How to Win Over the One Person Who Can Make or Break Your Chances of Getting That Job

receptionistIf you are under the impression that an interview begins when your interviewer starts asking questions, think again.

Potential employers are often times ninja-interviewing you before they even meet you.

The real interview begins the moment you enter the lobby and meet the front desk coordinator/receptionist responsible for greeting all guests.

How you interact with that person is very important and can play a part in whether you get or don’t get the job.

In doubt?

Here are three BIG reasons why you should be kind to the receptionist:

  • They are your first point of contact within the organization you hope to work for.
  • They are more than the “face” of the company; they are also the company’s eyes and ears.
  • They may be asked for their general impression of you, or may be asked to share any observations of you while you waited for your interview to begin.

So the next time you are on your way to an interview, remember to put your best foot forward the moment you enter the lobby.


  • Be on your cell phone. There is no reason to be on your phone while waiting in the reception area. If it is an absolute emergency, step outside to take the call. Otherwise, wait until after you’ve left the building to get on your cell phone.
  • Publicly groom. Save the hair combing, makeup applying, clothing adjusting, and bodily functions (gross!) for home – or the restroom.
  • Flirt. Even if the person at the front desk is the most attractive person you’ve ever seen in your life, don’t flirt with him or her. Remember, this is a prospective coworker and it could lead to an awkward office dynamic.
  • Complain. Don’t whine about how hard the office was to find, or how there was no parking, or how inconvenient it is to have to wait to be seen. Keep it to yourself.
  • Be condescending. By no means should you treat the receptionist as if they are invisible or beneath you.

With hiring managers reviewing sometimes hundreds of resumes a day, or interviewing dozens of candidates, it’s not unusual for them to ask those who meet a prospective employee for their opinion.

Remember, this is a future coworker, or employee, of yours. You’ll likely have to interact with them every day.  And if they don’t like you…

Simply put, this is definitely someone you want on your side.

So be friendly, smile, learn his/her name. Engage in a little chitchat, if appropriate. (Keep in mind that anything you say has the potential to get back to the employer.)

Impress them.

Be kind.

They’re watching you.

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