How Pre-Interview Greeters Can Ruin Your Offer


Back to the Bean Counter Mailbag we go!!!

I have interview tomorrow and I know a greeter will be there .. How do I deal with them? Lol

No joke, I know a student who completely screwed himself when I was a greeter at PwC. He kind of called me an “a$$hole” (you’ll see what I mean below). Total face plant.

Here’s what happened…

A greeter is a firm representative (typically not HR) who is there to make conversation with you in the waiting room before your interview. The person is usually a younger member of the firm, like an associate or senior.

It serves as another opportunity for someone from the firm to meet you, and for you to screw up.

That’s exactly what happened with one of the students I met.

Before the interview, he came in and did a great job.

He did everything you should do when you talk to a greeter:

  • Made small talk
  • Had a genuine smile
  • Asked a bunch of question
  • Spoke with me & the recruiter who was also there (yes, HR may be greeter too)

He did great. I even found out after the fact from the interviewer that they LOVED him and he was one of their top picks.

Why didn’t he get the job? Let me tell you.

Before his interview he mentioned that I looked like someone, he could remember who.

At the end, he rushed out and said:

“I remember who you look like now! That a$$hole from the movie <I forgot movie name>”

To be honest, I didn’t think much about it. I was about 21 at the time and for all I know, he was even older than me. I wasn’t offended, put-off, or angry at all.

But…. standing right next to me, HR was furious…

She couldn’t believe he said that.

“What if he said that to a client?”, she said.

And with that sentence, he was out of the mix. He didn’t know it, but it was over for him.

That story pretty much sums up the perils of the “greeter experience”. Like every single experience, email, phone call, message, talk, interview, dinner you have with someone from the firm, it’s another opportunity to shine like a star, or completely face plant.

So if you’re meeting a greeter soon, keep your head about you. Yes, they may be young, but that’s not a reason to “act cool” or “joke around”. Treat them as a professional. Especially if HR is around. The magnifying glass is on you and as stressful as it is to say, any one sentence could ruin your future dreams…

  • Brock Mangus

    HR sweats the small stuff, but still great advice. Everyone involved with an interview assumes your interview behavior is the BEST representation of yourself that they will ever see.