4 Small Things That Could Make Or Break Your Interview

photo: rocky barnes


You know the basics. Arrive on time, be polite, and don’t turn up in flip-flops. You get it – but for some reason, you still haven’t got this interview thing nailed. It may be time to look at the small details that often get overlooked so that from now on you can stand out from the crowd and shine that bit brighter.

Don’t forget to be aware of how you present yourself early on. I’m not talking about the initial handshake. Rather, when you first enter the building (or even before). How you greet the receptionist and whether you smile at others you pass in the corridor are all being noted. Although you may be nervous, remember the interview may have already begun. Be mindful of this and present your best self to start off right.

As with all successful applications, you need to tailor your interview to express your knowledge and passion for the particular role and company. By knowing the company history and any exciting projects underway, you can let your interviewer know that you are committed to them. Tailor your answers to complement the company values (check out their website!) and the skills they are seeking, as per the job specification.

One trick I learned that landed me a job that I was inexperienced for on paper, is to bring a small report to the interview. Here you can include data on successes from your previous role and an assessment or list of ideas for the company you are interviewing for. This way you are showing initiative, showcasing your skills, and providing a memorable element to your interview process.

If you don’t ask questions at the end of the interview you risk looking disinterested. Although it can be tempting to offer a limp handshake and make a run for the door – these last few moment can be crucial to locking down that dream job. Stick in there and ask a few well thought out and specific questions ideally relevant to current projects or future developments.


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  1. I am one of the weird few people in the world that just loves interviewing – it is something of a fun game for me! My best piece of advice I offer to friends who are interview is to think of it as a conversation – you need to make sure this is a job that you would enjoy working at just like they need to make sure they would enjoy working with you! Sometimes the job works out and sometimes it does not – but at the end of the day if you were being true to yourself and they were being true to their company value than the right thing will almost always happen.

  2. I’m always so nervously, and ‘politely British’, that I find it so difficult to think of questions that the end of the interview. Note to self, think of questions before the interview starts :)


  3. These are great tips, we should see as conversation not a scary confrontation :)

  4. Such great tips! I’ve found it helpful to always ask questions like “What sort of work will I be doing?” or “To whom would I directly report to and what would the team be like?” Questions that makes it sound to the interviewers that your quickly thinking about how you fit within their organisation and hierarchy. Most important of all is to always (ALWAYS) be yourself! Even if the job pays amazing and it looks great on paper, you and the firm needs to be a good fit. No point in earning so much money when you don’t enjoy what you do and the atmosphere around you!


  5. I totally agree with everything listed here! Got me my dream job!


  6. Love this post! I’d only apply for the jobs I think would fit me so all of the above make a lot of sense to me…they’re not small things to me!

    xx Alexis
    YouTube “Travel with Alexis”

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