Job Hunting Tips

Manners Cost Nothing: How to Make the Right First Impression at an Interview

Posted by John
min read

Everyone has heard stories about people doing really well in an interview, only to ruin the great first impressions made by saying something inappropriate or rude on their way to the lift. Candidates start to relax, the interview is over, and all of a sudden, you are telling that story about the time you pulled a sickie to spend the day at the beach. The mantra of watching your 'p's and 'q's during and after an interview equally applies to your time beforehand. In a nutshell, watch your attitude toward the front of house staff. 

Receptionists play a key role in any organisation and should be treated with the same respect and manners as you would show your interviewer. When our receptionist (we call her our People Manager, because that is exactly what she does) comes into the back office to let us know our interviewee has arrived, often our question will be, 'What are they like?'  

First impressions count, and if you have given a bit of attitude to the front of house manager, I automatically have a bad taste in my mouth, and we haven't yet even met. It is also worth bearing in mind that the person greeting you may not be 'just the receptionist – so be careful who you decide to belittle. In a recent office move, I now sit right by the front desk and am often the one to meet and greet interviewees. 

From attitude and condescending tones, to texting while talking or launching your ID at me when I have asked for it politely, I've seen my fair share of bad behaviour. But believe me, there is nothing I enjoy more than being introduced to a candidate post-interview, who I have originally seated, and watching the fear flitter across their face as they realise that the person they had no time for could actually have an impact on their future job search. If this all sounds a bit doom and gloom, the vast majority of candidates are great and treat our receptionist with the utmost politeness and a smile. 

But for those select few to whom this applies, please take my advice – if you wake up on the morning of your interview and put on your grumpy pants, get changed.