Home > Interview > Knocking on your interviewer’s door

Knocking on your interviewer’s door

July 19, 2011

I interview a lot.

One thing that I notice is if a candidate knocks on my door while I am interviewing someone else and I open the door that candidate outside my door gets spooked. I think that they can see by my face that I am busy. I see fear in the eyes. Invariably the outside candidate says “I’m sorry, I’ll wait.” I try then to hurry to finish the interview I was conducting which is a little irritating.

What do you think that does to my first impression of the outside candidate? I think of that outside candidate just isn’t very confident. “I’m sorry” can be a show of contrition, a sign of weakness especially if it is the first thing you say. It is strange but I see it time and again. It is hard for that outside candidate to have that great first impression moment (eye contact, smile, firm hand shake) again. It’s like we have already met. That first meeting is so important. You don’t get that moment back.

Solution: If you can, have someone else (secretary, assistant) knock on the door for you. Then the secretary can “bother” the interviewer if they are busy. That gets you off the hook and the annoyance can be placed on the secretary or assistant and not you. That way your first impression to the interviewer is not “who are you and why are you bothering me!” its “wow, it’s so nice to meet you.” It is always better to have your interviewer first meet you when they are ready. I need a break of about 5 minutes between interviews. One can only listen to so much talking.

It’s not always possible to get someone to do the knocking for you. If the “I’m sorry, I’ll wait” happens to you, take a deep breath and be just a bit more confident and positive. Spend the waiting time thinking about what you want to say. You can overcome that grumpy interviewer’s lukewarm first impression of you.

Categories: Interview
%d bloggers like this: