! Attention: Your 2019 W-2 is now available to view; simply click here !

For information on COVID-19 in: Ohio - click here | Michigan - click here | FFCRA - click here !


Pre-Interview: Night before checklist

It’s 6 p.m. and you have mixed feelings about tomorrow. You are excited, but also nervous since you have a job interview in the morning.

You’ve probably got a number of things running through your head ranging from the weather forecast to questions you might be asked, so we’ve put together this handy “night before” checklist in hopes that you don’t forget anything for that long-awaited job interview.

Pre-interview guide offer

Download the Handy Pre-Interview Guide

Want help with job interviews?


  1. Lay out your outfit – don’t just lay it out, try it on and look at yourself in a full-length mirror. Make sure that everything fits correctly, and you don’t have a missing button or stain you hadn’t previously noticed. Have someone else take a look (either in person or text them your picture) to see if there’s anything they notice that you missed. Make sure everything matches.

    Don’t forget to include any accessories like a watch or jewelry. If you’re someone who moves their head when talking, avoid large dangly earrings that make noise or detract from what you’re communicating.

    If you have any piercings or tattoos, consider if they are appropriate to the position and company and decide whether or not to cover them for the interview.

  2. Clean out your backpack or bag – eliminate clutter and items you won’t need for the interview in order to prevent looking unorganized. If the company’s building has any type of security system, be sure you aren’t carrying anything that could set off metal detectors and delay you.

  3. Pack your bag or purse with the necessities. If you have a folder or portfolio, use it to hold multiple copies of your resume, a note pad and pen. Make sure you pack your phone charger, in case you need it. Include your wallet, a compact mirror, a brush or comb, and any make up you might need for a touch-up. Other helpful items: deodorant, a stain stick or wipe, an umbrella and water. Lastly, breath mints – no chewing gum.

  4. Check the interview location and contact information – make sure you have the street address, office or suite number, the door you should use (in case of multiple entrances), the interviewer’s name and phone number. Double check the time of your interview.

  5. Directions – use a map app to plan your route to the interview and know how long it will take you. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early and leave additional time to find a parking place or make a stop in the bathroom prior to reporting for the interview. Also, make sure you have an alternative route in case your route is blocked by an accident or emergency, and be prepared to call and let your interviewer know if you might be late as a result.

  6. Review the job description and the original ad. Be prepared to match your skills to the tasks identified.

  7. Review your list of potential interview questions (see separate post on interview questions.)Preparing for your job interview?

  8. Practice your elevator pitch – the brief summary of you, your skills and why you’d be a great fit for the job and the company (see separate post on Preparing an Elevator Pitch.)

  9. Review your key accomplishments and skills that you want to highlight. Practice telling about them in front of a mirror.

  10. Practice your answer to “why I want this job".

  11. Review your list of questions to ask at the interview (see separate post on Preparing questions to ask during an interview). Do a last-minute Google check on the company to make sure there isn’t any breaking news or press about it.

  12. Make a list of relevant references and put several copies in your folder. Make sure you ask for their permission before you add someone as a reference, you want them to be people who are willing and able to vouch for you. Include their name, title, place of employment (if applicable), address and phone number.

  13. Make a cheat sheet to include in your folder. Include the name and title of the person doing the interview, names/titles of owner or key executives, your list of questions about the company, and any important item from your research that you might need help remembering.

  14. Plan your meal. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and making sure you have a good one prior to an interview is no exception. The same goes for lunch if it’s an afternoon meeting. It should be sufficient to not make your stomach growl, but light enough to not make you feel uncomfortable, like after a Thanksgiving meal. The day of an interview is not the time to start a new diet, so make your meal something that won’t surprise you later.

  15. Plan your day. Count backwards from your interview time, including parking and travel time, scraping snow or ice off the car (in winter), extra time for any accidents or construction delays, making and eating a meal, getting dressed, showering and hair/shaving/makeup. Expect that getting ready might take a bit more time than usual in order to make sure your appearance is “just right.

  16. Read an article to “summon your self-confidence” and set those pre-interview jitters aside.

  17. Get enough sleep. You know how much sleep you normally need, and if you’re nervous you may have trouble falling asleep, so plan accordingly and have a natural remedy like melatonin on hand just in case.

Follow these steps and you’ll be prepared to rock the interview and land the job. Good luck!

Topics: Establishing a Career, Preparing for an Interview