Are you looking to make more money? If you’re like most employees, the answer is yes. Roughly 50% of respondents in a Salary.com survey said they felt underpaid. About 22% were actually paid below market average. And just 15% were overpaid — lucky them.
Fortunately, if you want to boost your income, there are certain things that can give you an edge during the hiring process. Here are five things in a job interview that can help you earn more money.
1. Good looks
Are you easy on the eyes? Then, you’ll have an easier time snagging a job. No matter what anyone tells you, looks matter. Studies show attractive people are more likely to get a job and earn higher wages. Height and weight could also impact your job prospects. Tall, thin, attractive people have a much easier time charming hiring managers. It might not be fair, but that’s just the way it is.
Next: Don’t believe us? Check out the research.
A study published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found attractive people earn an average of 20% more than those who are less attractive. Furthermore, a study conducted at the University of Florida found for every inch of height, a tall employee can expect to earn an extra $789 each year. You can’t really get taller, so do what you can to look your best on interview day. Wear nice clothes, practice good posture, and smile.
Next: Accept an interviewer’s kindness.
2. Coffee, tea, or water
You might not think a beverage could affect your chances of making more money or getting the job, but it’s possible. Let us explain. At the beginning of your interview, the hiring manager will likely offer you a drink. It’s in your best interest to accept his or her effort to make you more comfortable. Accepting a beverage shows the interviewer you’re friendly and agreeable. The interview is your chance not only to demonstrate you’re a good fit for the job, but also to bond with the interviewer. Making a good impression could work in your favor, as the interviewer will be more likely to work with you when it comes time to talk salary.
Next: What do the surveys say?
Why you should accept a beverage
Roughly 49% of career advisers in a Workopolis survey said poor connection was enough of a reason to pass over a job candidate. One way you can work on that connection is to accept a beverage if your interviewer asks. Here’s what the experts at career website Wet Feet had to say:
If you’re offered a beverage (e.g., water, seltzer, or even coffee or tea) or a snack by the interviewer, you should accept it. Doing so shows openness to your recruiter’s hospitality. In addition, it will guarantee that you will not be rushed out of the interview, as it gives you time to bond with the recruiter over a drink, even if it is only water.
Next: Details matter.
3. A briefcase
Carrying a briefcase to the interview could be one of your best money moves. This interview tip comes from Ramit Sethi, founder of the personal finance website I Will Teach You to Be Rich. His briefcase technique could help you earn a lot more money when it comes time to negotiate because it will show you’re prepared and excited about the job.
Next: How the briefcase method works.
The briefcase method
Once you research a potential employer, make a list of things you think it could improve on. You can accomplish this by putting together a document demonstrating your knowledge of the company and the actions you would take to improve their business. Showing the interviewer how you could help the company solve its problems is a great way to demonstrate how you could be an asset.
When the opportunity presents itself, all you have to do is reach into your briefcase for the proposal, and give it to the interviewer. You would then go over how you could improve things at the company. This move proves you did your research and that you could help the company move forward.
Next: Are you well-connected?
4. Who you know
You might have heard it’s not always what you know but who you know when it comes to getting a desirable job. In most cases, that’s true. One way to work your connections in a job interview is to do a little name-dropping. It’s OK to mention you know someone who works at the company your interviewing with or that you share a common connection with the interviewer. The trick is to be tactful when you’re dropping names.
Next: How to name-drop during an interview.
Name-drop your way to employment
If you and the interviewer have a common connection within your professional or personal network, mention it in passing. The key is timing. For example, during the question-and-answer portion of the interview, you could ask the interviewer why they like working for the company. You could then mention someone you know who works there also likes the company, and that’s partly what made you interested in applying for the job.
Always remember to be subtle when you engage in name-dropping. There should be a natural transition, and your name-dropping technique should flow with the conversation. Otherwise, it will be painfully obvious you’re mentioning certain people in attempt to win over the interviewer.
Next: Don’t be afraid to show off a little.
Advanced degrees are great, but it’s not the only way to demonstrate expertise. Another means of showing you have excelled in a particular area is through obtaining a certification. Competition for a good job can be fierce, so additional skills can do wonders for your job search. Professional certifications can give you an advantage over other applicants by showing you have gone above and beyond to hone your skills.
Next: Show off your skills.
Using certifications to your advantage
Taking a moment to talk about your pursuit of additional education is a good move. It demonstrates you aren’t satisfied with reaching a certain level of success and just resting there. Continuing to learn something new will make you a valuable part of your employer’s team because it reduces the need to train and hire new people. During salary negotiations remember to mention relevant certifications. If you’ve earned certifications that are not required but helpful to have, this might be able to help you move toward the higher end of your desired salary range.
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