You'd be surprised at how little things make a difference during an interview.
One of the things that I try to do during that short blip of time I have with a potential employer is to find some common ground that helps form a bit of a bond between us. So, if I notice that my interviewer has an iPhone, I make sure I find a moment to mention that I also have an iPhone and how much I love it. At one job interview, it turned out that just about all the employees had an iPhone, which give us something fun, yet technical to talk about. (eventually, I did get an offer for that job, but the timing was off and I had a contract that I decided not to break).
Recently, at an interview for a job that I want very, very much, I mentioned that I had recently purchased a MacBook and was using VMware on it. Turns out, most of the employees also have Macs as their home machines (and the CTO is an iPhone user as well, we had a nice little chat about that). Again, something that makes me look like I could become "one of them."
So, while it may seem that splurging on an expensive laptop while unemployed and keeping an expensive smartphone is an extravagance, these items are turning out to be beneficial in demonstrating that I'm keeping up to date on the latest technical gadgets. And for the potential employers that I'm considering, it seems to make just a tiny bit of difference. In this time of fierce competition, that tiny bit of difference can make ALL the difference.
I might now be able to justify buying a Wii now. All the cool startup companies have one on site these days. If I get one of those jobs, I think I might need to have some Wii expertise:-)
Still on a positive trend with the work scene. I expect a second interview next week and still expecting to hear from another company about scheduling a second interview. And, more calls from recruiters about contract jobs. Unfortunately, most of the contract jobs are ridiculously low-paying. Barely above minimum wage. I'd rather stay on unemployment while I still have $$$ in the bank.