A man enters an office building to interview for his dream job. After preparing thoroughly for the job interview, he’s feeling confident. After all, he’s done thorough research about the company, printed out extra copies of his expertly written resume and even had a friend help him through a few mock interviews.
Now, it’s his time to shine.
He strides through the office doors, extends his hand and greets the first person he sees with his well-rehearsed, firm handshake. “Good morning!” he cheerfully announces. “I am here for my job interview, and know I can be an asset to the organization.”
“That’s…wonderful!” replies the slightly confused hiring manager. “We’re happy to interview all qualified candidates. However – typically – we expect them to wear pants.”
Ah, details! They’re those tricky little things that are so easy to forget, but also utterly invaluable.Okay, so maybe pants aren’t necessarily a minor detail, but this particular job interview horror story highlights a commonly made mistake. All too often, job seekers are so laser focused on the biggest elements of the interview process – bringing the right application materials, practicing expected interview questions, and so on – that they can completely miss a little something that, ultimately, costs them the job.
To avoid being caught with your pants down, we’ve compiled seven little job interview tips that can make a big difference.
Leave the Pets at Home
Your dog or cat might be an Instagram superstar, but that hair that’s all over your suit jacket is certainly not. When you live with a pet, random hair on pretty much everything becomes the new normal. However, once in public, these stray hairs stand out! Don’t let Fido’s ‘do distract from you on interview day; invest in a lint roller and be sure to touch up before stepping into the office.
Avoid a Hairy Situation
Obviously, no one wants their bad hair day and their job interview to land on the same day. Aside from styling at home, job seekers should consider keeping supplies in their car or travel bag for last minute touch-ups as needed. However, there are other types of hair that are harder to tackle last minute. From too-dark stubble to a shaggy-looking beard, sloppy facial hair can send the wrong signal to employers. Be sure to clean up your look with a trim or shave!
Is there anything worse than the pressure of having to go to the bathroom when you know you can’t? Then, your job interviewer’s questions suddenly start making things worse, “If you could be a rushing river or a waterfall, which would you be?” To avoid a stressful situation, consider getting situated early at the interview site and visiting the bathroom. As an added bonus, the trip also gives you extra time to touch up in front of a mirror.
Beat the Meter
Nothing undercuts statements about being organized, committed and focused on a job than asking to be excused to pay for parking. Be sure to add more time than you expect to need to any parking meter if you drive a car to the job interview. For commuters using public transit or ride sharing services, be sure to review your route before the big day. Unfamiliar routes can come with unexpected delays, so it pays to plan ahead.
Ready to Shine
Job seekers need to look professional from head to toe. Unfortunately, many of us spend so much time focusing on the first part, we neglect to look down at the second. Our shoes tackle countless messy obstacles day-in and day-out, including dirt, mud, salt and any general muck your mother wouldn’t want you to track through the house. It might seem like a small detail, but a quick clean and a spotless shine can certainly turn heads on interview day. Don’t let what’s on your feet defeat the rest of your appearance!
Don’t Gum Up the Works
On the one hand, no one wants to make a first introduction with bad breath. On the other hand, chomping away on spearmint during questions is extremely unprofessional and distracting.It’s okay to freshen up, but be sure to dispose of any gum or mints before stepping into the interview room.
A subtle perfume or cologne can add a signature touch to your job interview style. However, when it comes to scents, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Strong smells can be distracting to many people, and you wouldn’t want a fragrance to detract from the content of your career. If you plan to use scent-infused products before your next job interview, stick with the old adage – less is more.
While you might not forget to wear pants on interview day, it can be easy to forget the little things. Don’t let the stress of preparation blind you to the small elements that can have a big impact on employers! Do you have any other job interview tips that may slip people’s minds? Big or small, share them all in our comment section below!