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Career Corner
The Pre-Interview Checklist

Julia Penny -- Use this practical interview checklist of what you need to do the day before your interview. You want to be sure that you are properly prepared and confident of acing the interview.

Here is a list of what you should put in your portfolio or briefcase:

(Remember to clean out your briefcase first, you don't want irrelevant papers flying around when you are trying to retrieve documents from it!)

-- Full name of company, name and position of contact person/interviewer and contact number.

-- Full address of company and the department or building where your interview is.

-- Good directions or map. Get these by calling the company, they usually have a standard set of directions they can email you or they can tell you on the phone. You can also obtain a map from an Internet map site such as Mapquest or Google Maps. If you are taking public transport have your route prepared.

-- Details of where you can park.

-- Put in a couple of copies of your resume. Although the company already has a copy you may need to give another copy to the interviewer or interviewers. Take this opportunity to read through your resume again and note any red flags that will have to be dealt with during the interview. Prepare your interview answers to tough questions about gaps in employment, reason for leaving etc.

-- Include copies of letters of recommendation or written job references you have.

-- Have copies of your reference list ready, the interviewer will ask for this during the job interview.

-- Relevant work samples.

-- Pen and paper. Taking a few notes during your interview shows you are listening closely.

-- Your business card if you have one.

-- The job advert or any details of the position that you have. You may want to refer to this during the interview.

-- Include your company background research. Review the research that you have put together about the organization and the job and consider how you will use it in your interview.

-- Put in the questions you have prepared to ask the interviewer. You should prepare at least five insightful questions about the job, the company, and management. Read through these questions and feel confident about asking them.

-- Once you have prepared your portfolio, you have a couple of hours to do the following on your interview checklist:

-- Take out the clothes you plan to wear to the interview. Make sure they are clean and pressed. Shoes should be polished. Select the accessories you want to wear. Lay your outfit out ready for the next day.

-- Go through your prepared answers to common job interview questions such as What are your strengths?, Why are you the right candidate for this job?, Tell me about yourself?.

-- If you are going to be asked behavioral questions, consider your possible responses. The objective now is not to memorize your answers but to review them and be familiar and confident with them.

-- Try to practice your responses out loud. Ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you. Ask for feedback on other elements such as your body language, communication skills and clarity of your answers.

-- Make sure you have something nutritious to eat for breakfast the next day, you don't want your stomach rumbling or to feel hungry during your interview.

-- Get a good night's sleep knowing you are fully prepared to ace the interview!

Related Articles

-- Essential Tips on Job Search and Job Interview Preparation
-- Why Bad Interviews Happen and How to Fix It

This handy interview checklist is a sure way of knowing that you have done everything you need to win in your job interview.

Prepare for your job interview by viewing the specific job interview guides, including interview questions and answers for management, sales and customer service, call center, accountancy, retail, help desk and project management positions.

Julia Penny has many years experience in recruitment and career management. She offers an insider's perspective to help job seekers succeed in their job interviews at Best Job Interview.

© 2008 Julia Penny

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.