I am sure there must be lot of How To's online describing how you should behave and present yourself and your company to prospective employees. Here is my addition to that list but as a short how to on how to not meet prospective employees and/or their families. This how to applies very easily for IT companies but the cases might apply for non-IT companies also.
In the following I use 'them' to indicate prospective employees and/or their families.
1) The most important thing is that you should not meet them in dirty clothes. This applies even if the clothes were dirtied by odd jobs that you were doing at work.
2) You should definitely not meet them while holding your work tools, especially if they are tools like carpenters plane, chisel hammer etc and yours is an IT company.
3) Saw dust all over your face, hair and dress is an absolute no no if yours is an IT company.
4) You should not have furniture lying in disorder and half used paint jars thrown about in your office when they drop by.
5) You should not have half done furnishing and painting work in your office when they come to see your office
6) You should not have sheets of plywood piled in your office and especially your cabin.
7) You should not have chairs crowded in an office room to make space for painting when you take them to visit the development centers.
8) You should not have more people working on your furnishing and painting than on software when they visit the office.
These are the should not's I have compiled based my experience today. One of my prospective employees turned up today to visit the premises and to see the working environment. We were smack in the middle of some renovation work we were doing at our office. And to top it all I was doing some carpentry work myself. I consider myself a versatilist with reasonably good carpentry skills. Very often I like to fine tune parts of work left not quite perfect (in my opinion) by carpenters (and for that matter painters, electricians and the list goes on). I have not been quite getting the time to get my hands on such work ever since I started Zyxware. But today I got into the mood and could not help myself from giving it a shot.
I was slightly lost in spite of my typical carefree attitude. I however regained my cheerfulness and invited the employee and family in and showed around the place and explained about the work. I have no real idea how they took the whole incident. I could only but imagine. Imagine the CEO of a software company greeting potential employees and their families with saw dust all over the face and carpentry tools in hand. It must have been quite an experience for the people. Given my hidden agenda to destroy stereotypes and mind sets I must really have destroyed the stereotype they had about software company CEOs :)