One of the quickest ways to fail in an interview is to ignore, be discourteous, or be disrespectful to receptionists and support staff.
Some job candidates believe that they do not need to be at their best behavior in front of support staff, and then “turn it on” for the professionals who will actually interview them.
It is a common fallacy to assume that the relative position of a person on the corporate ladder is predicative of how much influence that person has in the organization. Rank, experience, and influence do not always correspond. People with influence are those whose opinions are important—not necessarily because they rank high on the org chart, but because they have acknowledged expertise, experience, or because of their association with people of authority.
Job candidates: a condescending attitude could cost you a job offer. Be courteous around everyone you meet and watch what you say. Assume that every person—the receptionists, assistants, and support staff—may have an input into the hiring decision. They will convey their negative perceptions to the hiring managers.