Picture this: you’ve checked in at the interview location and you’re seated in the lobby area, patiently waiting for the recruiter. During this anticipation period, your stress level is at a high, thanks to the pre-interview jitters. Whether you’re a seasoned manager or a new graduate, can you recall a time you felt this way? A majority of jobseekers can relate to this situation as virtually everyone gets nervous at a job interview.
Although it may feel uncomfortable, this waiting period is valuable in the interview process. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the company and get a feel of what it’s like working there. Here’s how you can leverage this down time to your advantage.
Make Great First Impressions
The truth is your job interview starts the minute you step foot into the organization – first impressions are generally formed while the candidate is waiting in the lobby or interacting with company staff. Before going into the office, take some time to breathe, calm yourself and master your composure.
Upon your arrival, give a genuine smile to the receptionist or to the persons greeting you. While waiting for the recruiter, acknowledge employees passing by – they are curious and they will pay attention to you.
In most organizations, employees are familiar with each other and co-workers talk. Based on their observations of the candidate, they provide feedback to the interviewer – which may influence the hiring decision. As a recruiter myself, many times I have asked the reception staff about their interactions with candidates. Making a general good impression starts with demonstrating professionalism and respect with all company staff.
Learn More About the Company
The lobby experience is a glimpse into the reality of your potential future employer. In most cases, you will overhear conversations and witness employee interactions.
Observe and notice:
Do most seem happy at work?
Do co-workers treat each other respectfully?
What manners do they demonstrate to “outsiders”?
Does the office space exude a vibrant professional environment?
These observations combined with the interview experience will help you assess if the organizational environment feels like a fit.
Also, many organizations display relevant company information in the lobby area. This may include corporate achievements, new innovative products, social initiatives, informational videos, industry awards /certifications – just to name a few. This waiting period is a great opportunity to further familiarize with your potential employer. Utilizing this new learnt content is also a great way to make small talk and build instant rapport with your interviewers.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
In an article published by Berkeley University of California, mental preparation and success visualization prior to the interview have significantly shown to impact candidate performance in an interview.
“Rather than allowing your imagination to work against you, think about employing a tactic, sports psychologists have used for decades to ready athletes for competition. Mental rehearsal is a simple technique in which you visualize your desired performance in high-pressure situations. Research supports that mental rehearsal can effectively alleviate anxiety while increasing desired performance behaviours and outcomes.”
Use this waiting time to review your preparation notes and to visualize a successful job interview. Just like an elite athlete, prepare yourself mentally: focus and portray your desired outcome and feel your confidence level rising.
Wishing you much success!
About the author
Karine Shogher Touloumjian is a bilingual Canadian Certified Resume Strategist and Interview Coach with a background in Recruitment and Human Resources.
For more information about our services, visit us at www.distinctresume.comor contact us at email@example.com.