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Why Being Rude To The Receptionist Cost You That Perfect Job

People are amazing to observe.  We are all a bunch of wants and emotions, of vulnerability and ego. For some – there is a lot of self awareness, and for others there is little or none.

When we are job searching – these feelings and emotions are even more intense.  And when we are under pressure to perform (such as in an interview); sometimes what we do and say is a stress response, rather than a natural one.

And so it is, that when you are interviewing for your perfect role – you sometimes forget about the simple things that make a great impression.

I implore you: please don’t forget that the receptionist’s in many organisations wield massive influence as to whether you get hired.  Or not.

Why is this?  Well because any organisation wants to uncover who you really are – they want to know how well you connect with people and how authentic you are.  Your typical receptionist meets a huge number of people, and the good ones become very skilled at assessing people for authenticity and company fit.  

The other thing is, many times candidate’s can be rude to the person on reception.  I have never understood this, but I have experienced it myself. We often jump on the front counter at Consult and greet people as they come in – after all – one of our core values is:


A month or so ago, I was sitting on reception and greeted a Financial Controller level candidate who was interviewing for a role we were recruiting. He was pretty dismissive and rude to me at reception. When the consultant came in for the interview – he turned on the charm offensive. So what did I do? Well of course, I let the Consultant know that while the candidate made a great interview impression – my concern is that he wasn’t a culture fit for the organisation which has a down to earth, team focused culture where no one is on pedestals.  

So despite being well qualified for the job, he had (correctly or not) created an impression that he would not be a fit for the company.

So, next time you are interviewing for an awesome role – remember to be kind and courteous to the person at reception. Smile and make a connection – because it could just be the thing that gets you the job.

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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