5 Things You Must Do Before A Job Interview

27th November 2015
Catherine Vickery

Interviews are nerve-inducing occasions that are so important, exciting and terrifying – all at the same time. Attending an interview is enough to make many people fall apart, but it needn’t be that way. This is just a small part of a much bigger picture, one that involves you showing off your awesome skills and getting the job you deserve.

Some people can just saunter up to an interview unprepared and nail it, no prep needed. However, most of us do need to prepare, just so we can feel a tiny bit like we stand a chance and won’t turn into a piece of flubber the moment we enter the interview room.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for this life-changing event, so you can have the perfect interview:

1. Plan The Journey

If there’s one thing that guarantees your interview will be an epic fail, it’s you not attending it. Plan the journey as much as you can, even doing a practice journey if you need to. Allow for traffic, transport delays, bad weather and anything else that might happen to stop you getting where you need to on time. Unless you can 100% guarantee you will get there on time – aim for being in the area early and go sit in a coffee shop and sip a flat white satisfied you’re definitely not going to be late.

2. Get A Professional Looking Interview Outfit

If you’re job hunting, you should get an interview outfit before you even get any interview offers anyway because it helps you think positively and picture yourself landing opportunities. Stick with cuts and designs you know work for you and go for comfort and professionalism. Avoid anything too quirky or trendy unless you’re only applying in apt fields that suit that style. If you haven’t worn the outfit in a while, make sure you check it at least a week before the interview in case the cats decided to hair bomb your black trousers, your shirt doesn’t fit any more, your shoes need polishing, or anything else that might cause you to have a major breakdown on the morning of the interview.

3. Have What You Need To Take In A File, Safely In Your Bag

Regardless of what the employer has asked for, you should have standard information you take with you just in case you need it. This could include your National Insurance Number, reference details, a copy of your CV and any other information you might get asked for. You should also go over email communication to check you haven’t been asked to fill out forms before attending. Keep all of these documents in a file and put them in the bag you are taking the night before, so you don’t have to worry about them the next day.

4. Eat A Good Breakfast

Your nerves may well cause you to want to avoid food like the plague, but, you must force yourself to eat a good breakfast. if you’ve got to travel, potentially wait in a coffee shop before the interview, then perhaps sit in a waiting room for a while – you’re going to be hungry. This is bad news for your interview for several reasons; your brain needs food and drink to work properly, your tummy could be rumbling in quiet areas making you self conscious, you could feel sick or dizzy and you might lack the energy you need to put your best foot forward. Drink lots of water to lubricate your brain, get lots of protein which will keep you full for ages, some slow release carbs and some fruit or veggies for a vitamin boost. Chickpea pancake with wilted spinach, egg on wholemeal toast with wilted spinach and overnight chia seed pudding are all great examples of what you should be eating for a great interview.

5. Get Your Brain Ready

You must ask questions in your interview, if you do nothing else. You might think you can ad hoc a question and ask on the day, but you’re leaving yourself open to the nerves removing all thoughts from your brain. Write down some questions on a notepad that are insightful and avoid asking about salaries. You will also need to prepare for the questions you might be asked. Although you can’t get answers prepared because you don’t know what you’re going to be asked, you can research the company, read ‘top 10 interview questions’ lists and practise mindfulness techniques to help you get in the right frame of mind for responding to anything thrown your way. Most importantly, get plenty of sleep for optimum cognitive function.

Relax!

This may seem like common sense, but so many people absolutely lose it before an interview and forget to be kind to themselves. Get your outfit ready, your mind sorted and everything planned and then take some time to relax and completely distract yourself. Once you have done all the prep possible, you cannot do any more but get an awesome nights sleep and show up to the interview being your amazing self. Relax and let yourself be excited, this could be the start of a brand new life for you!