Whether you are walking through the doors for an interview or just looking for an application, it can be easy to overlook some of the most important people that can help you land a job – the front office staff. Though you may not realize it at first, they are the gate keepers to the company you are applying for and have the potential to help or hurt your chances of scoring that open position.
Here are some helpful tips to help you win over the front desk team.
- Come Prepared – Before showing up to any office for potential employment, make sure that you have everything you could need for an interview. Bring several copies of your resume, a list of references, a pen, and photo identification – these are all items that you’ll need for the hiring process. Showing up prepared also means leaving family members at home. It can detract from first impressions and distracting for the entire office if your children are running around or your friend is watching videos loudly on their phone.
- Dress Professionally – Show up dressed for the job you want. If you are applying for a job as an administrative assistant or a manager, don’t come to the interview dressed in shorts and a wrinkled t-shirt. If you are dressed for a day at the beach, it’s much harder to take you seriously as a working professional. Research appropriate office attire or call ahead to find out the company dress code. While every office differs on required attire for their current employees, making a good first impression is one of the keys to success.
- Have a good attitude – A positive attitude is very important. The hiring managers will often ask for the front desk’s opinion of specific applicants. If you have been rude or demanding, don’t necessarily expect that your behavior away from a hiring manager doesn’t impact the way you are perceived as a professional within the company. Avoid being friendly only during the interview – there are other opinions that go into a hiring decision beyond your interaction with the interviewer.
- Understand boundaries – You would be surprised at how often applicants will reach over the counter and try to take personal pens and other office items. If you did not bring your own pen, check to see if there are any on the counter – there are usually a few set out for applicants and clients in any office. If you don’t see anything right away, be sure to ask if there is anything available for you to use.
- Be appreciative of others’ time – Research in advance when an office opens and closes. Be on time or a few minutes early to show you are reliable and punctual. It’s not uncommon for applicants to show up at offices without giving themselves enough time to complete the application process, or at worse when the office is closed. If you need to drop in for something or meet with someone, gauge your time well to make sure you will not be there after closing. If you have too much to go over, suggest an appointment time that is earlier in the day.