After sifting through thousands of job listings and hitting “submit” on an absurd amount of applications, it finally happened. You got the interview! Following a few minutes of a well-deserved happy dance, the inevitable question pops in your head, “Now what?”
Considering how much time goes into preparing resumes, navigating confusing websites and actively searching for opportunities, the actual interview can sometimes seem like an afterthought at the end of a tiring job search.
Unfortunately, application materials alone are not enough to impress today’s hiring managers. It pays to be prepared, so job seekers who can take time to organize a game plan and thoughtfully research will find themselves at an advantage.
After booking your next interview, consider taking these steps to set yourself up for success on the big day:
Right After Booking the Interview
- Set an alert for the interview date and time on your phone or other devices or write yourself a note in a planner or calendar.
- Make sure your calendar is clear during the interview time, as well as an hour before and after.
- If needed, coordinate transportation to and from interview location as soon as possible.
Week or More Before
- Research the company and position in every way possible, from the company website, to social media pages, to recent news stories!
- Consider stories and projects from your career that you’d like to highlight in the interview. Writing these out can help you to remember details and other specifics on interview day.
- Make a plan for participating in mock interviews with people you trust. Practicing potential questions can help to reduce anxiety and prepare you for what’s ahead.
- Take a dry-run of your commute to the interview, as unforeseen construction or other surprise delays could be rattling if discovered at the last minute.
- Print professional copies of resume and examples of your work.
- Make sure professional attire is cleaned and/or dry cleaned.
- Consider some questions you would like to ask the interview(s); these can be just as important as your answers to their questions!
- Prepare your clothes for the day ahead, as well as anything you may be bringing with you, including resume, work examples, pens, writing pad, etc.
- Get a good night’s sleep in order to be well-rested and energized.
- Turn off your cellphone. A phone ringing during an interview is catastrophic, but being caught glued to your phone in the lobby can be just as bad!
- Double-check for fresh breath, and remember to spit out gum before the interview starts.
- Breathe! You are prepared. You are ready. Now, knock ‘em dead!
An interview can be the last step of a job search and the first step on a new career path! Don’t be caught unprepared. Do you have any tips for getting ready for interview day? Share them below!