EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains some comments from the writer.
By Simon Baker, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Terri Thompson showed students at Campbellsville University proper etiquette skills at the Dining Etiquette Luncheon to prepare them for a lunch day interview.
“I want to help you today with the ins and outs of a little more formality in the dining process,” Thompson said.
Thompson taught students various proper skills when dining — such as how to cut food properly with a fork and knife.
Knowing how to cut food correctly “speaks volumes about your confidence level,” Thompson said. “You take your fork and tuck it into your wrist, then secure your knife with your pointer finger and cut at the top of your fork.”
When you cut food with your knife, I thought placing the fork between the notches was best, but I was totally wrong.
Thompson said if offered alcohol during your interview, say no, to avoid the risk of becoming drunk.
Thompson said, when eating soup, “Instead of shoving it in like we do cereal and pudding, we eat soup away from us. Lift the spoon away from you and then bring it to your mouth.”
During a lunch interview, Thompson said you choose a medium-priced item off the menu, not the most expensive or the cheapest. It is important, Thompson said, to avoid messy foods like lasagna and spaghetti because they can cause a mess.
I had never thought about the importance of choosing and avoiding select foods, but it made much sense after she shared that information. I also thought it would be courteous to order only cheap items off the menu, but now I know better.
Campbellsville High School senior and intern at the Office of University Communications from Atlanta, Ga., Jaden Furman, said he was invited to attend the luncheon. He said he learned various skills, one being the different usages of silverware.
The short fork is used for salads, while the big fork is used for meats.
Furman said the quality of the food stood out the most to him.
He said that going in, he was skeptical about how to use proper table etiquette, but after, he was glad he went because he learned how to use an appropriate table etiquette.”
“I would love to attend again,” Furman said.
Senior Avary Randall, from Somerset, Ky., also attended the luncheon.
“I am a senior, and the reality of graduation and life after is right around the corner. I must now consider how I will find a job, apply to them and be professional throughout an interview.”
She said, “The lunch was a unique experience that helped me learn how to act accordingly in a dining setting.
“I learned to set my silverware on a plate to signal that I was finished with my meal. Depending on the scenario, I learned which fork to use and how to lay my napkin on my lap. I learned how to leave a table and lay the napkin down.”
Randall said, “What stood out to me was the food and the host. The food was excellent. I recall enjoying the chicken, ham and biscuits.”
She said, “The host was very different than I expected. I was expecting someone who was serious, but the host was very kind and funny. She made the experience more enjoyable and felt like a safe space to make mistakes and learn from them.
“I was expecting a more uptight atmosphere that would be very serious. I was expecting to feel overwhelmed because I have never been in a dining interview situation,” she said.
“The experience blew my expectations,” Randall said.” “The host had a great sense of humor that connected everyone. It felt okay not to know all the unique rules of fine dining.”
Randall said, “I would attend again. I appreciate any opportunity to better myself as a person and professional.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.