Human Resources departments have a lot of moving parts, and seemingly as many conductors. It can be hard to remember all the different people you may come in contact with during the interview process, especially if you’re interviewing with a large company. One of the most important things to remember is that while you're waiting to sit down in a seat in front of a hiring manager, the process is continuing to move in the background within the HR team. Whether you’re submitting an application, working with an HR administrator to schedule an interview, or even greeting someone at the front desk or in the elevator on your way in for your interview, you never know how that interaction may be interpreted.
These interactions are where first impressions are made, and by the time you sit down face-to-face with a hiring manager, you’re already well into the vetting process. HR teams work very collaboratively, and therefore it’s important to build relationships with each person you come into contact with during the process. It may be a little thing like striking up a conversation or smiling at them in the elevator, writing an email to thank the receptionist for the coffee he brought you while you waited for the hiring manager to wrap up the meeting before your interview, or going out of your way to keep the lines of communication open and be transparent during the information gathering phase of the process.
Pro Tip: In an interview process, and at work in general, you are always being evaluated, at every touch point, from beginning to end.
As a candidate, understand that there will likely be some delays in the process, but ultimately a good recruiter will respect your time and value the time of the employees they bring into the organization. You can expect a good recruiter to be transparent, responsive, and to help guide you towards success whether it's the role that you're interviewing for, or perhaps a future opportunity.
The stress of a job search can make even routine delays as annoyance for you, but treating people in the organization with respect and appreciation from beginning to end, especially when the process stalls, isn’t just a good tip when you're thinking about job interviews, it's also a good way to live your life in general.
Many interviewees don't fully consider the impact of their interactions at initial or discreet touch points throughout the process. If you are short with the person that is scheduling your interview, the hiring manager is going to find out about it, and that can definitely get you off on the wrong foot in your interview.