We all know that you should research the company, go over your resume, and choose a professional-looking outfit. But there are so many more things to do before a job interview! Everyone in your life probably has an idea of things you should do before the big day, which can leave you feeling even more confused and freaked out than before.
While the night before a big interview can be stressful, you are sure to get that job offer if you just prepare. There are two main categories of prep activities: knowing a lot about the job and company and taking care of yourself! You want to make a good impression, so striking the perfect balance of knowledge and wellness is key.
In just a few quick steps, these ideas will have you ready to take on even the most intimidating panel of potential employers. They might be small things, but you will definitely feel like a #girlboss after doing them! Read on to learn about 4 things you didn't know you needed to do to prepare for job interviews!
This post is sponsored by Lexington Law. All opinions are 100% my own!
1. Catch Up On The News
Though you may be laser-focused on knowing everything you can about the company and your interviewer, one of the most important things to do before a job interview is read up on the news. Knowing your current events will make you look smart and engaged with the world around you.
Even if you're not a news-reading type person, it's easy to figure out what the world is talking about. Go to Twitter or any search engine and you can easily find the day's top stories.
There's no need to read 50 long form articles before you head out to your interview. Just know the highlights! Make sure you have a couple stories in mind from both the whole country and your city. This way, you will come across as worldly as well as connected to your own community.
Reading the news, even if it's stories others have posted on social media, could clue you into a story that relates to the company or their field. Having something intelligent to say about stories that impact your employer-to-be makes you look like you really care about them.
If your interviewer wants to make small talk about events that happened recently, you don't want to be caught unaware. But make sure you actually know what you're talking about! Simply regurgitating headlines without knowing the details of news stories will make you seem even more clueless than if you said nothing at all.
Try to state an opinion without being too controversial. You don't want to come across as a suck-up but at the same time, saying something that directly contradicts one of the company's values might reduce your chances of landing the job.
2. Boost Your Confidence
If you're like me, you feel like a huge bundle of nerves and anxiety before interviews. While you might be feeling nervous and not good enough, try to remember why you're going there. The employers clearly thought you were talented enough to talk with, so have a little confidence in yourself!
Practicing confident body language can instantly boost your self-esteem. It sounds simple, but standing straight and tall with your head held high really does make you feel more powerful!
Keep good posture throughout your interview. It will show your potential employers that you are proud of yourself and your work.
Another way to boost your confidence is to talk yourself up. This can be to a friend, your partner, or by yourself, out loud or on paper. Make a list of your positive attributes and accomplishments so you can see (or hear) how awesome you really are.
This works especially well if you focus on things relevant to the job you're interviewing for. The more you recognize your achievements, the better you can point them out to your interviewer. (Wise Bread)
You can even just say some self-love affirmations aloud! Need some ideas? Check out this video below. Repeat your favorites in the mirror for a quick confidence boost!
3. Get A Good Night's Sleep
I know I sound like a mom here, but hear me out. Of all the things to do before a job interview, getting a full night's sleep tops the list.
You know how your brain feels 100 times slower when you're sleepy? Well, you definitely don't want that feeling when you're trying to answer interview questions!
According to Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine, your cognitive functions go out the window when you're sleep deprived. That means your reasoning, memory, and concentration aren't at their best. From a higher risk of getting into a car accident on the way to your interview to blanking out on your accomplishments, not sleeping the night before is a huge no-no.
Going to bed too early might make you toss and turn while staying up too late whittles down your potential number of sleep hours. Plan to get a solid 8 hours of rest so you can wake up refreshed and ready.
But there's a catch.
Unless you use one every night, avoid relying on sleep aids to help you drift off. And no alcohol, either! Nothing could be worse than restless drunk sleep or a hangover when you're trying to prepare for a job interview.
These drugs might help you fall asleep initially, but you will be restless and wake up feeling like crap. Make your room dark and cool and play soothing music or diffuse lavender oil instead. Don't forget the comfy pillow!
4. Check Your Credit Score
You might be wondering how in the heck credit relates to a job interview. Actually, they're closely related! Many employers check your credit score as part of their staffing process.
