Almost everything hinges on the all-important job interview, and you want to do all you can to ensure it goes smoothly. This means starting your preparations the night before interview day. Here are 11 things to do on the eve of your interview to keep yourself focused, organized and stress-free come morning.
1. Pack an Emergency Kit
Put a few just-in-case items in your purse or bag to prepare for little emergencies. A stain stick, an extra copy of your resume, a phone charger and some breath mints are a few must-haves.
2. Plan Your Route
Check Google Maps to find the route from your home to the interview location, and print out the directions if needed. You should also find the best place to park and which building entrance to take.
3. Lay Out Your Interview Outfit
Lay out everything from your socks and interview shoes to your jacket. You may not need to attend your interview in a suit, but you should err on the business casual side for any job interview, meaning slacks or pencil skirt and a conservative dress shirt.
4. Get to Know the Interviewers
If you've previously been given the names of your interviewers, look up their LinkedIn and other social media accounts to learn their roles in the company. Memorize their names so you can greet them by name before the job interview.
5. Practice Your Answers
Write down a few classic job interview questions, and brainstorm what you'd like to say. Instead of scripting your answers, however, come up with more general points to hit, such as situations from previous jobs that showcase your skills and qualities.
6. Plan for Worst-Case Scenarios
Could the roads you need to take to the interview have rush-hour traffic on the morning of your job interview? Plan to leave early. Do you have a medical condition that could interfere with your job interview performance? Bring any necessary medications.
7. Get Breakfast Ready
A balanced breakfast gives your brain the fuel it needs to stay focused during the interview. Plan or prepare an interview-day breakfast that's easy on a nervous stomach, such as fruit and oatmeal.
8. Make a Cheat Sheet
Jot down all the most important details for your job interview, such as interviewer names, interviewer job titles and your own past accomplishments. Place it in your bag to review later.
9. Print Out Your Resume and Portfolio
Even if you're assuming the interviewers printed out their own copies, it's a good idea to bring another resume copy just in case. Remember to print it on high-quality paper.
10. Set an Alarm
Be sure your alarm is set at a volume that will wake you up. Just in case your phone doesn't charge or something else goes wrong, you may even want to set two alarms.
11. Get Some Rest
Your mind may be racing, but a good night's sleep is essential if you want to feel refreshed and focused on interview day. Put aside your phone and get to bed early after completing your other tasks.
These 11 interview night practices are sure to prepare you for the big day. Job interviews can be stressful, but with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of nailing yours.
Photo courtesy of veena kumar at Flickr.com