The following list outlines many of the things the best interviewees do before any interview to maximize results:
- Research the company
- Research your interviewer
- Prepare a set of questions
- Conduct a mock interview
- Print out physical copies of your resume
- Eat a healthy meal prior to the interview
- Clean and press your clothes
- Dress for the role
- Write thank-you notes for delivering after the interview
- Determine the fastest route to the interview
- Create a note with critical terms and names
- Turn your cell phone off prior to the interview
- Sleep well the night before
- Prepare for different types of interviews
- Consider stories from previous positions
Research the company
Before going into the interview, research the company along with its history, values and mission. Check their official website first, then move onto other sources. If there are any client, customer or employee reviews, study them and identify any recurring themes that might alter your decision to work with them. It also prepares you to answer any questions relating to the company, proving to your interview that you familiarized yourself with who the company is.
Research your interviewer
Along with researching the company, identify who within the organization might interview you and research them as well. Identify their professional social media profiles and scan through their interests. It often helps to find common ground with your interviewer and bring it up during the interview. For example, if you mention that you both enjoy hiking, you immediately stand out to the interviewer, ensuring they take additional consideration toward you after you leave.
Prepare a set of questions
At the end of the interview, most interviewers open up for questions from the interviewee. Having questions prepared at the end often shows that you have greater interest in the role and want to learn more about the company. Consider questions such as:
- What is the company culture like?
- Is there opportunity for growth in this role?
- How do you measure employee performance?
- What is the most challenging aspect of the position?
- What do you enjoy most about working with this company?
Conduct a mock interview
Find someone you trust or who has experience in interviewing and conduct a mock interview. Assign them a series of questions to ask related to your role. Encourage them to find or come up with additional questions as well without telling you what they are. At the end of the interview, take any feedback they have on improving your performance. Once ready, conduct the mock interview again.
Print out physical copies of your resume
Even though they have your resume on file, many interviewers prefer seeing a physical copy during the interview. Print several copies out prior to your interview in preparation for them to ask. Additionally, if they ask any questions directly related to your resume, you can immediately reference it to address their questions or concerns.
Eat a healthy meal prior to the interview
Consider eating a healthy meal several hours before your interview. Consider foods rich in protein, healthy fats and fiber such as:
- Whole grain toast
- Whole eggs
Clean and press your clothes
At least a day prior to your interview, ensure you have a clean set of clothes. Iron and press formal clothes such as dress pants and dress shirts to free them of wrinkles. Additionally, pack make-up and deodorant for small touch-ups just before your interview, if necessary.
Dress for the role
Choose a set of clothes that are appropriate for the role. For best results, choose clothes that are a step above the role’s normal standards. For example, if the role requires business casual attire, choose business professional attire for the interview, including a suit and tie or skirt and blouse.
Write thank-you notes for delivering after the interview
Thank-you notes are a great way to leave a lasting impression as interviewers have an item to remember you by. Prepare a handful of thank-you notes prior to your interview. If you know before the interview how many people you might meet or interview with, ensure you make the same amount of thank-you notes. Leave each interview a single thank-you note before exiting the interview.
Determine the fastest route to the interview
Use helpful mobile applications that monitor local traffic and map out the fastest route to your interview. Consider the time of day in which your interview occurs and if there are any traffic concerns in your area at that time. Determine how long the drive takes and leave yourself that amount of time to get there before leaving.
Create a note with critical terms and names
It’s not uncommon to forget your interviewer’s name or other critical terms during an interview. Take a small note with you and hide it discreetly in a folder with your resume copies. Reference it as needed throughout your interview.
Turn your cell phone off prior to the interview
Bringing your phone into the interview with you is often a necessity. If you need it, consider silencing it or turning it off. Ensure no vibrations or other tones emanate from your phone or interrupt the interview.
Sleep well the night before
Ensure you gain proper amounts of rest before your interview. Doing so ensures that you are more aware and more alert when answering questions. Because you’re alert, you pick up on subtle cues from the interviewer such as their body language or their tone. Understanding their mindset helps you adapt to the interview by imitating their physical posture or other movements.
Prepare for different types of interviews
There are three primary types of interviews. A behavioral interview focuses on how you react in employment-based situations. Most of the questions present specific scenarios and allow you to address how you might handle them. Experiential interviews focus on your previous experience and the decisions you made in the past. The third type of interview is a combination of both behavioral and experiential interviews.
Consider stories from previous positions
Interviewers often ask questions that encourage you to describe situations that occurred in previous positions. This gives them a better understanding of how you might react to similar situations that occur within their workplace. Before your interview, think back to your previous positions to memorable situations that you excelled in. Use them as examples to answer certain questions.