Though some employers just use a credit check to confirm your identity, others use it to make judgments against your character. If you are frequently late on loan payments, they may fear you can't complete assignments on time. Or if you always max out your credit card, they might think you're impulsive or unorganized.
If you do have problems on your credit report, try using Lexington Law's credit repair service. This awesome credit repair company looks into items on your report that you feel don't really reflect your financial habits.
Lexington Law employs a team of legit lawyers to engage in credit disputes on your behalf. Got a bankruptcy, late payment, or another item that you feel is unfair lingering on your report? Lexington Law can help fight it for you. That way, your credit score can reflect the true you.
Why does this matter?
Job site Monster says that knowing your credit score (and using credit repair services) before an interview puts you in the power position. Before your potential employer can ask about it, you can bring it up. Acknowledging the problem and explaining how you've worked on your financial habits will reflect well on you.
What Not To Do Before Your Interview
This list is full of things you definitely should do to prepare for your job interview. But I'm also here to tell you a few job interview tips that are huge no-no's . These things are either a waste of time or can actually hinder your performance. Take note!
- Don't Get Super Dressed Up. Of course you want to look nice to show your interviewer you actually care about the job. Even if you're interviewing at a casual company, you should try to put together a polished look. However, don't try too hard. Dropping a bunch of money on a fancy new suit or slapping on a ton of extra makeup will only make you feel uncomfortable and that can come across in your interview.
- Don't Plan Your Commute Last-Minute. You have probably looked at the address for your interview, but make sure to meticulously plan how you'll get there the morning of the interview. Even if you think you know exactly where the place is and how to get there, figure out a timeline the night before. You never know when there will be traffic, detours, or construction! Make sure your phone is charged in case you get lost or will be late so you can notify your interviewers. If you end up getting there too early, just sit in your car or take a walk around the neighborhood until about 10 or 15 minutes before your interview time.
- Don't Schedule Other Appointments. We're all busy. That' a fact of life. But if you possibly can, try to clear your schedule for a few hours before and after your interview. Rushing to get there on time or hurrying to leave will stress you out, making you look and act like you aren't in the right headspace. This is potentially your future job, so treat the interview as importantly as you should.
- Don't Spend Too Much Time On Social Media. Browsing your high school classmates' engagement photos or reading about your cousin's drama will instantly take you out of the interview frame of mind. Whether you get upset or are dying laughing over memes, social media is distracting. And save that interview outfit selfie for your first day on the job; if you post it and don't get selected, you could end up feeling embarrassed later.
- Don't Forget Your Manners. From the initial interview invitation to checking in with the receptionist to the interview itself, be kind and respectful to everyone! Every person you deal with is an important part of the company environment and they deserve to be treated as such. People talk. You don't want to be branded a rude person because that means you aren't a great fit for any job.
Bonus Tip: Enlist A Friend
When you're getting ready to interview for a job, you might get too in your head. Don't forget that you have people who want to help you! No woman is an island, even if you feel like one during your job search process.
Before the big day, enlist a friend, family member, or mentor to help you prepare. Finding someone who works in the same industry and/or who will give you honest feedback is best.
She can help you go over the company website and job description so you know it inside and out. You two could also stage a mock interview so you can practice your answers to common interview questions. There are no guarantees but it can ease your nerves a little! Even if you just text your mom to ask for an ego boost, knowing someone is on your side is a huge stress reliever.
Of all the important things to do before a job interview, finding your support system is one of the most important. Your loved ones can cheer you on as you prepare, celebrate with you if you get the job, and help you move on if you don't.
There are so many little things to do before a job interview!
If you're like me, you freak out a little when you have to prepare for a job interview. Figuring out what to say, do, know, and wear is enough to drive anyone nuts! However, if you take a step back and prepare thoughtfully, it isn't that stressful a process.
Just remember: you got the interview! You've already finished the hard part. Your potential employers wouldn't have called you in if they didn't think you would be a good fit for the job.
Now you just have to show them that your personality is as awesome as your resume and that shouldn't be hard! Go get 'em, girl!
What are your go-to things to do before a job interview? Were you surprised by any of my job interview tips? What's your best (or worst) interview story? Let us know in the comments below!