What to do in the 15 minutes before an interview

The 15 minutes before you go into your job interview can be quite stressful. Use that time to get yourself into the right frame of mind and to focus. Whether it’s for that high-flying executive job, a part-time job to supplement your income or student jobs to help you pay those uni bills, make the most of those last minutes before the interview to relax and collect your thoughts.

Here are some things to do in those 15 minutes.

  1. Arrive early but don’t go inside. 

Running late will put you under extra unwanted stress, so plan the journey as much as you can and allow for any hold-ups. Wait in your car or nearby, such as in a cafe and enter the building about 10-15 minutes before the interview. Similarly don’t go into the interview too early and put them under pressure by hanging around.

  1. Be friendly and polite to staff.

Be nice to those who greet you such as the receptionist, support staff or security guard. After all, these people could be your future colleagues and also there is the possibility they may be reporting back to the HR staff. A friendly chat with the receptionist will help to loosen those nerves and you’ll be ready to greet the interviewer with a smile.

  1. Look in the mirror

It may have been quite some time since you left home to travel to the interview so use the cloakroom to check your appearance and perhaps cool any clammy hands. 

  1. Review your notes

Briefly scan your notes to remind yourself of facts, key points or the names of who you’ll be meeting. Don’t do any extra research at this point, there’s no time and your train of thought will go off track. Whether applying for something high-flying or holiday and student jobs, preparation is key to show you have an interest in the company but hopefully you’ll have done that in advance and the research will pay off.

  1. Turn off your phone

It’ll be embarrassing and a distraction if it goes off mid-interview. Turn it off and don’t be tempted to check social media, voicemails or emails whilst waiting for the interview. You’ll be distracted and thrown off course. If someone comes to collect you early you don’t want to be scrolling through those photos of your last night out at the pub.

  1. Stop rehearsing

You’ve probably spent some time rehearsing your replies which is great but nothing more can be done now, trust yourself. You don’t want your answers to sound robotic or scripted. The interview is a conversation so let your conversational skills and personality come through. The interview will take a flow of its own.

  1. Decide how you are going to make this interview memorable.

How are you going to stand out to the interviewer? A few key areas of emphasis will make a memorable candidate, whether this might be your communication skills, your project management abilities or perhaps your in-depth knowledge. Let those skills be noted and recognised.

  1. Be confident.

Whilst waiting, whether sitting or standing maintain a poised and confident posture. It’ll give you a sense of confidence even if that’s not what you’re really feeling inside. No slouching or leaning against walls.

  1. Be calm.

Be calm, focus on your breathing with several deep breaths to still those nerves.  Being calm and collected will help you to stay focused, to listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions and to respond with clear answers.

Use these 15 minutes wisely to collect all these things together and you’re on your way to nailing this interview.