First impressions…waiting to be interviewed.
Ok, so it’s interview day. You are prepared and you look great. You are a little nervous when you open the door, as the show is just about to begin.
Walking up to the reception desk, you are greeted with a warm welcome informing you that your interviewer will be with you shortly and you are asked to have a seat.
What you do not realize is that right here…right now…everything you do or say is being evaluated. Mostly by the receptionist, but also by the employees walking by, checking out the possible new hire.
Here are some important things to remember:
Smile and be friendly
When you greet the receptionist, make sure she sees the light and friendly side of you in order to make a great first impression. The first impressions that individuals give greatly influence how they are viewed by others. Make sure you smile and create a little conversation. Ask her how her day is going…comment on the beautiful office and be sure to say “thank you” before you sit. She is the first person the hiring manager is going to talk to after the interview for feedback.
Be observant of how you are sitting. Keep your posture straight with no slouching. Try to keep your legs firmly together with your hands in your lap. You do not want to be fidgety, fluffing your hair or trying to get the lint off of your pants. Reach for the business magazine on the table in front of you, this will keep your mind occupied and make you look calm and collected.
Plain and simple. Your cell phone is turned off and it is in your purse or pocket. It will remain there until you walk out of the door.
Coffee or Gum
Make sure you do not have anything in your hands when you walk into the building. The last thing you want to do is to ask the receptionist if she can throw out your coffee cup or chewed up gum.
The administrative assistant sitting at the front desk was my “go to” for every candidate that I interviewed. I trusted her judgement. She would tell me the time of arrival, if the candidate had a great personality, or a bad attitude and she would highlight any red flags.
So be friendly, smile at your potential new co-workers, and make a good first impression with the receptionist. If the hiring manager cannot decide between you and one other person, remember, your behavior and presentation while waiting for your interview could either make you or break you.