Planning to arrive at an interview session early will help you to accomplish several things. First, arriving early will allow you to walk into the facility gracefully without having broken a sweat. You will have time to go to the restroom, freshen up, and get a drink of water. It will also provide you the opportunity to look around you in becoming somewhat familiar with the environment – thereby allowing you to gain a degree of comfort prior to the formal meeting. In some settings, there will be a greeter, or several greeters, whose function is to help put you at ease. By arriving early, you will have some time to talk with these individuals in becoming more relaxed with the personalities associated with the recruiting firm.
Planning to arrive early also allows you a built-in time cushion in case you encounter traffic jams, experience car trouble, or get lost in an unfamiliar surrounding.
If any of these things happen to you on the way to an interview and it becomes evident that the time cushion is quickly evaporating, stop somewhere and telephone the organization and inform them of your dilemma. In almost all cases, the employer/interviewer will understand and certainly not hold the fact that you are late against you. However, if you fail to make a phone call announcing that you will be late because of some unforeseen circumstance, the employer may not be so understanding. The thought here might be that you are probably tardy in nature and not a very reliable individual.
If your interview agenda includes a lunch, be certain to eat light. Heavy meals tend to make most people somewhat drowsy. You certainly do not want to be fighting sleep when interviewing immediately after lunch. In the same vein, if your interview begins early in the morning, be sure to eat light and cautiously the night before, avoiding spicy, rich, and gas-inducing foods. Heavy meals and those that are spicy and rich tend to interfere with normal sleep patterns, and you do not want to move into an interview session feeling tired. It makes for a very long and unproductive day.
If your interview comes at an unusual time in the day, not immediately following a meal, be certain to eat a very, very small item (piece of fruit, slice of bread, candy bar, scoop of peanut butter) immediately prior to departure for the interview. This will give you a boost of energy, calm your nerves somewhat, and silence the growling that often accompanies an empty stomach.
Bring a pen and notepad
Be sure to bring a nice pen and a letter-sized notepad enclosed in a professional binder or portfolio. It is not advisable to sit in an interview and take copious notes on what is being conveyed during the course of the session. Taking notes during an interview can be distracting, and comes off as pretentious, or even rude. However, it is advisable to have something on which to write and something with which to write in the event information of specific note is conveyed which would require you to respond at some point (such as a name, address, phone number, specific benefits information, etc.).
Look into a mirror
Upon arriving at the facility in which you will interview, immediately head for the restroom and glance into the mirror. You should comb your hair, fix your make-up, wipe any excess oil from your face, wash your hands, and look for any unwelcome particles in your teeth, nose, ears, eyes, hair, and on your shoulders. There is nothing more disheartening than to conclude an interview session, which you feel went extremely well, only to walk into a restroom, smile into the mirror to congratulate yourself on a job well done, and find that you have a strand of spinach draped across your upper incisors.
Also, while you are in private quarters, make sure that your tie is straight, your collar is not standing up, your blouse/shirt is fully buttoned, your pants/skirt are/is zipped, your fingernails are free of dirt, and your shoes are buffed. Our intention here is not to make anyone paranoid, however, if you discover any of these discrepancies during the course of interviewing, more than likely it will disrupt, to a certain degree, your train of thought and may turn a potentially positive interview into an average one.
You have prepared yourself well. The recruiter wants to hire you. The organization actually needs you. Keep focused on these facts. Sell yourself with grace and confidence. Be personable, polite, and positive. You will be a tremendous asset to the firm.
Thank all of those involved with you in the recruiting process for their time and consideration.