The interview begins before you even meet the interviewer. All about arriving, waiting, and interacting with receptionist
Realize that those secretaries, receptionists, and administrative assistants that you might consider unimportant often play a significant role in the interviewing process. When you enter the reception area or outer office, these gatekeepers who greet you are often asked later by the interviewer to sum up their impressions of you. Learn the gatekeeper’s name. We all like to be called by our names, and unless we’re frantically busy, we like to be schmoozed. Make friendly conversation with the gatekeepers. You might even ask their advice about the interview. Thank them profusely. Make them feel important – after all, they are.
Even the period when you’re sitting waiting for the interviewer can be part of the interview scrutiny. Employers have been known to test candidates by observing what magazines they pick up – a gossip rag or something more cerebral? Others might assess how irritated you get by being kept waiting. Wait patiently without complaint unless the wait is truly unreasonable or you have another pressing engagement. If you’ve waited an hour, it would be reasonable to ask the gatekeeper if you can reschedule.
At the Interview
What to expect when face-to-face with your interviewer
It’s something most job-seekers both eagerly anticipate and sometimes dread: the invitation to spend a day or two interviewing at a company’s office after an initial interview at a job fair, a screening telephone interview, or after an on-campus recruiting interview(s).
The good news is that you made the cut; the employer thinks highly enough of you and your potential from your initial interview to invite you for the visit. The challenge that lies before you, however, is mastering the informal and formal interviews that await you on the visit.
The purpose of the on-site interview is to allow both you and the employer to gain a more in-depth knowledge of each other — to see if there is a “fit.” The employer, through the multiple interviews that occur during your visit, gains a greater understanding of who you are and how you interact with numerous potential co-workers and supervisors. You get firsthand exposure to company’s work environment and corporate culture — and prospective co-workers.
An on-site interview is also a great chance for you to really get a snapshot of the organization’s corporate culture. The corporate culture is the environment or personality of an organization; it dictates acceptable business practices, the treatment of employees, and much more.
Take the time to get a feel for the corporate culture so you can decide whether it’s the type of environment where you would feel comfortable working because if you do not fit in with the culture of an organization, you are simply not going to last long there (or not want to last long there).