Interview Much...? Stories from a Receptionist About First Impressions - iNeed a Playdate Interview Much...? Stories from a Receptionist About First Impressions iNeed a Playdate a Blog for Northeast Ohio Moms

6.23.2014

Interview Much...? Stories from a Receptionist About First Impressions

Job hunting and interview tips from receptionist



By night I blog but by day I am an office manager.

I started as a receptionist which lead me to office manager. Despite the title, I am still a receptionist. My desk is in the lobby, I greet people, schedule rooms, and let vendors in. Well, all that plus more but for a good part of the day, I'm a receptionist.

I happen to love my job but like any great jobs, there are certain aspects that are not my favorite. Greeting people coming for an interview is one of those things. Don't get me wrong, I work with some fantastic people who once came for an interview. But, there is a larger percentage of would-be employees who don't make the cut. I can usually predict their outcome based on how they treat me.

I am no longer surprised by the rudeness I encounter from applicants. I also know how professional and nice they will be for the interview. What most fail to realize is that the manager doing the interview may ask my opinion or I'll tell them. Rudeness to those who might not matter does not look good and speaks volumes on your character.

My office is a secure location with restricted access. There is a phone on the wall to call in if I am not at the desk or if I am not watching the door. Tip: Receptionists do not spend the day watching the door. I work at my computer on various things that need my attention and you standing at the door will not make me look up. Yes, tapping on the glass will but there is a sign, pointing to the phone to use. Use the phone. Always use the phone.

Most will tap on the window. It's rude.

If you are not required to announce yourself on the phone remember, the door will not work if you don't push it open. There are a few applicants so confident that they walk right into the locked doors. That does get my attention but trying not to laugh at a face squashed at the window is a challenge.

Also, feeling embarrassed or annoyed at security protocols is not permission to be rude.

Stories from a Receptionist About First Impressions

Many applicants come in and say that they have a meeting. The first few times this happened I thought that there was a meeting. I did not give them paperwork to fill out. This holds up the interview process since it takes about fifteen minutes to fill it all out. If you come for an interview don't waste time trying to sound more important.

Speaking of paperwork, my company has a writing assessment to complete before the interview. It's simple - rewrite two paragraphs. It's to show your writing skills and how you would handle hypothetical situations.

Regardless of the position, everyone has to complete it. Once, an applicant going for an IT position questioned why she had to do the test. Loudly from her seat across the room from me.

I will not respond if someone shouts to me from across the room. I will ignore anyone who does this.

The same applicant refused to get that it was wrong to shout at me demanded to know why I had not gotten up to announce her presence. She was still sitting in her seat across the room.

I had informed the person doing the interview in a chat message. Where he was sitting, he could also hear our entire conversation. I honored her request and went to tell him. The look on her face let me know that she understood he heard everything. It was not a long interview and she did not get the job.

Just this week an applicant asked, from his chair, if I had told the hiring manager that he was waiting.

Me: "I'm sorry?"

Him: "Does she know that I am waiting?"

Me: "I'm sorry?" cupping my ear.

Him: "Does she know I am here?" Oblivious to my request to get up and talk to me.

Me: "Are you asking me if I did my job?"

Him "Oh, no, I'm sure you are doing a fine job!!" Cue the hiring manager rounding the corner. She heard this exchange .

If you are feeling thirsty, do not demand a bottle of water. You should also not wander to the kitchen and take anything out of the fridge.

Coming prepared to a job interview means bringing a pen and your resume. Yes, the recruiter emailed your resume. I promise you, they did not print your resume. They may have glanced over it on the computer but they did not print it. Having a copy to hold will help you be memorable. Also, bringing a pen just makes you look prepared.

@MryJhnsn iNeed a Playdate helps you interview

My company requires a resume at the interview. If you didn't bring it, please don't expect the receptionist to print it for you if you email it nor from your thumb drive. Okay, I may but I will tell the interviewer. You should always have a resume on you if you are job hunting. You never know when an opportunity will arise that will give you an in and a hand to take the resume.

Along with your resume (and pen), please (please) do your research about the company. Check out their website, pick up a tidbit that you found (i.e. it's our 60th anniversary!), or come prepared with questions. You will not get a second interview if you have no idea what the company does.

Something to keep in the back of your mind, you are not special.  There are dozens of people, just as qualified, applying for this job - how do you want to be remembered?


My opinions are my own and do not represent my company.  

Thank you

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