The Perfect Interview ScheduleSeptember 19th, 2013 | Articles, Interviewing, Job Search | No Comments »
A job interview is a planned process that you can’t afford to dash together at the last second. If you want to succeed during that brief window of time, you have to put in the effort needed to convince the hiring manager you are the one and only person for the job. That’s why you have to unify all the elements of interview success as you go along, paying attention to each at the appropriate time.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW IS SCHEDULED
• Research the Company – No doubt, you’ve already looked over the company while writing your resume but this should be an in-depth assessment of their history, capabilities, challenges, and opportunities. You want to know how you will fit in and what you can provide to the team. And you want to know all those things early on.
• Prepare Responses for Common Questions – There are some questions that will come out of left field but most interview questions are pretty standard. Take the time to plot out the gist of your responses so you aren’t fumbling for words when the spotlight is shining on you.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
• Review Your Research – You’re not breaking new ground; you’re only cementing the facts in your mind. This is strictly a recap unless you find a good nugget of information on the web.
• Practice Your Responses – You have your answers to those commonly asked questions, so now you need to practice. Either run through them with your spouse, your family, your friends, or yourself in the mirror to get the presentation down pat. Remember though, it should still sound semi-spontaneous, so don’t script your responses out completely.
• Prepare Your Wardrobe – We’ve all fumbled around the day of for that perfect outfit. Don’t waste any precious minutes. Have your full outfit selected, ironed, dry cleaned, polished, and whatever else needs doing before you go to bed. Your future, less anxious self will thank you.
• Get a Good Night’s Rest – Your brain cells grow and revitalize when you give yourself enough time to go through several cycles of REM sleep. You want to be at your mental peak when you go toe to toe with a hiring manager, so get eight hours if you can.
THE MORNING OF
• Eat a Healthy & Nutritious Meal – Skip on the sugar cereal and the sodium spike of fast food. Stick with yogurt, antioxidant rich fruits, nuts, leafy greens, fatty fish, and lean poultry. A mixture of protein, B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, lysine, and other nutrients can help you keep yourself elevated to meet the challenges of the interview.
• Check Traffic & Weather Conditions – Nothing can derail all your well laid plans like a torrential downpour or traffic jam. You should already know how long the route will be, so give yourself some wiggle room if the conditions could slow down the typical drive time.
15 MINUTES BEFORE
• Be There. Any earlier can make you seem burdensome and any later gives the impression you don’t take the opportunity seriously. Realistically, you have a 5 minute window on either side of the 15 minute marker but don’t press it any further than that.
THE INTERVIEW – Bring it all together.
15 MINUTES AFTERWARD
• Say Thank You – If you don’t have a thank you card sitting on your desk at home, pick one up before you make it home. Then, sit down right away to create a thoughtful, customized thank you. Send it off as soon as you can; it’ll be a nice reminder for hiring managers when final decisions are being made.
48 HOURS AFTER OR MORE
• Follow Up Call/Email – If it feels like you’ve been on communication blackout, reach out to the hiring manager to see if you’re still in the running. This can be a healthy reminder that you’re still interested.
by James Walsh