There is no doubt. Job interviews are nerve wracking. But if you take a few minutes before walking into the interview to do these things, you could come out a winner.
Preparation is a necessity for successful interviews. “This should be obvious but unfortunately it isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re going for a minimum wage job or senior position, there’s no excuse in this day and age to not research in great depth the organization–and the interviewer– you’re going to interview with,” explains recruiting expert Arlene Hall of Koloa Solutions. “The more you can speak to the organization and ask relevant questions based on your research (i.e. ‘I notice that you recently acquired a competitor, that’s exciting. Are there any other acquisitions planned for this fiscal year?’). This more in-depth knowledge of a company that you demonstrate will set you apart as a candidate and put you in a more favorable light than other candidates to don’t/can’t speak to the organization.”
Things you should do right before walking into a job interview:
Do something quick that relaxes you. Relax. “Watch a funny or inspiring clip from a favorite TV show, or listen to a song that always motivates you. Take a deep breath,” suggests career coach Carlota Zimmerman.
Inspire yourself. “Give yourself a pep talk. Find the restroom or a private spot right before you go in and do whatever it takes to trigger your confidence. Remember, confidence is like a magnet. Whether you strike “power poses,” speak to yourself in the mirror or read your wallet affirmations, you need to feel self-assured,” career coach Karen Watts.
Relieve yourself. ”Go to the bathroom! Seriously! Literally! There’s nothing worse than being distracted because you’re physically uncomfortable and waiting for the interview to be over so you can rush to the bathroom,” says Hall.
Get your info straight. ”Double check the name(s) of those you will meet. Greet them by name,” advises Watts.
Give yourself the once over. ”Check your hair, makeup (if wearing it), your tie (better not be askew!) and clothing in general. There’s no shame in primping before you go knock on the company’s door,” says Hall, who shares, “True story: I was recruiting a very senior candidate who was coming to see me before meeting with the client that same day. He was commuting via light rail to the interview. He fell asleep on the train ride and when he showed up to meet me, he had a blood spot on his shirt collar because he had cut himself shaving right before getting on the train. He hadn’t done the mandatory pre-interview bathroom visit and didn’t notice the spot but I, of course, pointed it out. He was early enough for his interview that he rushed out and bought a new shirt before meeting with the client. And…got the job!”
Freshen up the breath. ”Chew some minty gum (but throw it out in the bathroom) or have a mint, but definitely freshen up that breath before you speak with your future employer,” suggests Hall.
Mute it. ”Put your phone on mute right before your interview. You don’t need the interruption of a loud ring or text notification when you’re supposed to be raptly attentive to the interviewer,” notes Hall.