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Sweet Dreams before your Interview… But first, make sure you’re ready!

You finally landed an interview! It turns out that all of the job searching and preparation has finally paid off. Hopefully, you are taking the time to have a little rest and relaxation the night before to calm your nerves…But first, make sure you are prepared for the next day! Here is an easy checklist of things to remember to do BEFORE the day of an interview.

1. Research the Company
You MUST have an understanding of the company you are going to interview with. You should look for key points including the kinds of clients they work with, their work environment, office locations, plans for improvement and any other information you can gather.
• Look at the company website
• Find the company on Social Networking sites
• Ask your professional network
• Talk to your Career Services Department at your school

It is always a good idea to let your family, friends and professional network of individuals know where you are interviewing. You never know when someone might have previously worked for the employer, knows someone else who works there, can offer some helpful advice or can recommend you.

2. Know the Job Description & Job Responsibilities
Take the time to re-read the job description so you know the needs of the company. You should always make sure you mention that you hold the skills they need in the ideal candidate in both your resume and cover letter. In addition to having it in writing, make sure you can relate the responsibilities of the job into real-life experiences that you have in your experience at previous positions or externships.
• Always focus on what good you can do for the company
• Show employers that you have the skills they are seeking in the ideal candidate
• Sell yourself! Explain how your experiences have prepared you for this job
Employers use a Job Description when posting a job to tell exactly what they are looking for. Make sure you show them that YOU are exactly what they are looking for by knowing the description and responsibilities of the job and by being able to show that you are capable of handling it.

3. Prepare your clothing and items to take with you
First impressions are extremely important. They can make or break you in an interview. Make sure you have prepared everything for both your physical appearance and your professional appearance.
• Prepare your outfit beforehand so you can ensure everything fits correctly
• Have at least 3 copies of your resume ON RESUME PAPER to distribute to interviewers
• Bring a list of your professional references
• Bring a pen and paper to take notes
• Bring forms of identification
• Cell phone
• Ipod
• Drink
• Gum
• Children
Being prepared the night before will make your morning before an interview much less stressful. There is nothing worse than putting on an outfit the morning of an interview and realizing it no longer fits or that the cat jumped and snagged your sweater. Preparing the outfit and documents you need to take with you beforehand can drastically reduce stress which will calm your nerves and give you more confidence when heading into the interview.

4. Know the Way
Do you know where you are going? Make sure you take the time to double-check the address of the facility where you are interviewing and plan the best route to get there.
• Mapquest directions if you need to
• Take a test-drive if you are unfamiliar with the location.
• Make sure you know the best route and keep an eye out for construction or places that could get congested with traffic.

The day of the interview, make sure you leave in plenty of time to avoid any traffic problems on your way. Dealing with the risk of being late increases stress before an interview and can cause you to be flustered and seem uneasy when you begin the interviewing process. Always avoid this by taking a test-drive the night before and checking the traffic report before you head out.

5. Relax
Once you are fully prepared for the interview, take the time to relax. Calm your nerves and gain the confidence you need before walking into the interview. You have taken all the right steps in finding the perfect career…Now, let it happen!

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