The night before an interview can be a stressful time, fill with “what if’s?”. You’re certainly not alone in these thoughts. Which is why you should spend some time the night before doing a little something called preparation! When you are prepared there really is no reason to worry.
The first step is accepting the fact that your mind will do what it can to get in the way. You can fight back though, you just need to prepare. We have made a checklist to make sure that you’re covered on everything in time for your interview.
Lay your outfit
Even if this is something you never do on a regular basis, laying out your outfit the day/night before, ensures you’re not scrambling in the morning to come up with something appropriate. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to check and make sure your shoes match and that your clothes are stain and wrinkle free. It is also a good idea to keep your interview clothes ready, as interviews can be scheduled on short notice.
Pack your bag
Next step, pack your bag with all the essentials. A stain stick, make-up, and of course, a copy of your resume.
Figure out where you’re going and how you’re getting there
Hop on google maps to make sure you know the route and check any emails from the company for important information on parking and entrances. Write down the directions on your phone so you’re ready to go in the morning.
Make sure you are certain of the location. You don’t want to get lost. Not only will your stress level increase, but you could arrive late. If driving, don’t rely solely on google maps. Have a full tank and anticipate traffic. Do a trial run if possible, as well as planning to arrive a little early.
Review answers to the most common questions
You’ve hopefully been practicing for a few days now. If not spend time reviewing what you plan to say. Any amount of preparation is better than none.
Research interviewers and the company
Make sure you not only know names, but also titles and department. If you have time, do a quick Google and LinkedIn search to get a little background on them.
This kind of pre-interview research will inform your answers and help you break the ice.
Find out if there have been any developments, has the company launched a new product? Acquired a new company? Knowing up-to-date information demonstrates an interest in the company.
Print out your CV
The hiring manager may have your CV to hand, or they may not. Prepare for the person walking in not only empty-handed, but also with a few extras who would love to see a copy.
Plan breakfast or lunch
You may not be in the habit of eating breakfast, but when you have an interview, you should make an exception. Hunger can throw you off your game, so make sure to eat a light breakfast/lunch.
Prepare for the worst
Bad things happen: it starts raining, there’s traffic, you spill something. While some things can’t be prevented or predicted, you can still prepare for the worst. Give yourself extra time if you’re worried about traffic. If you’re worried about blanking on an interview, learn how to stall time. You can also carry extra clothes in case of stains etc.
Create a cheat sheet
This can be a lifesaver when your moments away from meeting the hiring manager and blanking on their name. So, jot down all the nitty-gritty details; who you’re meeting with and what their titles are, a couple of past work accomplishments/stories you want to bring up and the questions you want to ask at the end.
Set your alarm
A good night’s sleep is your secret weapon for a job interview ensuring you’re at your most charming and lively.
Prepare for small talk
Usually, an interview will start with some small talk in which you should participate. In addition to discussing what you have found on the company website, be familiar with what’s going on in the world/nation/community.