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First Impressions Count

18/09/2013 by

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You’re walking from the station eyes glued to the GPS system on your phone trying to navigate to your potential new office… Catch your reflection in a shop window and smooth down that stray hair. You know this company inside out, you’ve done your research, you’ve looked up your interviewer and you know all the awesome questions you’re going to ask. Walk into the reception, past the receptionist desk then stand awkwardly at the lift wondering where the hell you have to go.

The receptionist calls over to you and asks you to sign in- you don’t want to sign in you just want to get up there and smash this interview right? You begrudgingly sign the sign in form and take a quick look at who else has signed in today. The receptionist asks you to take a seat while she calls the appropriate person. You slump yourself in the chair and feel your mojo depleting. “Hello Thomas, I have an interview downstairs for you…” – PAUSE- “No darling.” Hangs up.

The receptionist walks you to the lift, wishes you a good day and up you go. Seem pretty normal to you? Your fate may have already been sealed. “No.” may have been the response to “Is there a package downstairs for me?” or it could be the response to “Are they any good?”

As shocking as it may be, the receptionist is the gate keeper, the first port of call and the wiring for that whole building. They see the receptionist every day, regular conversation, trusted judgement. That receptionist noted how you completely blanked her and didn’t say “Good morning, how are you?” she also noticed the smile you didn’t give to her, she noticed the lack of care you took when filling in an important piece of security documentation, she noticed your instant dislike to being told what to do when you sat in that chair like a stroppy child.

You may go up to your interview, and push all the right buttons, say all the right things, and make the interviewer question why the receptionist thought you was a “No.” But the fact remains that the instant “No.” the receptionist gave to them will be the irritating little fly buzzing in the corner of their mind putting them off hiring you. Your potential employer wants to know that you are polite, well-mannered and mindful of the people around you. Not being switched on and realising the receptionist plays a part in your interviewing experience is a big no no.

Moral of this little anecdote, is that you never know who knows who and manners don’t cost a thing!

Written by Maya Gardiner, Montash Internal Communications

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