All interactions with a potential employer are part of the total impression that you make. These impressions add up to influence the decision to hire or not to hire. Your initial contact, phone conversation, resume, cover letter, emails are all part of the “package”. Obviously, your behavior during the interview is part of the impression you make as well. In addition, your choice of activities while waiting for the interviewer can and will be used to assess you as a candidate. Even your demeanor and walk back to the elevator and out of the building may be used if noticed. The message here is – don’t let the “little” things ruin your chance.
While waiting for the interview either in a reception area or in the interviewer’s office, be mindful of your behavior. The following are some do’s and don’ts:
- Read an industry magazine or non-fiction material. This displays an interest in learning and staying up to date.
- Sit quietly but be alert. Show consideration for others while proving that you are attentive to your surroundings.
- Be polite to the receptionist or assistant. How you treat others is important and this feedback may be requested.
- Write in a notebook. Display thoughtfulness and consideration by working quietly and professionally.
- Keep quiet and neat. Demonstrate consideration for those working around you, for the appearance of the area and show that you are put together, neat and organized.
- Make or answer calls. This is not your living room – be sensitive to that.
- Read a trashy novel or magazine. Think of the impression you are trying to make.
- Eat. This isn’t a restaurant.
- Pace. This tends to get people around you nervous and doesn’t cause good vibes.
- Text or email incessantly. This can annoy others and give the impression that you are addicted.
- Flirt with the receptionist or assistant. Being polite is very different from being inappropriate.
- Rustle bags and empty your belongings. Do not appear to be messy, noisy, disorganized and inconsiderate.