Congrats! You’ve made it through the job screening hoops and scheduled an in-person interview. But it doesn’t matter if it’s your first job interview or your 100th, when you have pre-interview jitters even obvious prep can go right out the window before the big day. Which is why we’ve narrowed down 14 smart things to do the night before your job interview. Fair warning: Don’t even think about going to bed without semi-stalking your prospective employer.
Make sure you have enough resume copies for each person you are meeting with–plus a few extras. You don’t want to be caught off guard if an extra executive joins your interview.
Double-check that you have the correct time, date, location, the necessary materials and names of people you’re meeting with, which brings us to the next point…
A simple “Go Wildcats” once secured me a job interview—and eventually a job offer—with a company, because I took just a few minutes to skim the recruiters LinkedIn profile to learn she was a University of Kentucky alum. Take just ten minutes to do a quick Google search and LinkedIn scan for each person you’ll be meeting with to learn about their professional background and interests.
At a bare minimum, you should peruse the company’s website, paying particular attention to “about” and “leadership” pages. Take it a step further and give the company a quick Google and see if they’ve been in the news, plus see what current and former employees have to say on sites like Glassdoor. Don’t forget to check out social media pages as well.
The worst thing you can do in an interview when the interviewer asks if you have any questions is answer “no.” Interviews are an opportunity for you to learn about the company–and for the company to learn about you–so have 3-5 basic questions in mind to ask, plus be prepared to ask a question based on your conversation.
This should include the questions you want to ask, the names of the people your meeting with and their job title, and anything else relevant you gathered while you were researching the company and the people you’re interviewing with. Review it before your meeting.
There’s nothing worse than staring at your closet the morning of your interview, grumbling because you have nothing to wear. Or trying on ten different outfits before finding one that suits you. Save yourself a headache the morning of the interview and pick out your outfit the night before.
The last thing you need distracting you during your interview is a rumbling stomach, so make sure to plan for a high energy meal before your interview so you’ll stay alert. On a similar note: If possible, plan on eating in different clothes than you’ll be wearing to the interview—you don’t want to bethat person with the food stains on their shirt.
Pack your resumes in a nice portfolio, an umbrella (just in case), a water bottle, and a mess-free snack in your purse (if it’s large enough) or your brief case. Have it sitting at the door ready to go so you aren’t scrambling as you’re getting ready to leave.
This includes everything from what to tell your current boss and coworkers to learning how to buy a few more seconds to think if you’re asked a question in the interview you aren’t sure of the answer to. Don’t get bogged down by negative thinking, but do take some time to think about what you will do if a challenge arises.
Do your best to go to bed early–or at least on time–so you’re rested and not fighting grogginess during your interview. If you find nerves are getting the better of you, try light stretches or a natural remedy such as melatonin, to help you relax and fall asleep.
If you live close enough to where your job interview is drive from your house to the location once before the interview, scouting out the best route and parking location. The same goes for those of you who will be walking or taking public transportation to your interview. Also be sure to check traffic apps, like Waze, to make sure you’ve accounted for traffic when planning your route.
If you’re not driving, make sure you have cash for a cab, a new metro card or other means of transport secured before the morning of your interview. If you’ll be walking to the interview, make sure you have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
Nerves are totally normal, but it’s important to think positive. If your nerves start to get the better of you, focus on all your accomplishments and remember that if the interviewers didn’t think you had what it takes to succeed, they wouldn’t have invited you in for an interview.
This article by Samantha Smoak originally appeared on Fairygodboss.