What to Do While Waiting in the Lobby for Your Interview


Landing a job interview is an exciting first step toward achieving professional success, but it’s essential to make a strong impression when you walk in the door. Your interview experience begins as soon as you arrive, and you’ll likely find yourself nervously waiting in the lobby for an interview to begin.

During this waiting period, it’s crucial to maintain the utmost professionalism, as your behavior in the lobby can be just as vital to your job prospects as your answers during the actual interview.

So, what can you do while waiting in the lobby for your interview to ensure you don’t inadvertently undermine your chances of getting hired? Here are some tips to help you make the most of this crucial pre-interview time:

Be patient and composed.

First and foremost, practice patience and composure. Avoid constantly checking your watch and phone – this includes texting, playing games, making personal calls, or scrolling on social media. Even if the receptionist informs you that the interviewer is running late, remain calm and collected. Demonstrating your ability to handle minor setbacks and unexpected delays showcases your professionalism and adaptability in a business setting.

Be polite.

Remember to be polite and courteous in every interaction you have. Simple things like saying thank you when someone holds a door open for you, or exchanging friendly greetings with others in the lobby, can go a long way. These interactions provide valuable insight to potential employers about your emotional intelligence and your ability to fit into the company culture as a team player.

Rehearse in your head.

Since you aren’t distracting yourself with your watch, your phone, or a lobby magazine, you can use this time wisely to practice! Rehearse your interview responses in your head, reflect on the skills and qualifications you want to highlight and go through anecdotes that demonstrate your professional aptitude. Having a mental checklist of your key talking points can help you stay focused and confident when the interview actually begins.

Visualize success.

It’s natural to feel nervous while waiting. Try to visualize a successful interview – you want to convey as much confidence as you can during the actual interview. Instead of dwelling on potential pitfalls, use this downtime to picture yourself acing this interview. Visualizing success can help boost your confidence and mindset, making a positive impression when you meet with the interviewer.

Your interview journey begins long before you sit down in the interview room. The moments spent in the lobby while waiting offer a unique chance to display your professionalism, patience, and composure. By applying these valuable tips, you can create a positive impression that paves the way for a successful interview – and a new job!

At The Reserves Network, we’re committed to helping job seekers like you secure great interviews and take significant strides toward a fulfilling career. Reach out to us today to discover how our staffing services can provide valuable support throughout your job search journey!


This post has been updated as of Feb. 8, 2024, from a previous blog originally published in 2017.