It can sometimes be months of searching through job postings before you finally land an interview. This can feel like a pivotal moment in your life and career, so it is completely natural to have some nerves. There is no reason to let that stress take charge, however. Things can go wrong any day of the week, and that includes the day of your interview. You can deal with bad traffic, spill something on the dress shirt or blouse you planned to wear, or a million other possibilities could occur. Even if they aren’t directly related to the interview, they can still knock you off your game.
It’s not possible to see every scenario coming, but a little preparation can help you keep the nerves manageable. Here are some tips to help make your interview as stress free as possible.
Know Where You Need to Go
Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you have the correct address and contact information. You should verify these online by checking the company website, or you can double-check the communication you have had with the potential employer if a different location has been discussed. You should plug in the address to your phone beforehand to find potential routes and their estimated drive times. It also won’t hurt to do a trial run. You can drive there a couple of days before the interview to get a lay of the land and a better idea of where you will need to park. You don’t want to rely on technology alone. This is why you should already have familiarity with the route, and it is never a bad idea to have a hard copy in case something goes wrong with your GPS or smartphone.
Know Your Interviewer’s Name (And How to Spell it, Too!)
Remember to bring a printout of the job posting. Many candidates make the mistake of showing up for an interview and can’t remember the name of the hiring manager or even the title of the position they’re interviewing for. Don’t be one of those people!
Have Enough Time Scheduled for the Interview
Make sure to block off plenty of time so you won’t need to rush from one interview to the next, or go straight to another appointment or back to work. The interview can last much longer than you originally planned. If things are going well, the organization might have you interview with other managers or your potential future coworkers. Schedule ample time for the interview in case you need to stay longer. No hiring manager wants to see you glancing at your watch and feel that you have somewhere better to be.
Turn the Cell Phone Off
Off means off, don’t put it on vibrate. Even if the phone is on vibrate, almost everyone can hear it when it’s going off. It is an unnecessary distraction where you will know that a call is coming in for you, your interviewer will know, and you will know that they know.
Bathroom Break Before the Interview
Before you leave the house, use the restroom. Avoid having too much coffee or other liquids shortly before the interview. If you arrive at the company and need to use the bathroom, ask the receptionist to point you to it before they inform the hiring manager that you have arrived.
It can never hurt to give yourself a pep talk before the interview. Take a moment to remind yourself of everything you plan to do during the interview, the points you want to cover throughout the interview and the questions you have about the organization. You might not be able to get rid of all of the nerves, but your preparation should help get rid of most of the stress, letting you concentrate on making the most of the opportunity.