If you think a job interview starts when you sit down with the hiring manager, think again. Your interview  starts way before when you first create your resume and cover letter. Each step of the job interview process needs to be done conscientiously and well.

The way you do your job search indicates the way you will do your job. Know that employers are looking for every action you take to reflect your level of diligence (or lack thereof) create your resume and cover letter tailored to that research. You need to start preparing for an interview actively well in advance, researching the company and the specific position you are pursuing. You should be able to talk knowledgeably about the company and their goals when you interview. Remember, you cannot wait for the day of the interview to prepare. In fact, the steps you take the night before can make all the difference.

Here are six key night-before steps.

  1. Make sure your materials are printed and prepped.

    Print out several copies of your resume on high-quality paper. Put them in a nice folder. Pack them so you won’t forget them. Pack your business cards. If you’ve been asked to bring letters of reference, print them on high-quality paper as well. Review your cover letter so it’s fresh in your mind. Also, know your resume back to front. The key points will almost certainly come up in your interview. Don’t be caught off guard when asked a question about an item on your resume. In fact, resumes are frequently used by interviewers to set the agenda of the interview. Finally, if you have any written thank you notes for excellent performances or special awards you have received in prior positions, print copies of those and give them to your interviewer. It shows initiative and is also a great way to demonstrate the positive strengths you bring to the table.

  2. Map out your route.

    Don’t wait until you’re in the driver’s seat to hit GPS. You need to know where you’re going. Check to see if there’s construction on the way. Why? You never want to be late. Arrive 15 minutes early, ALWAYS – late arrivers don’t get jobs. Early arrivers show initiative and conscientiousness. They’ve taken time to plan. In fact, it’s a good idea to do a trial run a few days before, so you don’t hit unexpected snags. Then give yourself extra time. You can always wait in the car if you’re too early, but you can’t turn back the time if you’re late. A late arrival equates to a lost job.

  3. Prepare what you’ll wear.

    A good impression is key. Pick out your clothes and iron them so they’re all ready to go in the morning. Prepare all your attire, right down to your shoes. (Yes, shine or clean them, and always opt for closed toes.)

  4. Put down the technology.

    Give your mind a break and start to relax early in the evening. That means turn off the cell phone and mobile devices. Give the TV a rest. No Facebook or Snapchat. We mean it. You want a clear mind and no distractions. Go for a walk or read a book. Screen time emits blue light, which keeps us awake. Avoid screen time two hours before bed. Blue light throws off our circadian rhythms and tells our bodies to stay awake. Don’t fall asleep with your TV on because you won’t get the rest you need. Instead of watching television, visualize having a positive and successful interview.

  5. Get a good night’s sleep.

    You need to be rested to perform at your best in the interview. You need to look rested — bright-eyed and calm. It’s a good idea to pass on coffee the night before if you usually drink it late in the day. Again, avoid blue light by eliminating screen time before bed.

  6. Set your alarm.

    Be sure to get up with plenty of time to get ready for a 15-minute early arrival. Give yourself extra time, so you don’t have to be in a rush. The calmness you will feel by arriving early and prepared will boost your confidence in your interview.

Graham Staffing Services Can Help

If you’re looking for a job, we can help. At Graham Staffing Services, we offer both temporary and permanent placements. Contact us and check out job postings today.