me, do you?”
  21. 21. Make an interesting observation about the company, such as, “The X project you did is one of my favorites.”
  22. 22. Ask how much time the interviewer has. Check as you go through the work, ask
 “How are we on time?”
  23. 23. When finished, thank him or her for the time. Stand up and shake hands.
  24. 24. After the Interview
  25. 25. Write a thank you email and written note. Mail the physical note.
  26. 26. Dear Ms. Jones: Thank you so much for seeing me today. I know how busy you are and appreciate 
 the time you gave me. I would be honored 
 to work for XYZ Company and hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely Jane Smith
  27. 27. The Job Offer
  28. 28. If you get the job, write or email everyone who helped along the way and inform them of the positive news.
  29. 29. You’ve been offered a job, but have other options still open. What do you do?
  30. 30. Be honest. Explain that you are looking at another or several offers and will have a decision for them by a certain time. Don’t leave someone hanging.
  31. 31. On the Job
  32. 32. Common Mistakes: Chewing gum Texting, email, or telephone personal calls Incessant talking Lateness Sick days Messy desk and area
  33. 33. Positive actions: Learn how to answer the telephone and what the correct response is to any question. Ask questions if you don’t understand. Take initiative. Be early. Work efficiently. Always ask for a timeframe.
  34. 34. When you make a mistake: Follow the three “R”s: Recognize Remorse Rectify
  35. 35. Recognize the error: “I understand I made a mistake here.”
  36. 36. Show remorse. “I am sorry.”
  37. 37. Rectify the problem: “I’ll stay late and work on the weekend to 
 correct this error.”
  38. 38. Compliment others generously: It must be true or it sounds like pandering. You can’t say, “Your haircut looks great.”
 if it’s clearly a disaster.”
  39. 39. Be gracious to everyone: The ass you kick on the way up 
 is the one you kiss on the way down.
  40. 40. Social Etiquette
  41. 41. Rule One: Always make others comfortable. This is why etiquette rules exist.
  42. 42. Always open the door for others. Go first in a revolving door to push it. Don’t groom yourself or others in public.
  43. 43. At a restaurant or meal Stand when others arrive at a lunch or dinner.
  44. 44. Your guest sits looking out in a restaurant.
  45. 45. The place setting left to right: BMW: Bread, Meal, Water
  46. 46. Put your napkin in your lap the minute you sit. Never start eating until everyone is served. Don’t talk and eat at the same time.
  47. 47. Never use your cell phone at the table, 
 for anything, ever.
  48. 48. Important
 Hold the knife and fork correctly. 
 Practice every hour if necessary.
  49. 49. image: forbes.com
  50. 50. image: forbes.com
  51. 51. If you eat a bone, something rotten, or olive pit, discreetly remove it with your napkin and set it on the edge of the plate.
  52. 52. If you need to leave the table, say
 “Please excuse me.” not “Excuse Me!” which is a command. Lay your napkin on your seat, not the table.
  53. 53. When you are finished, place your fork and knife on the plate at the 4:00 position.
  54. 54. image: forbes.com
  55. 55. Thank your host.
  56. 56. Refer to Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Guide to Etiquette frequently. Newer etiquette guides are too lenient.

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