01/30/2014 08:07 EST | Updated 04/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Sticky Situation: How Would You Do in an Offbeat Interview?

So you think that you have what it takes to work for one of serial entrepreneur Richard Branson's 400 companies within his Virgin Empire?

You have personality and that is what he hires. Right?

Actually, he even wrote, in a LinkedIn column, that when hiring he looks at personality first and then at experience and expertise. Really? Really! He searches for a cultural fit: "fun and friendly, caring people that love to help." That's you, right? Yes. Cool.

You peruse his website and apply for one of Virgin's Job of the week.

You are ready for his invitation to mingle and make connections to show off your A-plus personality. Happy hour, off-site dinner, sporting event, "Bring it on Branson. I am your guy/gal."

Picture this. Feel it. Your phone beeps and flashes, with an email from the Virgin recruiter, inviting you out to mix a little business with a lot of pleasure. How do you feel? Whatttt? Or yay!

Are you a bit nervous about making a poised and polished entrance? What about the small talk -- smooth sailing for you? And, during that first meet and greet, when you need a little water to clear your throat before talking, do you know which goblet to drink from -- the one on the left or the one on the right?

What if his assistant calls and invites you to go to the game and tells you to dress business casual, is it OK to wear jeans?

When you finally leave that last interview, will you confidently put out your hand or will you wait for him to do so?

And what if you do get the job and he proposes a toast to you? Do you drink up or not?

Uh oh...

Sticky situation: To drink or not to drink, when being toasted.

Solution: The person being toasted does not drink to oneself, just as one does not applaud oneself. The toastee simply makes eye contact with the host and guests, smiles, nods then says, "Thank you," without raising his glass. (P. 169 of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility.)


You see, I believe that gaining etiquette knowledge is the best return on investment that any modern day employee can make, no matter what their dream job is; head of Virgin Mobile or fill-in-your-dream-job.


When you don't know what to do, when and how, you freeze, you sweat, you flush and get flustered. You are not at your best and your personality does not shine.

Etiquette knowledge removes all of that. Etiquette takes you from uh oh to ahhh.

Whether you use the rules or not is irrelevant. Simply knowing the conventions of today's contemporary workplace, allows you to relax and focus on the moment and the company of others, instead of being inside of your head, wondering what to do, hesitant and nervous.

Etiquette knowledge has exponential powers. E=C2. Etiquette: confidence, plus credibility. Etiquette knowledge gives self-confidence. That self-confidence translates into client credibility. That's power.

Get the etiquette advantage and show off your personality to go from the cubicle to the corner office, from the campus to the corporation or during a meet and greet with Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson.

Have a sticky situation at work or home? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions to sticky situations? Check out Facebook, Twitter or order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Planning a conference? Julie happily travels coast to coast and beyond, to present customized activities.


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