What to do before an interview

The things to do before an interview are typically a bit more mental than anything else. Usually the buildup to an interview is much more nerve-wracking than the actual interview itself. With that in mind, shift your focus to preparation and do whatever you can to practice relaxation beforehand! Nerves can be useful if they motivate you to act. So take a deep breath, and read through our suggestions on things to do before an interview that will help you be prepared when you get into the room.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You’ll look better and feel better. This lets you make the best first impression.
  2. Do your research. Know the company that you are interviewing with so you can answer their questions well and in the right context. It will also show that you are truly interested in the company.
  3. Eat a good breakfast. You’ll be more alert and focused.
  4. Prepare questions beforehand. Know the answers to basic questions that they will most likely ask you. Also come up with a few questions about the company or position you are applying for to show that you’re interested.
  5. Make a few copies of your resume and put them somewhere where you won’t forget to bring them.
  6. Search the web. It is likely someone else has interviewed with the company, so search the web and see what others are saying about it.
  7. Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.
  8. Know who will be interviewing you, and learn a bit about their background.
  9. Know your strengths and put together a list of them.
  10. Prepare a solid list of references that you can give your interviewer on the spot.
  11. Brush your teeth.
  12. Put on deodorant.
  13. Pre-write your thank you notes so you can drop them off right afterwards.
  14. Know how to answer the question, “What will you add to the company by joining it?”
  15. Carry a tissue or handkerchief in your pocket to dry your hands in case you are nervous before you go in.
  16. Turn off your cell phone.
  17. Prepare for the different types of interviews: behavior, experiential, or combination.
  18. Have a story from each place you’ve already worked at that exemplifies one of your strengths. For every strength or skill, you should have a story about how you successfully used it. You will make a far better impression if you can back up your dry list of previous employment with interesting stories that show what you gained from each experience.

That is our list of the most important things to do before an interview. You don’t need to memorize everything on that list. Just make yourself familiar with them and you should be fine. While some of these should just be normal parts of your daily routine (we hope you brush your teeth) you would be surprised how stress can cause tons of people to forget these before a job interview.

We actually hear from plenty of job-seekers who have taken pieces of this list and put it into a todo format on their phone or on paper. This gives the morning of the big day some structure and allows them to feel confident walking out of the door. If you think that you’re someone who might benefit from this, jot down this list of things to do before a job interview and check them off as you go.

No one ever suffered from being overly prepared!

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