Hello. It is a pleasure to meet you. I’m glad we were able to find a convenient interview time so quickly.
Let me explain how this process works. You were waiting in the reception area for around five minutes. You arrived a little early and scored a few points for that. (You’d be surprised at how many job applicants in Kenya show up late for interviews and how many don’t appear at all, so I appreciate your beating the clock.)
Why? Because after we’ve completed this formal interview and you’ve departed, I’ll ask the receptionist and perhaps the askari as well for their opinions. If they note that you seemed a little nervous, that’s fine. If they say that you were quiet and polite, that’s great. But if they report that you were rude, condescending, or unprofessional in any way, that’s a problem. A very big problem.
And you can bet that it will sit in the back of my mind when I review your answers to my structured interview questions.
I’m not expecting you to charm the staff. (Be a tad too familiar and that also sets off alarm bells.) I do, however, expect courteous, friendly, and respectful behavior. Most of us don’t care for people who kiss up and kick down. That’s why the way you treat my staff may be more important than your ability to write a great strategic plan or those marketing plans.
And by the way, no one ever lost points for saying, “Thank you,” to the receptionist on the way out.
Moral of the story. Be ‘nice’ to those who may not ‘matter’ at that moment.
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