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Preparation: How to Handle the Night before Your Interview

There are few moments in life more exciting and nerve wracking than the night before an interview for a job you really, really want. The path ahead seems to fork in two directions, and down one of those branches, you’ll find lasting happiness and the chance to wake up each morning and throw yourself into a promising day full of work you love. It’s hard to sleep on a night like this, and if there are any last steps that can help you prepare, now is the time to check them off your list. Start with these.

1. Plan on getting to sleep an hour earlier than you usually do. A full night of sleep will be your most important ally and best possible form of preparation. Stop taking in caffeinated food and drinks before noon, and get plenty of exercise. Exercise improves circulation and oxygen delivery to all areas of the body including the brain, which can energize you in the morning and help you doze off at night.

2. If your interview will happen early in the day, double and triple check your alarm and have a few back-ups ready. This isn’t just to make sure you wake up on time—It can also provide an unconscious form of reassurance to your anxious brain, which can help you put wake-up fears aside and fall asleep faster.

3. Double check and confirm your childcare and pet care arrangements.

4. Check your interview outfit one last time for small tears, stains, lint, wrinkles, or loose threads. Hang it up in a safe place. Take one more close look at your shoes to check for scuffs.

5. Review your “elevator pitch”, or hard-hitting 30-second speech that explains why you’re great for this position and what you have to offer than no other candidate can. Practice the speech one final time on your spouse, roommate, or dog.

6. Make sure you’ve mapped out the route to your venue and know exactly when you need to leave in order to make it in the door on time. Make an allowance of at least twenty minutes for traffic and wrong turns.

7. Charge your phone.

8. Gather and organize everything you need, including glasses, directions, car keys, and printed copies of your resume (take at least five). You’ll also need your interviewer’s phone number so you can call from the road if you’re going to be late.

You’re ready for anything! Now drink a hot cup of decaffeinated tea, hit the pillow, and start daydreaming. How will you celebrate when you land your offer? Try to keep your final thoughts positive and focused on the future. Pleasant dreams, and good luck! Reach out to the staffing pros at PSU for specific help and encouragement with your job search.