Your minute-by-minute guide to the best interview ever
Interviewing for a job is only slightly less nerve-wracking than walking a tightrope—and at least as difficult. Your life may not be on the line, but your future job is! So, to make things a little easier, we’ve put together a handy guide for everything you should be doing on the day of your interview. It’s about as close as we can get to actually taking the interview for you.
Two hours before:
Look over your resume, and highlight the two positions you’ve had that are most similar or relevant to the job you’re currently applying for. During the interview, you’ll want to highlight those roles. You should be able to describe in detail your biggest responsibilities, challenges and accomplishments in each.
One hour before:
Time to review the company! Grab an index card, and jot down three or four details about the company that appeal to you. Does it have a great professional development program? Are its employees really tight-knit? Is it known in the industry for its great work? Be as specific as possible—when the interviewer asks you, “Why do you want to work here?” and “What makes you a good fit?” You want to be able to reference specific aspects of the company.
30 minutes before:
If you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you, look him or her up online. Ideally, you’ll share a common interest, which you can reference during the interview. You should also take note of the groups he or she is in—are you in any of the same? Anything you and your interviewer share can be used to build rapport.
15 minutes before:
This is exactly when you should be arriving to the interview. Any earlier, and you’ll seem too eager. Any later, and you run the risk of appearing late. (You know what they say about being on time…)
2 minutes before:
Take a deep breath, and remind yourself to sit up straight, smile and most importantly, make eye contact.
5 minutes after:
You’ll probably have an adrenaline rush after you’ve walked out of the interview room. But don’t forget to quickly write down a summary of the interview, because right now, you’ll have the most accurate impression of how it went. Things to note: What questions did the interviewer ask you? How did you respond? How long was the interview? When did he or she say you’d hear about the decision? Do you need to send the company any materials, and if so, by when?
1 hour later:
You’ve survived the interview, but your work isn’t done yet. Your thank-you note should land in the interviewer’s inbox the day of the interview—and the sooner the better. In your note, try to incorporate something you talked about. For example, if the hiring manager mentioned she loved basketball, you might write, “Hope your team does well in this weekend’s game!”