Friday, November 9, 2007

From the Gate Keeper

In his book, "Swim with the Sharks" Harvey Mackay states that as CEO of his company he ranks the following two positions as the most key in generating revenue for any organization:

1. Vice President of Sales

2. The Office Receptionist

While the first is pretty obvious, he goes on to explain that the Receptionist, a.k.a. "Gate Keeper" has the power to set the tone of the business relationship. By being the initial contact for the majority of new and existing clients and business partners, their appearance, demeanor, and professionalism can have a significant impact.

In addition to being "the voice" of your company, the Gate Keeper often serves as the "filter" or "tie breaker" when it comes to new hires. If you have a borderline interview, the Gate Keeper can have the swing vote.

We are fortunate to have some words of wisdom from one of the good friends of the blog, Michele, who has graciously agreed to share her insight on the hiring process from the Gate Keeper's seat.

“Signs that your job interview is not going to go well” ….and this is before you even get past the front desk!

  • You did not bother to check the company website (or MapQuest for that matter) and print directions to your interview location and therefore you must call the company’s front desk and suck up the receptionist’s valuable time getting directions from her.
  • You arrive late and cannot remember the name of the person that is supposed to be interviewing you. You will have to play a game of “Name that Supervisor” with the receptionist till she figures out the name of your interviewer for you.
  • You have forgotten to bring a pen to fill out the application, thereby forcing you to sheepishly request a pen from the receptionist. (That look on her face is NOT one of concern, it is disgust at your most basic of faux pas.) If you DO forget to bring a pen, and the receptionist has to lend you one, make no mistake about it, it WILL be "THE RED PEN OF SHAME" and there will be a sweet smile as it is handed to you, with the claim there are no spare pens in black or blue. Going forward, the red ink will alert EVERY person with whom you interview, that you have committed the ultimate sin of not bringing your own writing instrument.
  • Then you ask what the date is……
  • You attempt to fill out the application but are interrupted by personal calls on your cellphone, which has rung out the most obnoxious tune because you forgot to turn the ringer off. (Trust me, the receptionist is NOT amused, she is annoyed by this.)
  • And finally, in the event that your nerves cause you to be a little more awkward than usual and you spill your coffee, clean it up. The Gate Keeper knows all, sees all, but is not responsible for your messes.


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1 comment:

Michele said...

One other thing I neglected to mention. If you DO forget to bring a pen, and I have to lend you one of MINE, make no mistake about it, it WILL be "THE RED PEN OF SHAME" and I will smile sweetly as I hand it to you, claiming I have no spare pens in black or blue. Going forward, this will alert EVERY person you interview with in the company, that you have committed the ultimate sin of not bringing your own writing instrument.....Cheers, Michele The Gate Keeper