Did you know that making a good first impression with the individual sitting at the front desk reception area might be the most important impression you could make walking into an interview? Or the tone you carry on the phone or even the words you use when you call in could impact what happens next?
As the Assistant Operations Manager who has sat at the front desk for over a year and a half now, I think it’s safe to say that most people do not know this – so I am here to help!
To you – we are just a receptionist. For my team – we are the director of first impressions. Oftentimes, individuals don’t take the time to acknowledge receptionists as smart, important, and valued human beings.
No one is “just” a receptionist. They have one of the most important and most powerful positions inside your company.
The best advice I can give you: ALWAYS PRIORITIZE BEING POLITE TO THE RECEPTIONIST.
Be careful – that person sitting at the front or that person who answers the phone may be the manager or the recruiter who is interviewing you.
The thing about receptionists is they pretty much know everyone and have an essential role in every office process that exists.
The person fielding your calls and passing along your messages today will probably remember you once they’ve climbed up the ladder. In fact, two managers in our office have sat at the very spot our Office Coordinator and I have. They do in fact remember poor first impressions.
Receptionists tend to have very close working relationships with their immediate supervisors. If you’re interviewing with a potential new employer and have an opportunity to be professional and friendly with the receptionist, do it.
I personally can confirm that the hiring manager does in fact ask and value our input on first impressions. The power is yours.
When you go for an interview, remember that it starts the second the elevator doors open or as soon as you open that door. The receptionist knows everyone and talks to everyone. And if you get the job and start working there, you’ll need them. Treat the receptionist just like you would your interviewer.
Always remember, they can see you and they are watching. Grooming, scrolling through your phone, taking calls on your phone, doing activities to hype yourself up, adjusting yourself, etc. we get it, but please do these things before entering the building. It can be damaging to your reputation as a professional to not take an interview seriously.
The 15 minutes before your interview not only gives you time to relax your nerves or browse through the company’s reading material, but this 15 minutes also gives you a one-on-one meeting with the company “insider” – the receptionist.
Bottom line – be genuine, come prepared, start a conversation, ask for reading material, stay off your phone, and ALWAYS say “Thank you” and “Goodbye.” Remember that the receptionist may one day be the CEO. The cashier may one day be a big-time entrepreneur. And, that temp that you didn’t want to hire? Well, they may one day be making decisions that impact your agency sales.
Check out Hana’s blog on “Getting in the Interview Mindset” for more tips and tricks here.
Connect with Hana on LinkedIn here.
Hana Jacobsen, Celebrity Staff Assistant Operations Manager
Hana graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha in May 2018 with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. Her main focus was Human Resources and Communications. Hana joined Celebrity Staff in August 2018 after finishing her time at Von Maur and working as a Summertime Nanny. Hana’s favorite part about working at Celebrity Staff is the constant opportunity to learn new things. She loves a good challenge! Hana is a traveling enthusiast and loves exploring cities for fresh views and good eats. If she isn’t planning her next trip, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family outside of work.