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Don’t Cram the Night Before Studying for a Job Interview

by Katy Bruegenhemke | Nov 04, 2016

Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time or a seasoned job seeker, the interview process can be an excruciating experience.  It is the most rigorous part of the entire job search process as it screams with stress and anxiety.  However, an interview is an opportunity to highlight your skills and prove your leadership abilities, so it’s crucial to maintain your composure and perform at peak levels.  Cramming the night before the interview will only add to the stress you’re feeling.  Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your interview in the days leading up to it in order stay relaxed under the pressures of the interview process.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Around 90 percent of success in job interviews is contributed to preparation.  As with anything, the more you practice, the better you’ll become.  In the days leading up to the interview, try role-playing with a friend to get comfortable with the interview dynamic.  Use the following questions as a starting point:

Tell me about yourself.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Tell me about your most recent mistake.  What did you do to fix it?

Do background research prior to the evening before.

You’ve likely already researched the organization during the application process.  Pull out those notes and review them.  Then, dig a little further.  The more background research you do on the company, the more confident you’ll feel going into the interview.  Google the organization and read recent news articles and press releases.  It’ll keep you from mumbling a sloppy answer when asked what you know about the company and show that you’re well informed on the employer’s current events.

Run through the “what ifs” now.

Whether you’re cramming for a test or a job interview, the anxiety of waiting until the last minute produces “what if” questions.  This is where you start to over analyze everything that could possibility go wrong.  Think about those things now and prepare solutions, so that you’re not overly anxious the day of the interview.  Prepare answers for commons interview questions and brainstorm anecdotes to use if behavioral questions are asked.  The more you practice and rehearse, the more confident you’ll feel.

Build solution shelves to respond decisively.

Being decisive is an important skill that can be developed with a little practice.   There’s no need to think on your feet when you’ve already done the thinking.  Instead, go back to your “What If” scenarios.  If one of your interviewers doesn’t show, what’s the solution? Put the answer on your shelf. If the interviewer asks for documentation you don’t have with you, what do you do? Put the answer on your shelf.  The more situations you prepare and shelve, the more prepared you’ll be.  If you put your solutions on mental shelves, all you have to do is reach for the appropriate solution when you’re faced with a tough situation.  Instead of having to think on the spot, you’ll have a stimulus-response.

Minimize stress.

Nothing will make you more stressed then rushing around the night before and day of the interview.  Pick out your interview attire and print copies of your resume a day or two before the interview, so you aren’t dealing with any last minute wardrobe malfunctions or printer issues.

If you have an in person interview, map out directions and allow yourself plenty of time to get there.  Factor in time for bad weather, traffic, road closures, and/or getting lost.  If your interview is over the phone, find a quiet space to take the call well before it’s time.  You don’t want to have any background noise or other distractions that could interfere with the conversation.

Need additional help preparing for interviews?

Let the experienced recruiters at Allied Staffing help.  At Allied Staffing, we offer career guidance, in-depth interview preparation and access to multiple job opportunities at the best companies. Contact us today and we won’t rest until we’ve found the perfect job opportunity for you.