Friends in High Places

One of the worst mistakes you can make in your job search is to treat the secretary (a/k/a administrative assistant or executive assistant) poorly or on an inferior basis. The secretary usually has a great deal of influence over whether or not you will be hired. One of the first things I do after an interview is ask my executive assistant what she thinks of the person. If the person was rude to her or treated her disrespectfully, the person is automatically eliminated from consideration! That's right—no matter how well the candidate did in the interview, if he or she was not equally impressive to my executive assistant, I know that the person was a fake and was just putting on a good show in the interview. The secretary/admin is one of the best "friends" you can have within the company. But do not go beyond standard business protocol. I have also disqualified some in the past for coming on to my assistant. Be professional.

One other important tidbit is to always take note of the secretary's name. It's a scary thought, but this person may be the actual Guardian of the Gate you will need to get past when you call the manager again at a later date. Make friends now so that you have an ally later.