Chatting with the receptionist

Photo: Jade Copple

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Fire Off an Email to Your Current Boss While You're Talking to the Receptionist

What you think you're doing: Trying not to get fired.

Why it doesn't work: You might be so focused on wowing your interviewer (and getting back to your office for a 3 o'clock call) that you've got blinders on and don't even realize you've been rude to the receptionist, a potential future co-worker in the restroom, or the boss's best friend in the lobby.

What to do instead: Slayter says it's a good practice to treat everyone as if he or she has the opportunity to torpedo your chances of getting the job—or to sing your praises to the person who's deciding whether to hire you.