The night before a job interview is usually a bit stressful. You might be thinking about what would happen if you forget the responses you've been practicing or get lost on the way there. You might be wondering how you stack up against the other candidates or whether you have enough relevant experience.
At the same time, you want to show up confident and prepared so that you'll make a positive impression. To increase your chances of receiving a job offer, run down this checklist for what to do on interview eve.
Preparing for an Interview - Managing the Logistics:
1. Set your alarm.
Showing up on time is a must. Even if you usually wake up naturally, take the extra precaution of programming your alarm.
2. Lay out your clothes.
Make the most of your appearance. Select clothes that are flattering and professional. Try each item on to ensure it’s in good condition. Decide on your accessories too.
3. Organize your materials.
Bring along anything you might need, from a good-quality pen and notebook to a mini sewing kit and breath mints. Write out a list so you’ll know you’re ready for anything.
4. Minimize stress.
Try to avoid distractions and conflicts. Postpone any sensitive discussions or unpleasant tasks for another time.
5. Work out.
Deal with any remaining tension constructively. Go to the gym or take a run around the park.
6. Eat well.
Give your mind and body the fuel they need to function well. Eat a balanced dinner early in the evening. Start assembling your breakfast so it will take just minutes in the morning. Mix up a smoothie or bake a casserole.
7. Check the directions.
Confirm the address and any instructions the company gave you. Check on road construction and weather conditions that might cause delays. Look up your exact route online.
8. Budget extra time.
Create a buffer so you’ll have time to spare. If you arrive too early, you can check your hair or walk around the block.
9. Get a good night's sleep.
Enjoy relaxing activities that help lull you to sleep. Read or do needlework. Turn off the TV and computer at least 2 hours before bed.
Preparing for an Interview - Enhancing Your Performance:
1. Develop some small talk.
One way to show that you’d be a pleasant colleague is to brush up on your conversation. Scan the news for interesting topics or find something unique about the local neighborhood that you can mention.
2. Update your research.
You’ve probably read plenty of material about the company by the time you schedule an interview, but it helps to know any breaking news. Check their website and social media pages.
3. Outline your agenda.
Create a rough draft of each item you want to cover. If the interview stalls, you’ll be able to help guide things along. If the meeting goes smoothly, you can refer to your notes at the end to ensure you have no remaining questions.
4. Rehearse your part.
With relatively few hours left, focus on your top priorities. Review your answers to tough questions or polish one of your success stories.
5. Print out your resume.
However many times you’ve submitted your resume, be sure to bring at least one hard copy along. Someone may ask for it or you can take notes on it.
You can use the night before your job interview to lay the groundwork for success. Take care of important details and put last-minute touches on your performance. You'll feel more assured knowing that you've prepared yourself to be on top of your game.