Interviewing Tip: The receptionist is your friend!

I love The Office

One of the easiest ways to shoot yourself in the foot at an interview doesn’t even take place in the interview room itself. It happens in reception. You walk into the office, let the receptionist know you’re here for an interview. She hands you some forms to fill out or just asks you to have a seat and wait. She might even offer you a beverage. You politely decline but don’t realize that she’s studying you. She’s not even meaning to do it, but she could very well hold your employment in the palm of her hands.

So you’re sitting there filling out forms, kind of have this confused look on your face because you don’t quite understand what they’re asking on the form (don’t you hate those ambiguous questions). Meanwhile, Joe Schmo walks in and while he’s filling out the forms he’s asking the receptionist how her day is going. How long has she been working here? Does she enjoy it? Next thing you know they’re laughing about some random coincidence about how they both love to eat at this one restaurant that no one knows about. Tsk tsk tsk.

After both of you have left the interviewer could very well stop to chat with the receptionist, ask her how they were in waiting. She’ll gush over the other guy, who by the way was late while you were 15 minutes early. When it comes to you, “he was fine. Quiet.” Not a bad thing by any means, but the interviewer takes valuable information away from the interactions you had with the staff. Especially if open communication, energy, and the ability to work well with a team is vital to the job.

So next time you go for an interview, make the effort to get to know the staff. Even it’s just small talk, it could go a long way in getting an extra little recommendation from someone you’d have to see every day in the office. That’s a huge advantage if you ask me.


About Jason Willis
Jason graduated from the University of Central Florida in the fall of 2011 with a B.S.B.A. in Finance. He currently works at The Newport Group as an Investment Analyst on the Asset & Liability Management Team working with Non Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans. In his spare time he continues to give back to AKPsi by assisting with the CFAC and NX Chapter at UCF. He also currently operates his own blog entitled Professional Hedging, and is also preparing to acquire his Series 7 and 66 Certifications.

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