Job Interviews: What to Do Before

Conducting a successful job search is like running a marathon . . .and my college age daughter, Barbara, is preparing for that next lap.  She aced a telephone interview last week and now moves on to several face-to-face interviews scheduled down in New York City.  Even though these interviews are for summer internships the process is almost exactly the same as applying for full-time employment.  Great practice!

So here we go . . . preparing for a personal interview starts way before you even walk in the door.  “It does?” says Barbara.  “Oh, yes” says Career Coach Mom.  As I’ve coached hundreds of job applicants over the years, I already know that you have a great resume; have reviewed questions you may be asked; prepared several success stories and taken the extra step of complying a career portfolio that you can leave with the interviewers.  But there is more . . .

5 “Must Dos” Before the Interview

Here are my five “must dos” to ensure that you are feeling fully prepared, rested and at the top of your game for those face-to-face interviews. Don’t take it lightly – this is part of a successful job search strategy.

  1. Confirm where the interview will be held (address, office number etc.).  And then make a trip over a couple of days ahead to make sure you know how to get there – subway stops, freeway exits, street numbers etc.  Nothing is worse than finding yourself lost and then running late to the interview!
  2. Plan your evening before your interview carefully.  Keep it low stress and make sure to get to bed a bit early.  Relax but stay focused on the next day.  Try not to get distracted or distressed by other issues or concerns – those can wait for now.
  3. Leave yourself at least double the amount of time you think you need to travel to the interview.  You never know what can happen – road construction, traffic jam, subway delays etc.  You will be much more relaxed knowing you have a wide cushion of time.
  4. Arrive at least 20 – 25 minutes early to give yourself time to check out the waiting area; zip into the restroom to freshen up; turn off your cell phone and then to be ready when they call you.
  5. Breathe! And smile . . . let your natural style and personality shine through.  The bottom line is that your ability to positively connect with the interviewers is going to make or break the interview at this point.  And at this point, you will be so glad that you feel good; you look good and you know that you are are right on target with your answers and follow-up questions.

Once it’s all done, celebrate.  Treat yourself and your support team to a nice dinner, glass of wine or maybe a day off from the job search.  Enjoy – you’ve worked hard for it!

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