What (not) to do whilst waiting for a job interview

Application tips

17 Apr 2014
Congratulations! You are about to have a job interview and you are ready to make an overwhelming impression. You just passed the reception and you are waiting for the recruiter to show up. What do you do while waiting for your job interview?

Do you sit down, do you look out of the window, do you check your emails on your smartphone? What you do now can determine your future! Your attitude and actions before a job interview can have a great impact on the first impression the receptionist and the recruiter have from you.

And that first impression is important. Very important! The following do’s and don’ts can help you make a good first impression while waiting for your job interview.

What to do whilst waiting for your job interview?

  • Sit down

Most candidates are nervous right before a job interview. Many stand up and walk around the room. This can make a restless impression. Therefore, try to sit back in your chair. You don’t need to run a marathon before your interview

  • Calm down

Concentrate on your breathing! Breathe in and breathe out slowly. Shut out all external stimuli and focus on the here and now. This way you can calm down. Your voice will sound less nervous as a result.

  • About the bathroom

You never know how long a job interview and/or assessment will take. So it is a good idea to ask whether you can wash your hands or use the bathroom before the interview. No doubt the interview will be more relaxed!

  • Keep cool

If you are in the bathroom, you might as well put your wrists under the tap and/or rub a few drops of cold water in your neck. You will feel fresher and more relaxed right away!

  • Search for the connection

Do you see business awards on the walls? Do you see company brochures lying on the table? Feel free to take a look. It will give you a nice starting point for the conversation when the recruiter shows up.

  • Check your resume

Nothing else to read? Then read your resume thoroughly. Make sure you are familiar with the content of your resume and make sure you can find certain paragraphs when you are asked about them.

In short, try to make a polite and relaxed impression before (and during) your job interview. A first impression can greatly influence how a recruiter thinks about you. Be yourself, but do try to keep your nerves under control.

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What should you NOT do whilst waiting for your job interview?

  • Don’t read irrelevant information

Don’t take your own reading to a job interview. Focus on the interview that is about to come. You can come across as indifferent when you read an irrelevant book/magazine while waiting for a job interview.

  • Don’t put on an act

Don’t take a financial paper or an annual financial report of the table if you don’t have a substantiated opinion on finances. Imagine what would happen if the recruiter asks you about your opinion and you can’t give a satisfactory answer.

  • Don’t play with your phone

The meeting room is not a good place to break your personal record on Angry Birds or to text your significant other to ask what’s for dinner when you come home. Turn off your phone and forget about it so that you cannot be disturbed during the interview.

  • Don’t look worried or indifferent!

People don’t like to see a worried face. A neutral, open and cheerful face is much more pleasant. Therefore, avoid frowning and ‘painful looks’. Give the recruiter every chance to start the job interview on the right foot.

In short: Be yourself but always make sure you make a relaxed, open and interested impression. The first impression is very important for the rest of your interview, so make sure to start off on the right foot.

Good luck!