Remember: Beware the Receptionist Test

23 April 2011 at 12:29PM 1 comment

The most popular post on this blog is one from 2008 about how candidates fail the Receptionist Test. It happens all the time.

The Receptionist Test is an unexpected assessment of how the candidate deals with ordinary staff during the interview. It is effective because it is unexpected. The key point to remember about the Receptionist Test is:

…your interview starts as soon as you enter the building. Companies can (and will) use every means to make sure that  you are the best qualified person for the role.

On his great blog about leadership, thoughtLEADERS, Mike Figliuolo confirms a time when a “sure thing” candidate failed the Receptionist Test:


When I was a consultant, we regularly interviewed a slew of candidates on Fridays. The first person they met was the receptionist. From there, they’d interview with eight or nine of us and we’d hold a “consensus meeting” at the end of the day to determine if we were going to make a job offer.

One exceptional candidate (let’s call him “Bill”) did an amazing job in all eight of his interviews. He was brilliant, charming, and energetic. All of us were excited about him as we entered the consensus meeting. Some of us were already fighting over who would get him on their team first. As we discussed his glowing performance, it was abundantly clear we’d be making him an offer. We prepared to close the discussion and asked “Does anyone else have anything to offer on Bill?”

“I do.”

“Go ahead.” said the meeting moderator.

“When he came in, I was on the phone. He tapped his pen impatiently on my desk indicating I should stop talking on the phone and help him. I asked my caller, who happened to be the office director, to wait a moment. The conversation then went like this:”

“Can I help you?”

“Yeah. I’m here to interview. Don’t you know who I am?”

“I’m sorry sir. I don’t.”

“Geez. Look in your paperwork. Bill. Bill Farfegnugen. Isn’t it your job to receive guests properly?”

“Yes. Please have a seat. They’ll be with you shortly.”

“Aren’t you going to take my coat and get me a cup of coffee?”

“Sure. I’d be happy to. Cream and sugar?”

“Yeah.”

“After I got him his coffee, I showed him to his first interview. I’m sorry but I simply can’t see this guy in front of our clients. I can’t recall the last time someone was that rude to me.”

Needless to say, Bill didn’t get a job offer. He probably wonders why not to this very day because he knew he smoked his interviews. Hey Bill – news flash – she’s not just a receptionist… Her name is Lois and she takes really good care of the people around her. Had you done the same, you might have gotten the job.


Read the entire posting here:
http://thoughtleadersllc.blogspot.com/2007/12/his-name-is-angel.html
Also – see the original Receptionist Test post:
https://notjobs.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/tip-beware-the-receptionist-test/

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Entry filed under: Interviewing, NotJobs, Tips. Tags: , , , , .

“Overqualified” or “Overattituded”? How NOT to help someone get a job: Capes!

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My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.

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