To Flush or Not to Flush

Last semester I was visiting one of the restrooms in my building when I encountered an individual sitting in the interior entrance; her back against the mirror and feet tucked under, talking on her cell phone. This was not the first time I had encountered someone using the entrance area for this purpose. In any given month I overhear bits and pieces of arguments with family members, the one-sided part of a relationship breakup, and casual conversations with friends about where and when to meet for lunch or dinner. You’ll have to trust me on this, but I can assure you that the entrance area, though expansive, is not designed for people to talk on the phone. The bathroom stalls and sinks are just feet away.

Now how does this relate to career development? On that one day, last semester, I overheard the following conversation:

“At my last internship at company X I had to do a lot or writing and I know I could use those skills in this job. I am really good at setting weekly deadlines…”

“Yes, I could definitely move.”

As I listened, it became clear to me that this was not a casual call to a friend, but rather the individual was in the midst of a job interview. I wanted to motion wildly to suggest that she take the conversation out into the hallway (it is quiet there), but did not want to distract her. So there I stood, considering a few options, and wondering about the ultimate question, “to flush or not to flush!”

I then wondered, “Do I really need to tell people not to have an interview in a bathroom?” I am going to assume that I don’t! However, just in case you are wondering about where best to have a phone interview, identify a place in which you can:

  1. Feel professional
  2. Focus without distractions
  3. Lay out supportive materials in front of you for quick reference (CV or résumé, information about the employer, and a copy of the job posting)
  4. Hear the interviewer without competing noise

For more tips on phone and webcam interviews review the content in the following two blogs:

Our Top Phone Interview Tips

Respect the Webcam – Tips for Acing that Online Video Interview

Additionally, to schedule a practice interview with our department, visit or call our office at (860) 486-3013.

By Kay Kimball Gruder
Kay Kimball Gruder Assistant Director of Graduate Student Career Programs and Services Kay Kimball Gruder