5 Things to Do the Day of Your Interview
1. Make sure you have everything you need: Don’t come to any interview empty-handed! Although the interviewer has probably already seen your resume and cover letter, they often ask for a copy in the interview. Don’t forget any notes you made for yourself. If you have notes you need about the location of the interview, the questions you want to ask the interviewer, or quick facts you want to remember about the company, bring them with you. While you may not pull them out during the actual interview, it’s good to have them so you can prepare for your interview beforehand. Another great item to have with you during an interview is a pen and paper. You may want to take notes while the interviewer is answering the questions you ask them. This information can be useful later if you end up getting the job or need to follow up with those items again in a “thank you” e-mail, second interview, or during hiring negotiations. Also, the interviewer may give you details on the steps you need to take next. It will help you to not only show the interviewer that you find these details important, but also to help you be able to remember them and perform them correctly.
2. Dress professionally: This may sound like a very obvious step in preparing for an interview, but there are many people who still are not sure exactly what to wear. Whether the job you are applying for is in a formal environment or not, it is important to dress nicely. It is better to dress too nicely than it is to dress too casually. Remember, this is an interview and not a fashion show. It’s safe to stick to solid and neutral colors like black, white, brown, gray, and navy blue. Make sure your clothing is conservative and does not distract. Men, make sure your hair is combed and not messy. Women, you may want to put your hair up in a pony tail or style it in a way that keeps it out of your face. Make sure your shoes are also professional. Women, if you are going to wear heels, make sure they are short—about 2 inches tall will work. What you say should be all that an interviewer wants to focus on. Make sure nothing you wear will distract either you or the person you’re interviewing with.
3. Leave early for the interview: Anything can happen between the time you leave your house and arrive to the place you interview. If you are taking public transportation, your bus or train could be late or break down. If you are driving to your interview, you could get lost or end up on traffic. You want to make sure you leave with plenty of time to allow for possible issue. If you arrive to your destination 30 minutes early or more, it is okay if you just sit outside and go over your notes. Don’t forget that the place you are arriving to is a business and they have things to do before and after you arrive. Be mindful of their time. Make sure you are in the office, ready to wait for your interview 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. This extra time also allows you time to make sure you can mentally get yourself in the mode to interview. An interviewer can tell if you’re not focused. This extra time will help you shift focus from your drive over and move you over into mentally preparing for the interview.
4. Review your materials: While you are waiting to be called in, look over any notes you made about what interests you in the company, details about the job, and any questions you prepared to ask in the interview. Keeping these items fresh in your mind will make it easier to answer questions and show the interviewer that you are really invested. Make sure you know exactly what is on your resume. Some people edit their resume and quickly send it over without really remembering what they changed or added. These are items the interviewer is likely to ask you about. Make sure you know what they are referring to when they ask you about past responsibilities. The more you are prepared, the less likely you are to stumble over coming up with an answer when asked a difficult question.
5. Work out your nerves: Going into an interview can be a scary thing, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience interviewing in the corporate world. Don’t let negative thoughts distract you. Try to think positively. Remind yourself why you are great for the job. Repeat the strengths you have to yourself to increase your confidence. If your nerves are still bothering you, try a breathing exercise. One helpful exercise you can try is the “4-7-8” or “the relaxing breath.” Dr. Andrew Weil developed the relaxing breath as a helpful way to eliminate physical stress. In this exercise you will inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Continue this a few times and you should quickly feel more relaxed and able to focus.
If you need any more tips for your upcoming interview, speak to an ORT advisor! We’re here to help. Good luck and keep your head held high!