Table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression and are essential to professional success. Regardless of whether you are having lunch with a prospective employer or dinner with a business associate, your manners can speak volumes about you as a professional.

Napkin Use
When the host unfolds his or her napkin, place your napkin on your lap. If you need to leave the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair. Once the meal is over, place your napkin neatly on the table to the right of your dinner plate.

An employer will generally suggest that your order be taken first. You should not order one of the most expensive items on the menu or more than two courses unless your host indicates that it is all right.

"Reading" the Table Setting
Remembering the rule of "liquids on your right" and "solids on your left" will help in allowing you to quickly become familiar with the place setting.

Use of Silverware
Starting with the knife, fork, or spoon that is farthest from your plate, work your way in, using one utensil for each course. Your dessert spoon and fork are above your plate or brought out with dessert.

When You Have Finished
The common way to show that you have finished your meal is to lay your fork and knife diagonally across your plate. Place your knife and fork side by side, with the sharp side of the knife blade facing inward and the fork, tines down, to the left of the knife. The knife and fork should be placed as if they are pointing to the numbers 10 and 4 on a clock face.