It’s the day of your first big job interview for that big sales career opportunity. Your mind may be racing with the possibilities of getting the gig, or maybe you’re stressing out over the interview process.
There are several things you can do before the day arrives to give you a better shot at showing off your skills and potential. Here are a few items for a preparation to-do list:
1. Do your research: A prospective employee should know the main points of a company’s history. It doesn’t take long to find that information through Google, but also check out Glassdoor to see what the buzz is about the company. Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace, recently offered a list of things you should know before a job interview in a story on LinkedIn. Among them:
2. Be up-to-date: Ever see someone in a lobby or an elevator, zoning out over a smartphone? Not the best first impression to make. But before you get to the interview, there is a benefit to a final search. Amy Levin-Epstein of Moneywatch recommends to “check Twitter one last time.” See if there’s news about the company that could be valuable to bring up during the interview, or to just know of in case it gets mentioned. Such awareness may show just how in-tune with the company you are, and that can impress a prospective boss.
3. Know where you’re going: This may sound straight out of the Obvious Department, but knowing where the company is located, and what the parking situation might be when you arrive, is crucial. The best bet is to do a test run the day before the interview, just so that you know what to expect. Otherwise, a wrong turn here or a parking snafu there might cause you to be late, and that’s just about the worst way possible to introduce yourself as a potential employee.
4. Get your rest: All the preparation in the world won’t help if you look a mess the day of the interview. Make sure all your necessary materials are ready the night before, as well as your highly professional outfit. Don’t stay up late watching the game or a movie. Definitely don’t make it a night at the bar. The last thing a potential employer wants to see is the soured face of a partier. And make sure you maximize your sleep time. Sure, there’s always the chance you’ll toss and turn in anticipation of the day, like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. But at least give yourself the best chance to appear fresh and friendly the next day.
5. Prepare your ‘grand entrance’: That’s a phrase used by Levin-Epstein to describe the moment when you meet the interviewer. That first impression is important, so don’t be overloaded with stuff as you stand up to shake hands and offer a friendly greeting. If you’re fiddling with your phone, a newspaper or a book, you’ll have to put them somewhere else in that moment, and that can create an awkward shuffle of movements that can border on bumbling. As you wait, be ready to stand up, shake hands and offer a friendly greeting. Then pick up your materials in one swift motion. And while we’re at it, don’t bring anything you don’t need. It’s a job interview, not a hiking expedition.