14 Things Successful Candidates Do the Night before a Job Interview
The night before a job interview is usually a bit stressful. You might be thinking about what will happen if you forget the responses you have 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 will 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. Set out your clothes. Make the most of your appearance. Select clothes that are flattering and professional. Try each item on to ensure it is in good condition and fits well. Decide on your accessories, keep those professional and tasteful. In the era of video interviews, this is your friendly reminder to wear pants still.
3. Organize your materials. Bring along anything you might need (or have them readily available if this is a video or phone interview) from a good quality pen and notebook to a mini sewing kit, lint roller, and breath mints. Write out a list so you will know you are 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, take an online fitness class, go for a run, or walk around the block.
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 light 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. For online/video interviews, verify your connections work and that you have all the necessary login information. Also, consider asking family members or roommates to free up some bandwidth for you.
8. Budget extra time. Create a buffer so you will have time to spare. If you arrive too early, you can check your hair, go to the restroom, or walk around the block to burn off nervous energy.
9. Get a good night’s sleep. Enjoy relaxing activities that help lull you to sleep. 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 would 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 have 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 will 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 have 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 will feel more assured knowing that you have prepared yourself to be on top of your game.