11:00 a.m.: Begin reviewing all the research you’ve gathered about the organization you’re interviewing with, the industry, your interviewer, and the job itself. You will have previously collected this material (see our Guide to Researching Companies, Industries, and Countries), and this won’t be the first time you’re reviewing it. As you’re reviewing again, keep in mind the questions you may be asked that will require you to know this material:
- What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
- Do you enjoy doing independent research?
- Do you have any plans for further education?
- Why do you want to work in the ————- industry
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you interested in our company?
Noon: Relax over lunch. Even in the important hours before the interview, you need downtime so you don’t get yourself too worked up over the interview.
1:00 p.m.: Review the questions you think you may be asked in the interview, as well as your planned responses to them. Ideally, you have previously composed your responses in writing (see our article Promising Interview-Prep Technique: Composing Written Responses to Interview Questions). Your goal now is not to memorize your responses but simply to review them and be familiar and comfortable with them.
2:00 p.m.: With the questions fresh in your mind, enlist a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you. You may want to make this trial run a full-blown dress rehearsal in your interview attire. Have your “interviewer” critique not only the content of your responses but your nonverbal demeanor: eye contact, voice, posture, hand gestures, facial expressions, nervous habits, use of “pause” words (such as “um,” “uh”), and handshake.
3:00 p.m.: Take another hour of downtime to do something you enjoy, preferably a relaxing activity, such as reading, running, bicycling, yoga, meditation, listening to music, taking a hot bath, or the like.
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Make this your time for taking care of business — the activities you’d normally be doing if not preparing for an interview. Return phone calls, check e-mail, do household chores, spend time with family.
6:00 p.m.: Relax over dinner, remembering to eat a filling and nutritious meal and not something that will sit heavily on your stomach, give you indigestion, or keep you awake.
7:00 p.m.: Do a final review of your company-research notes and your responses to interview questions.