Q+A: How do I treat an interviewer’s secretary

Questions from our readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

Q:  I treat all people with respect, but is there anything to be gained by treating the interviewer’s secretary especially well? Will he/she have any influence?   

A: If you always treat people with respect, then simply continue to do so when you meet the secretary.    

Some secretaries may indeed have some influence with the interviewer, but normal politeness should be fine. Don’t be condescending, don’t bring him flowers, just treat him like an intelligent human being who is doing a good and valuable job.

It’s true that a secretary who likes you can help you over any rough scheduling issues and show you where the coffee pot is  but they see many interviewees so they’ll know when they are being “worked.”

The interviewer is going to be evaluating your experience and work skills and knows best what will fit into the team, so as long as the secretary is not going to say of you, “that person was a real jerk,” then you should be okay.