Top Ten Things Not to do at a Business Social Event or Job Search Mixer

Top ten things not to do at a business social event or job search mixer.
Here are some things you know and some you may not know are rude.

1.       Arrive late.

2.      Not offer to shake hands with someone who wants to shake yours. (My clients are saying they even have candidates refuse to shake hands in formal job interviews.)

3.      It seems obvious not to wear clothing that is inappropriate such as too revealing or too casual, but you may need to be reminded to think about your footwear.  Flip flops to a corporate headhunter cocktail hour are not appropriate.

4.      Walk up to two people who are engaged in deep conversation and interrupt without an apology. It is old school etiquette, but job candidates can be overly aggressive in their attempts to meet and greet. Assertive behavior is fine, rude behavior is not. An, “Excuse me am I interrupting?” at least.

5.      Cut in the line at the buffet or bar.

6.      Put too much food on your plate or take the last remaining favorite items such as the last three shrimp or last piece of cake if there are people in line behind you.

7.      Drink more than three glasses of anything alcoholic. I would prefer you not drink at all.

8.      Start eating before the host without being given permission.

9.       Wipe your face without a napkin or eat without a napkin.

10.   Leave without thanking the host, or at the very least, if it is a large event and the host is busy, waving at the host and mouthing the words thank you.

And a few more

11.     Make a loud intrusive entrance.  If you arrive late you should be especially unobtrusive and if you’re late arrival is obvious to all, apologize.

12.   Talk about your health problems, diet, your recent dates or your cat’s funny habits.  If someone else starts the conversation you can make one quick comment.

13.   Monopolize the conversation. If you are only hearing your voice. You are talking too much.

14.   If you are standing or sitting talking with someone or a group and leaving without a goodbye or excuse me such as, “ I enjoyed speaking with you can you excuse me I haven’t eaten and I would like to try that delicious looking  shrimp before they are all gone. This is old school etiquette again, but manners still mean something.  Do I need to say, don’t look at your smart phone?
Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at