10 years ago
January 7, 2015

6 Small Interview Details That Could Get You The Job

Never wear white socks to an interview. 
A manager I once had often tells a story about a sales candidate he was interviewing…

Rhys Metler

White Socks

Never wear white socks to an interview. 

A manager I once had often tells a story about a sales candidate he was interviewing who arrived a few minutes late, appeared to be a bit flustered and worst of all, was wearing white socks. A tiny detail? In this case, absolutely not. Candidates often overlook crucial points of preparation for first interviews when mistakes that might seem small are made much larger by the importance of that initial meeting. Here are 6 Small Details That Could Get You The Job:

1. Dress the part. 

What kind of a job are you interviewing for? Make sure to dress as if you already had the job, and perhaps a bit better. In the white socks example above, the candidate was interviewing for a role that would require him to be very well dressed every day. Besides his tardiness and confusion, this fashion mistake confirmed that he did not have the “polish” necessary for that job. If you think you’d be in a golf shirt most of the time, throw on a sports jacket for the interiew. 

2. Grab the Iron… and the Lint Roller!

How important is a crisply ironed shirt? About as important as a first impression! Even if you are dressed correctly hiring managers will notice your wrinkled shirt and the cat hair all over your pants and you can’t afford to put any doubts in their mind.

3. Look up

I once interviewed a candidate who stared at some spot on the table for an entire interview. After two minutes I stopped wondering what he was looking at and started trying to find a way to end our meeting. Regardless of his qualifications, how could I trust that he wouldn’t interact with clients in the same way?

4. Smile

Every hiring manager believes that there is a certain amount of enthusiasm and energy required to be a successful salesperson, and I can’t tell you the number of candidates that have been rejected due to “lack of energy”. The easiest way to energize your interview is to be engaged, make lots of eye contact and be sure to smile… but make sure to read number 5!

5. Don’t Smile Too Much

Many candidates have heard that they need to smile in an interview, and some just take it too far. One candidate spent the first 15 minutes of our interview with a pained expression on his face. I finally realized that he had been forcing a smile the whole time! I addressed this directly, telling him that smiling is important, but make sure it is appropriate and certainly don’t force it. 

6. Know Your Resume

Maybe you threw together an updated resume and didn’t look at it beyond your last few roles. Remember that your resume is the only resource a hiring manager has about you. You better know exactly what you have on your resume; if the hiring manager knows what is on your resume better than you do, that is a major red flag.


More Job Search Resources:

5 Sales Resume Mistakes to Avoid

Linkedin for Sales: 4 Profile Improvements You Can Make Right Now

Interview Etiquette: When (and How) to Follow Up 

Download: Sample Sales Resume 

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.