Stressful. Nerve-wracking. Exciting. These words could sum up a job interview or a first date perfectly. That's why preparing for an interview is a lot like getting ready for a first date. Naturally (and let's hope) the end result isn't quite the same, but with proper readiness, the outcome for both can be a positive one.
Dates are generally more fun than interviews, so if you plan for your interview as you would a date, the process will seem a lot less daunting. With a little groundwork to make your interview as smooth as possible, this pre-interview prep will have any hiring manager impressed. You'll be best equipped to land the job you want. Then, you can celebrate your new role by using your tactics to enjoy a perfect date!
Do Some Digging
Nowadays, getting some background info about your date isn't only a curiosity tamer, but a safety measure. Same goes for seeking out information about the job you're planning to interview for. But more than satisfying curiosity, doing your research will give you the tools to speak intelligently during the interview and show that you are serious about the job at hand. You can also do some poking around to learn more about the person hiring you so you can learn about their role in the company and have some ammo when it comes to chatting about things you may have in common.
As far as safety goes, you'll be able to determine if the company is real, does what you were told they do, and where they are located.
Note: Just like a date, don't reveal that you've done this amateur personal background check to avoid seeming creepy. Looking up company details are relevant and fine to comment on however.
Get a Good Night's Rest
You want to be fresh, energetic, and on the ball for a first date as well as (or even more so) for an important job interview. While you may have the jitters, it's imperative you get to bed at a reasonable hour so you are the best version of yourself for the big interview.
Put away your smartphone (Facebook can wait), turn off the TV (Judge Judy can too), and make the bedroom as dark as possible. Avoid any heavy eating just before bedtime, and if you drink, have no more than one serving. No one bottle of wine is NOT considered a serving. If you are completely wide awake, consider taking a warm bath or having a mug of chamomile tea. Both will soothe you and have you drifting off in no time.
Set the alarm with plenty of time to breathe deeply in the morning and to get ready at a leisurely pace before the interview so you aren't in freak-out mode in the morning. You'll want to have time to dress nicely, do your hair, and make sure your shoes match.
Eat Something Before You Go
Even if you have a dinner date planned, it's always smart to have a light bite beforehand. Arriving on an empty stomach can make you feel moody, nauseous, or sluggish. Same goes for filling up before an interview. You'll need substantial energy to make it through all the questioning and conversation.
Eat something nutritious and balanced, but not too big. You don't want to feel weighed down or find yourself in need of a bathroom as soon as you arrive at the interview. Consider a yogurt parfait, some whole wheat toast with avocado, a cup of soup and a half sandwich, or a fresh salad.
The fuel will keep your mind sharp and your body going strong. Just be sure you don't drip anything on your suit!
As nervous as you may be before a date or an interview, as long as you seem confident, whomever you're with will believe you are. You can practice your confidence skills pre-interview to assure you come across as intelligent, focused, and of good character.
Check your posture as you sit at home throughout the week before the interview. Are you slouching or slumped? It's time to throw your shoulders back and hold your head high. Body language is an important factor that hiring managers are tuned in to.
Practice talking with people, even strangers, and maintain good eye contact and show genuine interest in the discussion.
Brush up on any relevant business lingo and latest trends and developments in the field. The more you know pre-interview, the better things will go if you're hit with intricate questions. And if you don't have the answer to something, be straightforward. Honesty is just as confident as knowing it all.