Tag Archives: Interview Tips

How to fail an interview before even entering the interview room

After working as an administrative assistant for over 2 years, I feel as though I have seen it all. It often crossed my mind as to whether or not the interviewee knew that I was sitting there and could see and hear everything…and I mean EVERYTHING. There were candidates who would bring in their 2 children with them to an interview (take a wild guess as to who got the privilege of watching the children while the interview went on?) to people talking on their cell phone while waiting, and sometimes their conversation would sound like this, “Yeah, I’m in an interview, not very excited about it, but I guess I need money and stuff”.

Obviously not all interviews went that poor, some candidates were very polite and kind, and even left their kids at home! Most people know the do’s and don’ts for proper interviewing, but what some forget is that it’s not JUST the person interviewing that they have to impress–the interview starts as soon as you walk in the door. You can follow all the rules of interviewing etiquette, but by failing your first impression with the front desk, could be setting yourself up for disaster. Now it may sound silly to tell grown men and women to be polite, but you’d be so surprised. Do the interviewees not consider that people talk within the office? In fact the difference between some that were hired and some that weren’t, was based upon how they had treated me. To some I was “just the secretary”, not a good position to be in for the candidate when the HR Manager asked what my impressions were and if I had been treated with respect. When I was with my prior company, I was under the impression that me as, “Just the Secretary” having this conversation with HR was a bit unusual. Now that I am with an executive recruiting agency, I have found that this tends to be more of the norm, especially with companies that put a strong emphasis on an employee driven workforce.

As you prepare for your next interview, you may want to approach this with the full awareness that everyone within the company, may be interviewing you. Be kind, be courteous, and engage in friendly conversations that will put you in the best light of everyone, including “The Secretary”.

I wish you success with your interview!