Phone Off, Game Face On

Look Up and Look Around

Engaging and absorbing your environment is a part of everyday life,
whether you’re patiently waiting to start your job interview or you’re playing
catch with your best friend in the middle of a summer day, you’re always observtextinging the world around you. You are taking in a breath of fresh air and the sounds of the children laughing nearby; nothing can grab your attention away right now. Then, you hear a sort of buzzing noise, you slide your hand into your pocket and reach for your phone and your attention to the world around you quickly turns off. You are now in a world of your own in this small device that seems to control what you think, how you think, and when you think it. This device takes all the attention off the pavement you’re walking on and the ball you’re supposed to be catching and makes you unaware of the environment around you. This might be okay if you are in a social situation, but it is not acceptable in a professional environment.

There are hundreds of articles about people who take their phones out while they are in the waiting room of a job interview. Nowadays, people cannot leave their house without a cellphone. It is used for protection, for awkward situations, for entertainment, and to pass the time. Our eyes are glued to our phones whether we are with friends, with family or even in a professional setting. If you want to put your best foot forward, especially in an interview, ignore the urge to grab your phone and scroll through your Facebook Newsfeed. The inability to take your eyes off of your phone can make you seem obsessed and easily distracted. People who are taking out their phone while waiting for their interviewer are killing their first impression. Put the phone away! There are so many other things you can do to prevent the urge to stare at the device in your pocket: When waiting for your interview, for example:

  1. Practice the answers to your potential interview questions or questions about the  company in your head.
  2. Look around the office and understand the company culture. Analyze the environment and the people walking in and around the office. Are there any awards or recognition certificates on the wall?
  3. Talk to the receptionist. Ask them how their day is going (and always be polite to them!)
  4. Generate potential questions for the end of the interview.

look-upOverall, we are taking too much time away from more important things like conversing with new faces and catching up with family members. We are spending more time looking into the face of our phone than to the face of our aging parents and grandparents. We are missing the world around us while trying not to miss all the drama happening on our favorite social networking website. We need to stop bringing out the phone, especially in professional environments. We need to turn the phone off, leave it in the car, direct the calls to voicemail, or tell people the time slot in which you are unavailable. We need to look up and look around at the world and soak up everything we see.

 The next time you catch yourself in an important situation with your phone in your hand, remember to put the phone down, turn the buzz off, look up and look around; you will be amazed at what you would have missed if you were looking at your cellphone.

Kristen Smith

Bryant University 2017


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