How you conduct yourself in the reception/waiting area of a potential employer is just as important as how you conduct yourself during your job interview.
In most job interview situations, you will enter the employer’s building into some kind of reception area. You will most likely interact with a receptionist or another member of the staff that will then alert your interviewer that you have arrived.
This time between your arrival and the start of your formal interview is CRUCIAL! Your behaviour is monitored from the moment you enter the building and any interactions you have while waiting for your job interview can impact your ability to get the job.
Below, we have an infographic with 8 things you must remember while waiting for your job interview. Follow these 8 tips to ensure that you present your best self while waiting to be interviewed for your next position.
8 Things to Remember While Waiting for Your Job Interview
The best way to create a good first impression is to treat everyone you interact with at the company in the same polite manner. Treat the receptionist in the same way you would the interviewer; co-workers talk and they will ask other employees about their impression of you when hiring.
Get Rid of Food/Drinks
Don’t go into the reception area with food or drinks. Finish anything that you are eating/drinking before entering the building. Avoid chewing gum while in your interview and stay away from coffee before an interview, coffee breath is not ideal for close quarter interactions.
Watch Your Posture
While in the reception area be sure to watch how you are sitting. Avoid slouching over in your seat and never put your feet up on any sort of table/chair. This is not your home, this is a professional environment and your behaviour is a good indicator for employers as to how you will behave on the job.
Stay Off Of Your Phone
Avoid using your phone while waiting for your interview. being on your phone (whether you’re taking a phone call or browsing Instagram) makes it look like you are unfocused and distracted. If you receive an emergency phone call politely let the receptionist know and step outside.
Do Not Job Search
Similar to #4, NEVER take a call from another potential employer while waiting for a job interview. This is very unprofessional and gives off the impression that you are not invested in the job that you are there to interview for.
Keep Yourself Organized
Keep yourself tidy and organized while in the waiting area. Avoid having your bags, books, or papers scattered around or taking up too much space. Keep your appearance tidy and keep your belongings close by without making a mess.
Keep your voice down while in the reception area. Other people are likely to be waiting and/or working in that area and will not appreciate someone that is being loud. Remember that your voice can carry and it is best to keep quiet while waiting for your interviewer.
Avoid Chit Chat
If there are other candidates waiting to be interviewed avoid chit chatting too much. As mentioned in #7, you could risk coming across as too loud or chatty. If you are engaging in conversation be sure to avoid topics such as politics, religion, or past employers. These topics can alter people’s perception of you even before your interview ever happens.