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5 Do’s and Don’ts While Waiting for Your Interview to Begin

Many job seekers who successfully land an interview may not always know exactly what to do when they actually get to the office. Some arrive too early, others just barely before the meeting is scheduled to start. But even those who arrive with a little time to spare may not always have the best idea of what to do with themselves.

However, there are some definite do’s and don’ts to how you conduct yourself in a lobby or waiting room before your interview begins. Below are five pieces of critical advice:

DO: Be courteous to everyone you talk to

While you may be a little stressed about the process, there’s no reason to be short or discourteous with a secretary, security guard or other professionals you’ll deal with on the way in, according to Business Insider. After all, a good first impression is critical for everyone you meet, and it’s possible that a difficult interaction will be reported to the hiring manager. Plus, it’s just better to be friendly with people in general.

DON’T: Rehearse

At this point, you’ve probably been through the basics of what you want to talk about in the interview over and over, either with a practice partner or just in your own head, Business Insider added. Now is not the time to get yourself stressed out and go over everything again, both because that can put you on edge and due to the fact that your answers might come across as being inauthentic or rehearsed.

DO: Use the bathroom

While there’s no need to take a long time in there, it’s a good idea to use the restroom, wash your hands, splash some water on your face and take a few deep breaths, according to Pauwels Consulting. That’s especially true if you’re not sure how long the interview is going to last and had some coffee or water on the way to the office. In general, a quick trip will make you feel a little more relaxed throughout your meeting.

DON’T: Sit down and look at your phone

One common piece of advice hiring managers recommend is taking a look around the waiting room or lobby to see if there’s any additional information you can learn about the company, according to College Grad. Many businesses display various industry awards they’ve won, put new products on display or have employee newsletters in these areas, and studying them will simultaneously give you something to do while you wait and a potential conversation starter for the interview itself.

On the other hand, looking at your phone can make you seem disinterested or draw your attention away from people who might be speaking to you.

DO: Remember names

Though you likely have a lot of thoughts running through your head, you should strive to remember the names of everyone you meet so that, on the way out, you can subtly impress them in addressing them by name, College Grad advised. Much like being friendly in the first place, this can go a long way toward making everyone you meet feel like you’re the kind of person they want to work with.