What to Do Before an Interview

You should never just walk into an interview blind. It is always important to prepare yourself well in order to make a good impression, and you should also stick to a routine before any interviews you may go on.

Focus on preparing yourself properly by doing your research, as well as on setting yourself up so that you are in the right state of mind when the interview comes along.

Here are some tips below on what to do and how to prepare.

Why Should I Prepare Before an Interview?

In fact, interviewing is a skill– it often takes practice to become good at interviewing, and it is a muscle you have to learn to flex. Practicing for an interview, such as practicing your pitch or practice answering interview questions, will help you to become better at thinking quickly in the moment– and at advocating for yourself! Both of these are key in the interview process.

There are some great ways to prepare yourself prior to an interview, with one of the most common methods being a mock interview. During a mock interview, you pair up with a family member or a friend and have them ask you a series of questions, as if they were the interviewer. You can make this as formal or informal as you like. For instance, it might be more helpful to you for both parties to dress professionally and sit at a desk, so that you can really visualize what the real interview will be like.

Preparing for interviews does not only mean practicing your interview skills, even though that is crucial! It also means setting yourself up for success by ensuring that you will be well-rested and healthy for the interview.

Extra self care can be key before an interview. You should be sure to get plenty of sleep and to eat healthy, balanced meals– even a lack of sleep or a poor diet could make you feel sluggish and throw off your game in the interview room. Avoid any late nights, mentally exhausting meetups, or fast food meals before an interview.

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The Best Things to Do Before an Interview

Preparing properly for an interview can greatly increase your chances of getting the job you are applying for. It can help you to increase your confidence, gain constructive criticism so that you can adjust your approach, and can also help to increase your comfort level when it comes to the whole interview process.

The following are several of the best ways that you can prepare for your upcoming job interview.

Research the Company

Of course, you should research the company that you are interviewing for a position at. You will want to show knowledge of the company and its workings at your interview, as this shows a level of assertiveness as well as a greater level of interest.

You can take a look at their website or social media accounts to learn more, as well as any client or employee reviews. Familiarizing yourself with the company and any recurring themes will assist you well during an interview, as you will likely have to answer questions about why you want to work for the company, for example. It would be difficult to answer this question if you did not know anything about your potential employer.

Also you should do a location search for the building your job interview will be at prior to your interview. By doing this you can assess where there are public parking options should there be no parking lot available. It’s best to come prepared ahead of time, so you aren’t stressing about location and parking details the day of your interview.

Research Your Interviewer

Just as you research the company itself, you should also research the hiring manager who will be interviewing you. Often, you will receive this information ahead of time, so you would have a person’s name and possibly their job title to look up.

You can do this on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, which will give you an overview on their experience, both with the current company and in the past. You may be able to find some common ground between the two of you, which you can bring up during the interview to humanize yourself and put the interviewer at ease.

That may also help you to stand out to the interviewer after you leave the interview room and they are reviewing potential candidates for the position. It helps you put your best foot forward and leads to interview success.

Prepare Some Questions

Your interviewer will have questions for you, of course, and you should certainly prepare your answers to these. However, you should also prepare your own questions for the interviewer.

When an interview is winding down, interviews will typically open it up for any questions that a potential employee may have. Some of your questions may have come to mind during the interview discussion, but you should be sure to come prepared with some other questions, too.

While this obviously helps by getting you more information about the job description, it can also be another way to convey your genuine interest in the position and show your preparedness– which can be leveraged as a useful skill on the job! You could ask about company culture or how employee performance is measured, for example. 

Bring Your Resume

Yes, interviewers will likely have already seen your resume and may already have a copy of it in front of them in the interview room. However, this is a nice touch and makes you come across as competent, prepared, and forward thinking, which is always how we want to present ourselves during an interview.

It also helps to have your resume in front of you in case interviewers ask any questions regarding the information included on it. You will have the resume to refer to and use as a tool to address any concerns, or also as a tool to answer questions with– even if the question was not directly correlated to your resume. For instance, you can refer them back to the resume to drive home points you make about your skills and experiences. 

Dress for the Position

An interview is all about first impressions! This means, of course, that you should be sure to choose an interview outfit that is appropriate and is a good fit for the role you are applying for. In fact, you can even choose clothing pieces that are a step above the company’s normal standards. Even if you know that employees dress business casual at this company while on the job, showing up in clothing considered a bit more professional will help you to look serious about the position and the interview. It is also a sign of respect to your interviewer.

An interviewee who shows up in jeans and a T-shirt for an office job, for example, will not be taken seriously– and it may even be believed that the interviewee was not taking the company seriously, either. 

Eat a Healthy Meal

Be sure to avoid any junk foods or fast foods before an interview. You will need your strength and wits about you during the interview process, and this is where eating a healthy meal comes in.

You certainly do not want to be sluggish when you are expected to present yourself well and think quickly on your feet! A meal that is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats will help you as you charm your way to success in the interview room.

Some great meals you could consider before an interview include healthy egg scrambles or a chicken and avocado sandwich. A protein smoothie or protein bar can even be a good option if you are on the go or not hungry enough for a full meal!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do before a job interview?

Before a job interview, you should prepare for the questions you will be asked and also make sure that you look your best. You should make sure to get a good night’s sleep and select a professional outfit that is appropriate for the position you are interviewing for.

Some other ways to get ready are to do your research, prepare the questions you may have for interviewers, and practice your interview technique.

What should you not do before a job interview?

You want to be prepared, well-rested, and confident during the interview process, so you should avoid doing anything that may have negative effects. For example, you should avoid staying up late the night before the interview and avoid scheduling any appointments, errands, or meetups that may leave you feeling drained before the interview even begins!

What should you do 2 hours before a job interview?

A few hours prior to your interview, you should do a comprehensive review so that you are prepared and everything is fresh in your mind. Go over your resume, your talking points, your questions, and anything else that may be helpful. You should also be sure that you arrive to the interview early and have eaten some protein or a healthy snack so your mind is clear when you are in the interview room.

What should I know before a job interview?

Being prepared and doing your research is half the battle of getting the job! You should know the basics of the job, of course, such as expected responsibilities and tasks, but you should also make sure that you know information about the company such as its goals or values and key players within the organization, for example.

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