Interview

Front Lobby Etiquette for Interviewers

Written by: Leslie Crain

Written by: Leslie Crain

Welcome to the Office!

You’re ready to go. You’ve researched the company, practiced interview questions in front of a mirror, picked out the perfect outfit – and now you open the door and walk in.

But wait! Your first step into the lobby is actually the first step into the in-person interview. What you do in the lobby counts.

Your initial impression on the office is made with the person sitting at the reception desk, and as the first point of contact in Maven’s reception area, I can give you some tips to help you navigate the Front Lobby.

1.       Walk in with confidence!

I can’t tell you how many people walk into our office frowning, expressionless, or looking confused. We’ve given you our address and explained how to get to our office; you’ve found us, now own it. Walk in with a smile and say hello – no need to ask if you’re in the right place when there’s a sign on the door!

2.       Show up on time.

Everyone knows not to be late to an interview, but no one talks about exactly how early to arrive. In general, shoot to be at the office no more than five minutes early. Ten if you have to, but anything more than that, go walk around the block again or find a coffee shop. Your interviewer has a set time allotted to speak with you, and not all front lobbies are conducive to long waits. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable having someone sitting right next to me for an extended period of time while I’m trying to get often-confidential work done.

3.       Polite conversation is good; lengthy conversation, not so much.

The person at the front desk is most likely busy. Yes, we’re greeting guests and of course we love to chat for a bit, but no, we probably don’t have time for a conversation longer than a few minutes. Gauge the level of busy-ness: if the receptionist is answering a constantly-ringing phone, or concentrating on typing, you don’t have to make small talk. If you’re chatting, but s/he keeps looking at the computer screen, cut the conversation short. It’s a fine line between being friendly and taking someone away from work, but it’s important.

4.       Act like you’re in the interview.

What I mean by that is to treat the front lobby as a precursor to the interview itself. Don’t smack your gum; spit out gum before coming into the office. Don’t chat on your cell phone; texting and emailing is fine while you’re waiting, but if you need to talk, please step out. Put your fancy shoes on before coming into the office; don’t change footwear in the lobby. We notice these things.

My colleagues often ask what I thought about certain candidates, and front lobby behavior is what I have to go by. If they’re on the fence about someone, and I remember he came in and was really inconsiderate, even if he was polite in the interview, that’s an insight my colleagues will keep in mind. Similarly, if I have a great interaction with him, that could help push a hiring decision in a positive direction.

That being said – welcome to the office! How can we help you?

Interviewing 101

Written by the Recruiter Who Interviews for a Living

-by Hayley Morrison

-by Hayley Morrison

Day in and day out, I interview candidates. I often hear answers to my questions that I would say are a “no-go” in an interview. One of the many benefits of working with a recruiter is that we are able to offer interview coaching and feedback in order to help you nail your dream job.


Let me tell you a quick story:

I had a candidate - let’s call her Madison for anonymity - who had been in her current role for 10 years and was starting to interview for a new job. In our first meeting, I asked Madison a range of interview questions. Madison answered almost every question I asked her with an incredibly lengthy response, shared WAY too much information, and at times I felt like didn’t even answer my question. Throughout the interview I could tell Madison wasn’t a bad EA, she just didn’t know how to interview. So, the process started: we worked together to practice interview questions and prepared for every interview I sent her on. At the end of it all, Madison landed a role at a top Venture Capital firm, earned an incredible increase in salary, and to this day, she sends me messages thanking me for all the time we spent preparing.

So today, I’m sharing with you some of my “best-kept secrets” of interviewing. I would recommend talking over your specific answers with a trusted professional (a recruiter like me!) before trying at home.

There are 3 Keys to Being Successful in An Interview:

1. Take each and every opportunity to show why the job you’re interviewing for is for YOU!

Remember when your parents told you that the interviewing process is just as much a time to interview the company as much as it is for them to interview you? Well, although I’m not the first to tell you, they were right. As you get to know the company, take this time to illustrate why YOU are the perfect candidate for the role and even more importantly, their culture.

2. NEVER bad-mouth your employer or current boss. I don’t care if they are the worst ever - just don’t do it.

So maybe you’ve had an unfortunate experience with your higher-up and you can’t wait to leave your current role because they make your life miserable. If that’s the truth, well, I’m sorry to hear that, but keep it to yourself. Employers don’t want to hear that you didn’t get along with your boss or that you didn’t gel well with your last team - it’s actually a red flag. The interviewing experience should be nothing but positive: you want to leave a strong and lasting first impression with your potential employer. If the hiring manager ends up with a feeling that you are hard to get along with, bitter, or prone to conflict or drama, I’ll tell you right now you’ve most likely talked yourself out of that job.

3. Be honest and tactful in your responses. This is your time to shine!

Employers want to get to know YOU. They want to see your personality shine through your work, and they want to understand what motivates you. To most employers, a culture fit is more important than the technical skills required for the job. If they feel like your answers are overly scripted or ingenuine, chances are they won’t remember you once you leave your interview. Now is your time to show your potential company that you are unique, authentic and memorable.

So now you have the basics for interviewing, but stay tuned for our next blog… We’re giving you the lowdown on how to respond to the interview questions that keep you awake at night. You won’t want to miss out on that!