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What to do 30 Minutes Before Your Next Interview

Going to a job interview can be terrifying.  Your nervous energy can make it difficult to complete the most simple of tasks, such as hanging up your jacket or shaking the interviewer's hand.  You have likely been preparing for this interview for a few days, but what you do in the last few minutes can make ALL the difference.  Here are some tips to help you use the 30 minutes before the interview to put you in a head space where you can WOW the employer:

Try to centre yourself.  If you are in a relaxed state of mind at your interview, you will be more focused when you are answering the questions.  Take a few deep breaths while you are sitting in your car or in another quiet place.  Close your eyes and consciously try to relax.  Listen to music or do a quick meditation.  Try to quiet your mind so that the employer can get an accurate sense of who you are and what you have to offer.  

Check your appearance.  Take a look in a mirror to make sure that everything is good.  You need to know that there is nothing on your face, your hair is not sticking up and your clothes are fitting nicely.  Since you worked hard to create a professional appearance, that last look in the mirror should give you a burst of confidence.    

Get yourself organized.  The last thing you want to do at a job interview is come across as flustered.  If the employer asks you for your references, you don't want to be shuffling through piles of paper.  Also, there is nothing more awkward and distracting than your phone buzzing in the middle of an interview.  Turn off your phone and organize your bag.

Use the restroom.  Even if it doesn't feel necessary, try to use the bathroom.  Your body can play tricks on you when you're nervous and you certainly don't want to have to stop the interview for a bathroom break.    

Getting to the location of your interview early is key.  Ideally, you should arrive 30 minutes ahead of time and actually go into the office ten or fifteen minutes before your scheduled interview.  When you are sitting in the office, use your eyes and ears to try to pick up anything that might be useful.  This is an excellent opportunity to get a better understanding of the organizational culture.  Before the interviewer comes out, give yourself a quick pep talk.  You have a lot to offer.  If the job is the right fit, the employer will see that.  If not, then it's best to let this one go.  The right job will come along; you just have to trust the process.  



(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by