Interviews are stressful. Whether this is your dream job you are interviewing for, a promotion, or your first job there are little things you can do to help ease the stress. There are very few people in the world who don't get pre-interview jitters. These jitters will be worse if you are not prepared for your interview. Here are my 5 tips for helping to get you to the interview with a few less jitters.
1. Don't be late
There is no valid excuse for being late to an interview. You should plan on being there at least 10 to 15 minutes early. You don't need to check in until 5 minutes before but at least be in the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview. This allows you to go to the washroom and check your hair, teeth, wash your hands and relax before you are called in.
2. Do a Practice Run
If you aren't sure where you are going or where parking is or how long it will take then do a practice run. Schedule your practice run around the same time as the interview if you can to get a feel for traffic flow and/or public transportation glitches. Nothing worse then being on the subway and having an emergency stoppage. Find that nearest taxi stand and get going.
3. Prepare your Outfit the night before
Yes, layout your whole outfit. Hopefully you have picked up your suit from the cleaners ahead of time. This is also a good way to know if you have to leave earlier to pick up a new pair of nylons. Are your shoes shined? Yes people do still shine their shoes or at least get the dust and grime off of them. Remember don't overdo the cologne or perfume, if possible just don't use any. Cleanliness and hygiene is more important than your cologne.
4. Prepare your Kit
Take a couple of extra hard copies of your resume with you. They will ask you questions relating to your resume so this gives you the chance to reread it before your interview. Kleenex, a couple of safety pins, a charged phone , breath mints, can come in handy in case of an emergency. Don't forget to put in a hard copy of your references (that you have prepped ahead of time) just in case the interview goes really well and they want to move to the next stage.
5. Find out how to pronounce the Interviewer's Name
In our multi-cultural Canada it's important to verify how to pronounce the person's name. The last thing you want to do is walk in and say "Hi Mr/Mrs ........" and have them say "well my name is .........". Ask your recruiter, phone the actual company and ask for their extension - hopefully if you pronounce it wrong they will correct it for you. Write it down phonetically so you will remember the pronunciation.
Being prepared for your interview will help to set the tone for the whole interview. Let me know what little practices/rituals you do before an interview to help you start your interview off on the right foot.