1. Prep two days before
No one wants to walk into a job interview feeling uncomfortable, so do a test run of your outfit, have your resume printed and ready to go, and make sure your purse or bag has the essentials (including bottled water and a small snack, just in case the interview runs long.) This isn't the time to experiment with a new style. Instead, pick a reliable outfit you feel happy, confident, and most importantly--fidget free while wearing. Make sure it's clean, pressed, and free from rips or tears (including tights!) and that your shoes are easy to wear. Interviews are awkward enough without limping to accommodate blisters, right?
2. Get plenty of rest the night before
It may seem cliche, but a good night of sleep can go a long way toward helping you feel relaxed, confident, and prepared for the adrenaline rush of a job interview. These days, companies get the most out of their interviews by generally having a candidate see three or four different hiring managers--that's an hour or two of conversation, introductions, and often repeating yourself. You want to do everything possible to have the stamina to stay energized and focused. Getting a good night's rest is really pretty simple. Start by making sure you get twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity: walking, swimming, cardio, weights, even gardening or dancing around your living room. This will help burn excess energy and physically relax your body. Next, eat a low-carb dinner, preferably before six pm. I know, I know--early bird special, right? But digestion can exhaust the body in a negative way, and trying to sleep on a full stomach is just downright uncomfortable. Make the rest of your evening relaxing. Turn screens off by eight pm, and instead read an actual book or listen to an audiobook to help fall asleep. If you're into pampering, consider doing a face mask or giving yourself a scalp massage to relax even further.
3. Have a quality breakfast
Make sure you fill up on nutritious, delicious breakfast with balanced carbs and protein. We love making a fruit smoothie with protein powder and munching down on a slice of whole wheat toast, slathered in crunchy organic peanut butter and sliced banana. If you prefer something of the grab-and-go variety, fix yourself an english muffin topped with scrambled eggs, sliced avocado, and salsa. Consider limiting your caffeine intake to just one or two cups of coffee or tea, that way you won't feel like a jittery mess by the time you arrive to your potential future employer. It's a good idea to get up a little earlier, just in case you need time to prepare a meal, but do make time for food--no one can put their best foot forward when their stomach is growling, and you don't want to risk grabbing something on the road, in case it sloshes down your slick interview ensemble.
4. Use the commute to loosen up
Don't psych yourself out--you're well rested, relaxed, and fed. Put on your favorite mix or podcast to get you in a positive frame of mind. Pick upbeat, energetic tunes to get your blood pumping. That kind of energy is contagious, and if you walk into your interview happy, full of life, and excited to be there, it's going to put your interviewer in a similar mindset. Don't waste time pouring over every detail of your resume--it's a conversation, not a pop quiz, and you need to let your best qualities shine. If you need to calm down, call a friend or family member for a quick pep talk. Ask them to remind you what you're great at, get the conversation flowing, and hang on to the easy, conversational mojo that begins to flow.
5. Just breathe
Before you walk in to the office, take a moment to center yourself. Pop a mint, check your lipstick, and turn off your cell phone. Take a few deep, calming breaths to relax. Close your eyes and picture yourself nailing the interview. Entering with a clear, fresh mind is half the battle and everyone you meet is going to be impressed by your demeanor. It may seem like common sense, but the more pressure you take off yourself, the easier it will be to find your greatness.
6. Smile, shake hands, and sip water
Smile at everyone you meet and introduce yourself with confidence. Say yes when the recruiting coordinator offers you a bottle of water (hey, dry mouth is the worst!) and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Be sure to take bio breaks as needed, but stay focused and present on your interviewer. When making introductions, repeat the person's name back when you greet them--it will help you keep all of the names straight.
7. Close with a thank you
Another common sense moment, but don't neglect to send a sincere thank you email after your interview. It should go to the recruiter, and request that it be sent along to the hiring managers. Be sincere, succinct, and timely.