There is perhaps nothing more nerve wracking than the night before a big job interview. If it is truly a position that you want (and this is probably a way to tell if it is), then you will probably feel the stomach “butterflies” similar to other really notable events in your life. This is true whether you have scheduled the interview far in advance or has come together relatively quickly.

For most, it will be impossible to truly keep the interview off your mind. This may be because there is still some work that needs to be done. It is critical, however, that you place yourself in a position the night before to be successful the next day. 

What you choose to do the night before the interview will go a long way to determining your interview success. The following are some tips to better prepare yourself for the interview that you have the next day:

• Try to Schedule A.M. Interviews – This tip is actually for you to consider prior to scheduling the interview. In my opinion, morning interviews are much easier to manage than having to deal with an afternoon discussion. The reason is that (either way) you will be challenged to have a good evening the night before, but with afternoon interviews, you then have to manage a difficult morning waiting for the meeting. This is especially taxing if you have to work that morning and then need to be concerned about leaving work on-time to make the interview. Plus, it helps avoid the awkwardness of being asked constantly in the morning regarding where you are going in the afternoon.

• Heavy Preparation Is Done Already – You will feel much better if you already have done your major preparation work PRIOR to the night before the interview. At this point, you should have already familiarized yourself with the posting, researched the company, and role-played anticipated questions. The work has already been put in. While late night and last-minute cramming may seem like a promising idea, it will usually just leave you fatigued and agitated in the morning.

• Do a Quick Review – While an all-night study session is not recommended (please see above) it is a clever idea to do a quick review of your preparation material. A read-through of the posting, the questions you wish to ask, and any other relevant information is the correct approach. The idea is to not learn but reinforce what you already know with this quick review.

• Take Your Mind Off Of the Next Day – What do you like to do to relax? Perhaps you could watch TV, surf the internet, or open up a book. Call a relative or a friend for a chat. The point is that it does not matter what it is that you are doing, only that it needs to make you feel better and helps you take your mind off of tomorrow’s appointment. 

• Know Where You Are Going – A big source of anxiety for people is worrying about getting to someplace they have not travelled to in the past. You can solve this issue by already making a drive out to wherever you are interviewing and having the directions already set to go on your smartphone.

• Get Some Rest – I know what you are probably thinking with this tip…”easy for you to write.” While this will be a challenge, it is imperative that you do your best to try to get some sleep, especially if you have to work the next morning and your interview is later in the day. Try to do all the things that make you sleep better (watch caffeine intake, use white noise, etc.). I am not a Doctor, but you may want to avoid consuming any type of sleep-inducing medication for fear regarding how it may make you feel in the morning. Finally, go to bed early enough that even with some tossing and turning, you will still get enough sleep to tackle the day.

An important night in your life is the night before a big job interview. In this situation, however, a “less is more” approach is probably the correct direction to go in. Try investing the time (in advance) for the required major preparation work and then spend the night before focusing more on relaxing than anything else. Hopefully, you will find that this approach places you in the best mindset the next day to ace the interview.

As always, best of luck in your job search.

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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