It is no surprise that your brand new resume and cover letter secured you a job interview. After all, it was targeted, easy to navigate, and spoke directly to the needs of the employer, right? As you are supposed to, you arrived to the job interview 15 minutes early and now comes that uncomfortable wait to speak with the interviewer. So, what are some of the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to your use of this time? We’ve mentioned before that in some cases, the interview begins the second you walk into the door. This is because you don’t know who is watching and listening. Here are a few job interview waiting room tips to help support your efforts and avoid potential slip-ups that can occur before the interview even begins.
Job Interview Tip #1: Be Cordial to The Receptionist, No Matter What
Many people make the mistake underestimating the importance and influence of the receptionist. Oftentimes, these professionals are the hub of office activity and have the ear of management on certain things. Their opinion can sometimes be requested when it comes nuance factors they may have noticed while you are waiting for the job interview to begin. As such, you always want to start with them on your side. Make an effort to greet them with a smile. Whether you or they initiate small talk during your check in, be sure to keep it positive. You want to leave an impression on this person that you are a positive and uplifting candidate. For all you know, the receptionist has been made an agent to keep an eye on you and what you do before the interview begins. In fact, everyone you run across from the minute you hit the door should be considered an agent of the interview process. Even if that receptionist is having a bad day and seems to take it out on you, be very careful not to return the favor. In this instance, they can hurt you more than you can ever hurt them.
Job Interview Tip #2: Cut Your Phone’s Ringer Off Before You Enter The Office
When waiting for your job interview, the last thing you want is to stand out for the wrong reasons. Having your cell phone continually ring and apps continually pinging out loud can aggravate those employees who work near the waiting area. This can be perceived as you having little concern for the office environment which you have entered. Again, we go back to our receptionist who may have more power than you know. While he or she is handling seven projects for three supervisors, all while managing a six-line phone bank, the last thing this person needs is to hear your phone going off every couple of minutes, disrupting their workflow. And believe me, if asked for input, they can sink your ship. Keep your visit low key and not memorable for the wrong reasons. If you have to keep the phone on, at least turn the ringer and all notification sounds off.
Job Interview Tip #3: Employ Your Most Effective Calming Methods
The Job interview can be a very stressful situation. Of course, if you have prepared for the job interview properly by doing your research and practicing your responses, this will be minimized. However, when your career arc can be dependent upon what happens when your name is called to come in, this can sometimes be a little unnerving. You should have something that helps relax you and put you into the right frame of mind for the job interview. For some, that may be flipping through Instagram photos of serene scenery. For others, it can be breathing exercises and meditation. Then again, a quick review of your research regarding the company’s latest news and potential questions you may face can help to raise your confidence level. Perhaps you can review your resume again to identify any points you think will be of particular interest to them (you DID bring extra copies, right?) But go in already knowing what your “calming influence” will be. This is the biggest benefit to the 15-minute early arrival strategy. It gives you time to settle down and get yourself to the right plane existence mentally so that your interview performance is maximized.