So you are waiting in the lobby to be called in for your job interview. Don’t bury your head in a magazine or the cell phone. By observing what is going on around you, you may learn a lot about the company with whom you are interviewing.
Check out the Walls
Are there company awards hanging up? What type of honors has the company received? Is the business a member of the Better Business Bureau or other professional organizations?
Mention any honors that you see when speaking with the interviewer. He or she will be impressed that you are paying attention.
SUBTLY Listen to Employees and Customers as They Come Through the Lobby
Do people seem to be cheerful and upbeat or is there a lot of complaining going on around you? What is the tone of employee and customer interactions? What type of things are employees talking about? I was waiting for an interview once at an Internet startup, and heard two employees discussing how one of them had so much work that he had not been home in 48 hours or slept during that time.
This conversation told me that if I went to work at this company, that work would be my life. Not much work-life balance here.
Observe if the Lobby is Well-Kept
How does the lobby look? Does the furniture look like it has been dusted recently? Is there trash laying around or does the lobby look clean? What type of magazines or books does the company have laying around? Can you tell that the company is striving to make a good first impression when people enter the business? The state of the lobby can tell you a lot about the company’s customer service and attention to detail.
It is amazing what you can learn in those precious few minutes that you spend in the company’s lobby before the interview. Take full advantage of Operation Lobby Reconnaissance.
For more job search advice, have a look at 5 Tips for Best Job Interview Outfit.