RECRUITERS | Got a job interview? Don’t forget the simple stuff

If you have a job interview coming up, I’m sure you’re preparing for it as best you can. You’ve gone over the common interview questions, you’ve practised talking through your skills and you’ve picked your outfit.

However, there are a few other things that are easy to forget about, or maybe you just haven’t given them that much thought. But these things are key for setting you up right for the interview, ensuring you stay calm and planning for unexpected issues.


Get there early

We talk about making powerful first impressions and an employer looking at their watch, waiting for you is a terrible one. Be familiar with the route to the office and leave with plenty of time in advance. Give yourself extra time to get there with comfort. Allow for heavy traffic, late taxis and missed buses. It’s better to be extra early and wait in a nearby café than to be sprinting through the door, already five minutes late.

Google Maps will usually give you the best route by taxi, walking or public transport and on the day itself, it usually has a good indication of how heavy the traffic is. Simple preparation here will avoid you bursting into the interview sweaty, late and on the back foot.

Eat right beforehand

I’m not talking about dieting, starving yourself or eating like an athlete. The day of your interview is not the day to try something adventurous. New food may make you feel queasy, spicy food may give you hiccups, garlicky food may stink.

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Eat something that fills you to avoid the awkward hungry grumbles without sending you into a food coma and leaving you with an uphill battle to demonstrate energy. Slow-releasing energy foods such as bananas and nuts are ideal snacks shortly before you head in. Avoid chocolate if possible, or risk having a sugar rush or sugar crash in the middle of the interview.

RECRUITERS | Got a job interview? Don’t forget the simple stuff

Go to the mirror

Maybe it is a slight paranoia on my part but before public speaking, I like to look in a mirror. I use this time to rid any small doubts in the back of my head such as whether or not my tie is on right, or whether or not there is something in my teeth. This helps me cast any form of small distraction to come into my head whilst talking.

I also recommend giving yourself a pep talk or try using some power stances to give you a boost before going in. You may feel a little silly, but standing in a ‘power pose’ for a minute or two can give you a bit of a confidence boost, which is just what you need before heading into an interview.

Bring tissues and an umbrella

An unexpected sneeze or a sweaty brow can easily be remedied with a tissue or handkerchief. You don’t want to be stuck sniffling through an interview. It distracts you and the employer from what you are trying to say.

Since we live in Ireland, an umbrella should be considered a ‘need-to-have’ instead of a ‘nice-to-have’. You don’t want to have gone through the bother of ironing your shirt and picking out the right clothes only to walk in soaking wet. Not only is your own presentation dampened but again it is a distraction for all involved.

Be careful with aftershave or perfume

There are plenty of people who are a big fan of aftershaves and pefumes, but there are also some people who have a stronger sense of smells or more sensitive noses. Choose what scent you wear wisely when going to a job interview. Careful that you have not splashed too much on or that your scent is overpowering in small, confined meeting rooms.

Know what you want to say

It may go without saying, but make sure you do actually practise answering interview questions. If you can say them out loud, all the better. There are standard questions that you should need to think of an answer on the spot. Your recruiter will often give you sample questions – prepare for these.

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You should also plan the key points you want to get across to the interviewer, particularly relevant projects and achievements. You should also think about what information you wish to gain from the meeting and plan questions for the end of the interview.

While the above tips alone will not land you the job, they will help you feel more comfortable so you can perform at your best and leave a positive impression.

Looking to secure your next job interview? Create job alerts so that you never miss the perfect opportunity. Alternatively, you can upload your CV here. Want more interview advice? Check out the RECRUITERS interview guide here.

Inteview photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash


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