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Making a good first impression, the moment you walk in the door


Posted on August 28, 2014 by Laurie Ward, chief marketing and communications officer.

Courtesy: Delaware Valley College Laurie Ward, CMCO

In my first job out of college, I was the receptionist at a TV station. I answered the phone and greeted visitors.

When the general sales manager was hiring new sales people, he purposely made them wait. They didn’t know it, but it was all part of the interview. As account executives, they would have to make cold calls on businesses. Maybe they would get in to see someone, maybe they wouldn’t. And if they did, they would probably be asked to wait to be fit into someone’s schedule.

Jeff was testing their patience. Did they constantly look at the clock and sigh? Were they getting annoyed and impatient by the wait? If they couldn’t wait an extra 10 or 15 minutes for a job interview, for something they really wanted, how would they handle the rejection of trying to sell TV ads? He was also testing their people skills. He wanted to know if they engaged with me, or if they looked down on me because of my age and/or my position.

He considered this an important component of the interview process. As account executives, these folks were not only representing themselves, but the station and our product.

There were some people who did not pass my test. And while my opinion was not the deciding opinion in the hiring process, it certainly was a bigger factor than anyone who was being interviewed would have imagined.

So what’s my point?

You never know who’s going to be making the hiring decision, or who’s going to be able to help you with something. It doesn’t cost a thing to be nice. Make that good first impression – with everyone. Treat everyone you come in contact with as if he or she was going to be your next boss. If you want more guidance or advice, visit the Center for Student Professional Development at Delaware Valley College