What exciting news! You’ve gotten through the first rounds of applicants and now have your formal interview. What an accomplishment; you should be proud of yourself because it’s not easy. You may think the hard part is over, but interviews are critical for getting a job.
Now you are probably saying, “Well, duh, Mia. We know it’s important.” Yes, but do you know WHY it’s important? So far, you have been a piece of paper and a timeline to this company. You are about to waltz into the interview and put a face, voice, and personality to the name they know. Of course, you will crush it because you are lovely, and they would be lucky to have you on their team. Let’s get you into that mindset, too. Here are a handful of things I recommend doing before your interview to make sure you are as confident, comfortable, and on top of your game as possible.
1. Figure out your timing
This may seem overkill, but it will help so much on the interview day. Figure out how long it will take you to drive to the place of your interview, what the best route to take is, and how long you need to get dressed. Always plan on being 10-15 minutes early for your interview to account for any nonsense. Even if you’re meeting on Zoom, get your link set up and accessible, make sure you have your routine mapped out, so you aren’t interviewing with wet hair. Everyone can tell your hair is wet.
2. Review Questions
There are countless resources for finding practice questions online. Some companies, like Google, even have a few sample questions on their website for you to buzz through before the formal interview. This is so important to get you to a place you feel confident. Even skimming them once can release a whole bunch of pressure and lead you to better answers during the actual interview.
3. Research the company you are applying for.
This is so important. Every single interview I’ve ever had, I was asked, “How do you think you can benefit our company?” While most people will run down the list of their skills, the best answer to this question is to curate two or three skills that directly relate to the company or position you are applying for. For example, it is not incredibly useful to know how lab procedure works if I am interviewing for a game writing position at Ubisoft. But, it would be prudent to mention that I am well versed in software that they were known to use, like Unreal Engine. Knowing your potential company’s mission and values, a vague idea of their daily tasks, and what field they are in will really help you stand out by showing you are invested.
4. Set your outfit the night before
This is a combination of timekeeping and confidence-boosting. Take your time the day before to pick out a nice outfit. Try on different ideas and vibes until you feel you’ve found the right one that matches the company’s energy you are interviewing with. Also, plan out your accessories, hair, makeup, tie or no tie, shoes, and bag. This will ensure you keep with the schedule you mapped out before and make you feel confident knowing you picked the outfit. Feeling like you look good will boost your mood and empower you during the interview.
5. Eat a full meal
You HAVE to. There is nothing more embarrassing than hearing your stomach growl in an interview. It shouldn’t necessarily reflect poorly on you, but it will distract you and the rest of the people in the room from your answers. Make sure you have protein, veggies, and grain in your meal, so you feel grounded instead of sluggish. A full stomach means a clear, focused mind and memorable answers.
6. Set some affirmations
Run through your zen routine, whatever that looks like! Getting to a place where you feel relaxed, clean, and centered is crucial to getting your unshakable confidence. Take your bath or meditate or dance it out or do your skincare routine or go on a hike or pet your dog or watch TV. There isn’t necessarily a proper way to get in touch with yourself; just make sure your personal batteries are charged.
7. Get 8 Hours of Sleep
That being said, you have to get a tremendous amount of quality sleep. If it takes you a long time to fall asleep, cater to that by going to bed early and read a book, avoiding all screens (the blue light will keep your body from naturally producing the chemical that helps you fall asleep, called melatonin). Get comfortable, play some sort of sleep story, get the lighting correct, and drift off knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare yourself for the interview.
Ultimately, the best way to nail an interview is to go into it knowing you’ve prepared as hard as you can, the company would be lucky to have you on their team, and that the right fit will come even if this may not be the right one. By doing these seven recommended things, I promise you will feel a boost of confidence that will positively affect your interview.
For more information on interviewing and to get a leg up in your first month at work, you have to sign up for Upkey’s Career Creation Course. Get valuable tips on assimilating to company culture, positive interview body language, and industry-leading expert anecdotes to help you move through the job world. I am still learning new information as I revisit the course, which is invaluable. The system launches on January 31st, 2021, so get signed up, and we’ll email you a reminder when it’s ready. If you are looking for more interesting articles, fun lists, and stellar advice check out the rest of our Career in Progress blog.