8 Small Details With a Big Impact on Your Interview

Do you have a job interview pending? If you lost your previous position due to current world events, you probably have a lot on the line. So how can you make the best impression possible?

When it comes to interviews, small details can make the difference between hearing, “You’re hired,” and returning to the unemployment line. The following eight tips can help you wow your prospective new boss and receive that valuable offer.

1. Your Promptness

Bad traffic happens — but it won’t make you late for your interview if you prepare. Experts recommend adding a half-hour or more to your travel time to account for accidents and road repairs. You might also consider an app like Waze that helps you navigate around potential slow spots. 

If your interview is first thing in the morning, and you are a heavy sleeper, set multiple alarm clocks. It’s usually wise to keep your cellphone out of the bedroom, but if you need it as a backup, you can make one exception. 

2. Your Attire

Even if you’re interviewing with a laid-back company, you need to dress your best for your interview. That doesn’t mean you have to don a 3-piece suit if you’re interviewing for a plumbing job. However, you should wear neatly pressed trousers and a button-down shirt. 

Regardless of the formality of your attire, pay attention to color choices. CareerBuilder polled over 2,000 HR representatives and hiring professionals, and they cited orange as the worst hue because it’s unconventional. Stick with traditional blue, black and gray suits or wear neutral tones for more casual dress codes. 

3. Your Attitude Toward Staff

You don’t know if the receptionist is the owner’s niece, but that isn’t the only reason to treat all staff members — and potential colleagues — with respect. A person’s rank and job title don’t always correlate to their influence in the company.

If your prospective employer hears wind that you treated their secretary or janitor disrespectfully, they’ll question your character and seek candidates with a higher level of emotional intelligence. 

4. Your Handshake

Do your pre-interview jitters leave you with arms weak and palms sweaty? Don’t let your interviewer know you feel as nervous as that fellow in the Eminem tune. Nearly everyone carries hand sanitizer in today’s COVID world. Use a dollop before shaking hands. If anyone spies you, they’ll think you’re following hygiene protocols, not sopping up excess moisture. 

What if you hesitate to touch strangers due to the pandemic? Your fears are understandable even though the handshake is an ingrained part of business etiquette in American culture. Use your judgment. It’s okay to say, “I’d love to shake your hand, but I want to respect your health.” If the interviewer says they don’t mind, but you do, consider whether you’d feel comfortable working in that corporate culture. 

5. Your Preparation 

If your interviewer asks what excites you about the position and you respond, “The salary,” don’t expect an offer. Take time to research the company online. This process benefits you, too — do you agree with the prospective employer’s mission statement? Their values? What potential areas do you see for business growth, and how can you contribute to that endeavor? 

6. Your Attention to Detail 

If your socks don’t match, your interviewer might notice if you cross your legs during the interview — and they won’t necessarily consider it a charming quirk. If you think you can skip your lower half for video interviews, think again.

What happens if a prospective employer asks to see your home office and catches a glimpse of your Snoopy boxer shorts when you stand up? Always wear pants if you don’t want to blow your chances by violating the sexual harassment policy right off the bat. 

7. Your Insightful Questions 

You don’t have to dread the “What questions do you have?” inquiry if you make a list and check it twice. It’s wise to prepare both general and company-specific questions to indicate interest. You can inquire about opportunities for growth and advancement or ways to tackle the organization’s highest priorities if hired. 

Save questions about benefits and paid leave until after they extend you the offer but before acceptance. It’s understandable if you need health insurance to cover chronic medical issues, but you don’t want to lose any opportunities in a tight economy. 

8. Your Follow-Up

Before leaving the interview room, ask all interviewers for their business cards. That way, you have their correct name spelling and title for your follow up email. Many people neglect to thank prospective employers for their time, and doing so can sway the odds in your favor if it’s a tight race between two candidates.

Send your thank you within the first 48 hours of speaking with your recruiters and re-emphasize what makes you ideal. 

Master These Details to Land the Job of Your Dreams

Today’s job market is one of the most challenging in recent memory. However, by following the above tips, you can land your dream career.

About the Author:

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.

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