Ways To Kill Time During Interview Breaks

iStockphoto.com |  shironosov

iStockphoto.com | shironosov


You're invited to interview for your dream job. On the agenda ithere's a 30-minute time slot labelled "Break."  This means that they couldn't find somebody to fill that period of time, and they need to park you in a conference room or the lobby for a while.

You should plan for downtime, and how to use it. Keep in mind that even if you're not in an interview, the company will still be watching how you respond. Here are some suggestions to  occupy your time:

  • Prior to the interview, print the job description, the agenda, relevant articles about the company, and the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewers. Bring them. Read them. Should someone pass by, they'll see you're taking your day seriously.
  • Bring (an appropriate) magazine to read. People will consider what you're reading - if you're interviewing for a job as a fashion buyer, flipping through Vogue won't hurt your case.
  • Review your employment application for accuracy. Any mistakes can cause problems during a background check.
  • Take inventory of the business cards you received during your interviews. When you're getting ready to send thank you notes, you'll need names and addresses and you can ask the Corporate Recruiter at the end of the day for the information of anyone you may have missed.
  • Ask for a nature break. Gotta go? This is the time. Return promptly in case the next interviewer is ready.

A few other things to consider:

  • Resist the urge to check your phone. It's tempting – you really want to know what's going on at work while you're out, but don't do it. Your phone should be off from the moment you arrive at the interview. What if you forget to turn it off and it rings during an interview? Even worse, what if you jump on a call during your break, the next interviewer arrives, and you can't get off the phone?
  • Don't get too casual. Keep a professional posture. Don't assume nobody is watching - the interviewers will be.
  • Never assume there will be something to occupy you where you wait. Be prepared with something to read. Staring into space because you've got nothing to look at makes you look like you're on a bad acid trip.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website,