The Little Things

As someone who has been in the game a long time, I sometimes forget how far from basic many of the basics really are. For example, I take for granted that it’s a good idea to budget LOTS of extra time traveling to an interview. Not just five minutes or fifteen, but at least half an hour or an hour.
Showing up on time is a key hiring criteria for the vast majority of interviewers, but most people allow themselves only a few minutes of grace for traffic, parking, restrooms, and other unforeseen necessities. When a 3-5 minute window can mean the difference between hired and not hired, income and unemployment, it makes sense to err on the side of caution.
Signing in more than five minutes early isn’t a great idea either, so what do you do if you budget an extra hour and everything goes right? What if, heaven forbid, you get there REALLY, REALLY EARLY? Oh, the humanity!
Alright, it’s obviously not that bad. Maybe even good. You can sit in the car for a few minutes, take a pre-interview pit stop, or swing by Starbucks and grab a cup of coffee (or if you get a little too hyper on caffeine – like I do – a cup of decaf hot tea).
If you’re really a go-getter, consider bringing printouts of the job description or hopping on the internet to do a few extra minutes of research. Close your eyes and relax a little. Use the extra time to get ready or relax; either one can make you feel a whole lot better. Whatever you do, give yourself the extra time, and remember that it’s often the little things that end up making the biggest difference.

One thought on “The Little Things

  1. Nice tips! I have one to add that doesn’t fit in any of your cteegorias: Keep your social media profiles set to PRIVATE! These days, employers are not only doing background checks, but they’re also Googling job candidates to see what’s out there on them. It’s fine to have a Facebook or MySpace (do people even use that site anymore?!) profile, but keep it private. That way your potential future employer doesn’t get to see anything on your page (such as pics of your drunken spring break trip).I once worked at a magazine and heard from the internship director that they had an internship candidate they were interested in, but when they Googled her, they discovered she had posted on her MySpace page, I accepted an internship just so I can spend the summer at the beach in Cali. Needless to say, she no longer had the internship after the company read that.The only exception to this rule would be if you have a LinkedIn account. Those accounts are made for networking and business purposes, so definitely keep that one public. Just make sure everything you link to or post on there is professional.