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Getting invited for a job interview can cause mixed feelings because, on the one hand, you’re a step closer to getting the job you want, but on the other, you’re closer to getting a heart-breaking rejection.
The uncertainty between these two possibilities can cause stress, which can affect your interview performance. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you move towards a positive outcome.
The things you need to do the day before a job interview include polishing and finalizing your answers to common interview questions, ensuring your attire is ironed, clean, and odor-free, and memorizing the job listing. Above all, you should be engaging in activities that help you relax.
In this article, you will learn more about each thing you can do to increase your odds of success. Among other things, you will discover the right way to:
- Re-examine and finalize your answers
- Print resume hard copies that impress
- Groom yourself for a strong first impression
- Memorize key points in your job listing
- Engage in de-stressing activities
- Spend time with family or friends
- Check up on your interview attire
Why the day before a job interview is so important
A day before your job interview is important because it allows you to gather your thoughts and create a final strategy to stand apart in the interview and increase your chances of getting hired. It also helps you get in the right mindset, polish your answers, and remember the dos and don’ts of a job interview.
What to do the day before an interview? Here are 7 things
Showing up to an interview unprepared is worse than not showing up at all. Given that one’s first impression is the last impression, and in many instances, the only impression, interview candidates need to dedicate the day before the session to optimizing their strategy to increase their odds of success. Here are the seven things you can do to set yourself up for success.
1. Polish your answers to potential interview questions
Interviewers do not expect you to read your answers off a teleprompter but expect a certain level of preparation. When you polish your answers to common interview questions, you let the interviewing party know that you respect the opportunity and actually want the job.
You do not need to write your answers for each question but must finalize the gist of your answers to the most important questions that almost every interviewer asks. Two of these questions are as follows:
Tell me about yourself
When you’re asked this question, do not go on an unprepared multi-tangent rant about who you are. Instead, present yourself as a cohesive brand. Al Ries, in his book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, says that the easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything.
You do that to your brand when you start talking about yourself in a scattered manner. A better way to answer the question is to say, “I am someone who [insert actions and interests relevant to the job].”
Why should we hire you?
This question almost always leads to an amalgamation of begging for the job while being oddly cocky about being the most competent at it. A thoughtfully crafted answer to this question will make you stand out. You can read more about how to stand apart in a job interview in one of our recent posts.
2. Review the job posting for the position you are applying for
Another important thing you have to do the day before is to freshen up on the job posting. As a job seeker, you should apply for as many jobs as you can, provided that they are relevant to your experience and career goals.
The byproduct of this blitz is that you might not remember specifics about each opening. It is not a good idea to interview for a job while having a generic idea of what the job entails. You should at least remember the main tasks you are expected to execute if hired. Ideally, you should memorize the job posting so you can reference the specifics wherever they become relevant in the interview.
The job posting contains the traits and qualifications the company is looking for, and you can tailor your answers to cater to the interviewers’ expectations. While “show don’t tell” applies for the bulk of your interview, if an answer can be tied to portions of the job posting, you can mention the specific section and impress the interviewer.
3. Get a few copies of your resumes printed on quality paper
In our post about standing apart in job interviews, one of the things we recommend is having a few copies of your resume printed on high-quality paper. This reflects your willingness to go the extra mile.
In most cases, the interviewer will have your resume printed already, but if she doesn’t, the hard copies will save the day and leave a lasting impression. And even if the printed copies are not used, the fact that you carry multiple will imply that you have other interviews lined up.
The mimetic theory of desire covers the phenomenon we mimic desires. In simpler terms, we want what others won’t, which is why social proof works. Your resume copies act as social proof that other potential interviewers want to talk to you, which can make the interviewer you’re sitting with want to hire you. So, even if you have only one interview, you should print multiple resumes and never act like you have infinite time.
4. Get a haircut and ensure you are well-groomed
Regardless of the kind of job you apply for, looking clean and professional increases your chances of getting hired for any job. As the proverb goes, “how you show up for anything is how you show up for everything.”
And interviewers know this, which is why they mentally cross out anyone who doesn’t appear to put effort into their grooming. The most ignored aspect of men’s grooming is the haircut. For women, the grooming expectations are, unfortunately, even higher and slightly ambiguous. Ultimately, you want to reflect that you put effort into your appearance, regardless of your gender or background.
5. Go get some exercise out in the sun
Emotions are contagious thanks to a combination of mirror neurons and empathy. That’s why you do not want to walk into an interview with anxious energy. Exercise and sunlight can both help you de-stress, but given how stressful an upcoming interview can be, we recommend combining both and taking your exercise routine into the daylight.
It also helps that exercise can help aid your memory, which is good for remembering answers if you have them written already. While you can replace this with any activity that reduces your stress levels, we recommend not skipping exercise the day before. The movement can do wonders for your mood.
6. Let loose and hang out with friends and family
Again, anything you can do to get rid of stress is helpful a day before your big interview. This can include hanging out with friends and family, but only if you are positive that time with them elevates your mood. If all they do is remind you that you do not have a job, by asking you about how your job search is going, you might want to flip this tip and find solace in your own company.
If you’re an introvert, you get energized in the absence of people. That doesn’t mean you should sit alone doing nothing because sitting idle part can result in overthinking. Instead, engage in an engaging activity like watching Netflix, reading a book, or playing a game. The ultimate goal is to have your attention absorbed into something that is not the interview.
7. Make sure your interview attire is ready to go
Finally, you must make sure that your interview attire is not unironed or unclean. Ideally, it must fit well, but a day before the interview is not a great time to be checking how well your clothes fit. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Shine your shoes – Shine your shoes because they might be the first thing people notice about your attire.
- Get your suit dry-cleaned – Make sure there are no stains on your clothes and that they’re free of body odor.
- Have the suit steamed and your clothes ironed – This is crucial yet overlooked. Clothes hanging in a closet do not always retain their smoothness. Wrinkles can be caused by different factors aside from wearing the clothes, so you should at least double-check their ironing.
Once you ensure that you have everything you need to wear, including a cologne, you’ll be ready for the next day. That leads us to the final thing which you should be doing regardless of whether you have an upcoming interview session or not: taking plenty of rest. Make sure you get enough sleep the day before your interview.