Dear LolaCat –
I like to arrive to interviews really early to check out the office environment, make a connection with the Receptionist, and see if they are interviewing with anyone else. How early would Lola recommend arriving for an interview?
Dear Early Bird –
I love to watch the world go by, but the office of your potential employer is not your living room and should never be treated as such.
My favorite thing to do every day is find a nice cushy seat and wait for hours staring at the door for my owner to come home, but I wouldn’t be seen dead doing it. I have dignity! Once that door starts to open I scamper off and pretend to be totally engrossed in something else… or asleep. Both have the desired effect of them coming to me rather than me having to walk over to them. But then I am a cat and unfortunately you are not!
Being too early for an interview is just as bad as being late. You want to be seen as the confident professional person that you are rather than an overly eager slightly odd person taking up residence near the reception desk long before the interview time. You want to leave the interview happy you made a good first impression rather than being followed by security.
Always plan to be downstairs or outside the building ten minutes before the interview. Give yourself ample time for any worse case scenarios during your commute. You should be walking in, smiling and making eye contact with the Receptionist five minutes before your interview time.
Remember you are not there to make a new BFF. You want to be friendly and introduce yourself but try not to come off as too chummy. This too easily can come off as desperate and that is never attractive. Let them know that you have an interview with your contact at such and such a time and follow their direction.
If you have to wait, use the time to go over your super strengths and the success stories that you can bring up during the interview. This will help calm you down and distract you from the desire to sink your nails into the carpet and stretch, or rub up against the corner of the chair and purr. Or does that just happen to me? It’s also not a time to be on your phone. It should be turned off and out of the way.
Be like me – calm, confident, and poised. Be ready for your contact to walk through the door and shake your hand. You’ll be much more likely to make a genuine connection that way.
My team will help coach you on any specifics of the job interview, highlights some areas on your resume that will impress the interviewer and give you a rousing pep talk before the interview. You’re not with Alan J. Blair? Oh. You should probably do something about that.
Best wishes and big job wins,
Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com