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The night before an interview can be just as nerve-racking as the day of, especially if you're prone to anxiety. There are tons of pieces out there that recommend what to do the night before an interview like preparing interview questions, doing your homework on the company, and tying up loose ends. These things are essential, but you should do those within the week of the interview. The night before an interview should be solely reserved for maintaining clarity and fighting the nervous jitters.
Plan your journey
There's nothing worse than arriving late to an interview just because you didn't know how to get there. If you're taking public transportation, allow yourself enough time just in case things are running slow that day. If you're ordering an Uber or Lyft, make sure to have it scheduled in advance. There's not much you can do to fight off annoying last-minute occurrences, but whatever you can shield or prepare for is your utmost priority.
I like to do dry runs before an interview; being familiar with the area makes me feel less nervous. Planning your route will allow you to not only focus on being prepared for the interview the day of but if you happen to arrive early, you'll already know where to kill your time. There's nothing worse than sitting in the lobby an hour before your interview.
Prepare your outfit and pack your bag
I love putting together outfits, so it's not abnormal that I plan my looks the night before an event or interview. Getting your interview outfit ready the night before not only frees up time in the morning, but it takes away one less stressor. You'll also be able to see red flags better. If your shirt is wrinkled, has a random stain, or you don't feel comfortable in it, you'll be able to solve that issue the night before. Also, to all of my ladies out there interviewing, please make sure your top isn't see through, everything fits properly, and the hem is long (on a skirt) or tailored (on pants).
I also recommend packing an emergency bag. You don't want to show up to to the interview with a heavy tote, but an emergency interview kit is a must. Over the years I've created an arsenal that makes me feel prepared for my interviews, so you'll learn what makes you feel good. I like to carry a mini deodorant and perfume (make sure to spray the perfume in advance and be lighthanded), a small comb or brush, mints (do not show up to an interview chewing gum), and a hair tie. You already know it's vital to have copies of your resume, but an emergency kit can be a lifesaver. Showing up to an interview disheveled, or with coffee breath is necessary if you're prepared.
Prepare your breakfast
It's important to eat before your interview, but just make sure you're consuming the right things. There's nothing worse than showing up to an interview with food in your teeth, coffee- or juice-stained teeth, or the smell of what you ate on your breath. I like to go with something light the morning of my interview because I want to feel energetic and alert, not full and sluggish. Save the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for after your interview.
If you have to drink coffee or tea before an interview, make sure to allow time to brush your teeth. If caffeine makes you jittery, stay away from anything that will make you feel more anxious or jumpy. Try an herbal tea of decaf coffee. Also a key tip: Put a robe or towel over your clothes if you are already dressed. Spilled toothpaste gets the best of everyone.
Allanah Dykes has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Politics from Fairfield University. She started her freelance career in 2016 and has written about how to land a job post-college, internships, and the interviewing process. She has pieces featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, and Popsugar.