What Successful Candidates Do Before Every Interview

Posted: 03/09/15 | Category: Interviewing Job Search

An interview without preparation is like constructing a building without blueprints: nothing pretty or effective will get off the ground. Successful interviews are built on a strong foundation and with enough foresight to predict challenges in advance. To standout out in the skyline, follow these indispensable interview tips.

Dig Deeper – Most people just scratch the surface when doing interview preparation. They skim the job advertisement and get superficial details from a simple search. Distinguish yourself by researching all you can about the company.

Before the interview, you should have advanced knowledge about the following things:

• What the company does
• What products or services it offers
• What someone with your skills will be doing for that company
• Who the decision makers are and who would be on your team
• Where the company expects to be in the future (1 year, 5 years, etc.)
• What the company culture is like

The first 4 bullet points are essential to know. Don’t walk in to the interview without most of those details locked down. The next 2 are important, but for any information you can’t find, you are okay asking about it. Employers will feel you’re more engaged if you ask questions. 

Prep Answers for Common Interview Questions – Even tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Zappos resort to some of these 12 perennial interview questions (when they aren’t asking how many quarters would it take to reach the top of the Empire State Building). Why fix what isn’t broken?

Have an answer and anecdote to each question prepared. That proves you’re both a good employee and a great cultural fit.

Select Your Outfit – It should never be a mad dash the morning of to find a garment that shows your professionalism. Pick out something a few days before, make sure it fits, dry clean it, and have it ready to go in your closet. Also, it never hurts to have a backup in case coffee or some food stain disqualifies your primary choice.

Plan Out Your Route – Don’t just plug the address into your GPS and hope for the best. When satellite generated routes go awry, there’s no way to retrace your steps.

Additionally, even though that technology is equipped to provide traffic updates, it never hurts to know the commute time in advance. That way, you aren’t operating off of a false assumption and ending up late to your one shot at that job.

Get a Good Night’s Rest – Good sleep keeps your brain healthy, allowing for greater attention span and decision making capabilities during the interview. One night of complete rest (7-9 hour of sleep depending on your personal needs) isn’t enough.

It takes your brain at least a few days to recover from bad habits. If you’ve had a night where you’ve burnt the midnight to vapors, it takes a few nights for you to rebound back.

Eat a Healthy Dinner & Breakfast – To get the right chemical reaction, you need the right ingredients. Loading up on greasy food the night before or sugar cereals the morning of your interview will do you no favors. What should you eat before the interview?

• Leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale, etc.)
• Antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables
• Lean poultry and fatty fish
• Whole grains, brown rice, and oatmeal
• Mushrooms

Learn About Your Interviewer – Never enter into the interview blind. You want to always know who will be interviewing you. You need to be able to enter the office and say, “Hello, I have an interview with Jane Doe.” It implies you’re ready and prepared for your interview. 

Ultimately, successful job seekers are focused on more than just following these 7 interview tips. They do anything to prepare their minds and bodies for the test to come. Their interview preparation elevates their candidacy to towering heights and helps them remain tall while the chances of other candidates fall around them.

by James Walsh