The most stressful things in life involve ‘not knowing what will happen’. Interview nerves are caused, not by what is happening, but instead by the simple question, “What if?”.
That’s what makes the night before an interview so difficult. There is nothing to do but think about, “What if [this happens]?!”. As the saying goes, “Idle time is the devil’s plaything”.
See below some very strong ways to handle those interview nerves. The night before an interview should be a time for preparing, not fear and anticipation.
No drinking alcohol or caffeine
Alcohol may calm you down but will leave you with a headache the next morning, if you manage to wake up at all.
Caffeine gets your blood pumping and increases your heart rate. This will keep you awake all night and leave you with anxiety and heartburn. It is a recipe for “How not to get any sleep when you need it most!”.
You already have your interview nerves worked up. Do not make it worse!
Lay out the clothes you wish to wear for the interview
Get a second opinion, too. Have someone help you pick out an outfit, try it on, and see if it is comfortable. If you are comfortable, hang it up, call yourself prepared, and rest assured you will look good. After all, you got a second opinion!
Go over how you will arrive at the interview
Each city is different. Part of your job interview prep the night before an interview should be knowing how to get there. Some cities require cars to go everywhere, and some rely on trains or boats. Whatever you need to do to get there, calm those interview nerves and plan it out.
Make sure you have directions, money for gas, tolls, boats, trains, etc. Doing this the night before an interview saves you time in the morning, too.
Research the company and the people you will interview with
It is always good to feel familiar with the company and people you will speak with. Go on LinkedIn, check everyone out, and get to know them a little. The more familiar you are with the people and company, the less you deal with interview nerves. If interview nerves are the product of “not knowing”, the more you know the better you will feel!
Go over those questions again
Research the top Job Interview Questions by Find My Profession. It is always different when you are actually asked the questions in the moment of an interview, but it is nice to be prepared for the interrogation ahead of time. It just feels easier to answer a question you have heard many times before.
GET SOME SLEEP...and wake up early
Nothing calms the interview nerves more than a good night’s sleep. Turn off the TV, go to bed early, and wake up well rested.
And remember that caffeine rule from the night before? It still applies. Caffeine is proven to release a chemical in the brain that triggers a “fight or flee” response. You already have enough on your plate and your interview nerves are worked up. The last thing you need to feel is nervous energy, which may lead to a sudden energy crash during the interview.
If you need energy in the morning, exercise and go over your game plan one more time. By human nature, we are generally more attracted to a person who exercises and has natural energy, instead of chemically-induced energy. Get a morning walk in before the interview and see what it does for you during the actual interview.
The night before an interview does not need to be scary. With proper preparation, you can approach every job interview with a cool and level head.