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Georgia’s Tips for Nervous Job Seekers

March 17th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Georgia Enty

One of the stealth “votes” for job candidates in many agencies could be the receptionist, so don’t overlook him or her.  At the very least, the receptionist can help break the ice and settle nerves before an interview.

Georgia Enty is Ketchum’s long-time receptionist in Chicago.  She knows more people than anyone in the office, and she greets all job applicants–some of whom spend considerable time in the lobby waiting for busy staffers to finish client business so they can conduct interviews.  After observing a recent conversation between Georgia and a job candidate, I asked her for tips for blog readers facing interviews.  Here are Georgia’s suggestions:

Smile.  The initial encounter with a receptionist can help set the stage for a relaxed interview.

Engage the receptionist in small talk.  Too many applicants nervously announce their name and then retreat to the waiting area, showing no capacity for basic conversation skills.  At least comment on the weather or ask a basic question about the office.  (Georgia says men are more talkative than women).

Make eye contact with others walking through the lobby.  You never know who is passing by; it could be the hiring manager or his/her boss. 

Remember “please” and “thank you.”  I can’t tell you how many people simply say an abrupt “no” when offered water or coffee.

Respond to all emails from the agency.  (Georgia reconfirms appointments on behalf of the recruiter who arranges interviews.  She says most people do not reply, so she doesn’t know for sure they’re showing up until they arrive).

By the way, the person I observed talking with Georgia who spurred this post idea began his new job with the agency last week.

Tags: Advice from a Pro · Job Search

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chad Dorshorst // Mar 17, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for the excellent insight Georgia. I couldn’t agree more and I know of at least one instance where my interaction with the receptionist was a key differentiation that ultimately led to a job offer.

  • 2 Erin Deisher // Mar 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Georgia, thanks so much for this! I loved reading it and found it very beneficial! I am sure all this insight will come in handy here in the near future! I will be graduating with my public relations degree this year and can’t wait to get a job! I am now interning for a college doing public relations and love it! Thanks again for your tips!

  • 3 Lois Leflore // Dec 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Great tips and you are so right because we as potential employees never know who we might encounter. I thank you so very much for that idea because the receptionist does play a critical role in a person being employed even though he/she doesn’t give the final say so. Many times I have been in offices where I was seeking employment and I tried to make conversation with the receptionist but I got the cold shoulder. When the time arrives I’ll truly test the waters and if I see where I can make small talk I will. Thank you again.

  • 4 Culpwrit // Dec 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Good point, Lois. You need to quickly judge whether the reception is open for small talk. If not, a pleasant greeting is all that’s necessary.

  • 5 Michelle L. Ours // Dec 11, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Ms. Enty,
    I could not agree more with your tips for job interviewing. I worked for a large retail business for two years and was priveledged enough to help them with the interview and hiring process.
    I met many who were shy, quiet, and under-prepared for the interview process. Self-confidence, knowledge of the company, and a friendly persona were all key factors for considering a candidate for a position.
    I am currently seeking another job and will definitely utilize your tactics in the near future.
    Thank You!

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