If you have read our blogs about interviews, we always advise clients to prepare in advance. Not only does this include practicing how you would answer potential questions, but also preparing for the actual day of the interview in advance. While this may seem like just general advice, it is actually based on a real experience.
I once wore wet shoes to an interview! Looking back, it is easy to see how this could happen. The day before the interview I was smart enough to think through what I was going to wear. Upon pulling out the appropriate professional attire from my closet, I realized that my dress pants were very wrinkled. Not wanting to look like I had slept in my interview outfit, I made sure to iron the pants. I also verified the clothes were clean and stain-free. But, I never considered the shoes.
About 30 minutes prior to the interview, it dawned on me that wearing my usual sneakers would not be acceptable. Digging through my shoes I found two pairs that would work with the outfit I had selected. But, one had mud on them. Apparently I had last worn them on a rainy day and didn't realize they were muddy when I put them away. The second pair had salt on them (winters in Rochester NY often result in salt-caked footwear).
I did what I had to do. I washed both pairs of shoes off. With limited time left, I was unable to completely dry them. I did my best but they were both still quite damp when it was time to go. I selected the pair that seemed to be a bit drier and went off to the interview. Luckily it was summer so my feet were only wet, not cold.
Why do I share this? Well, I am hoping job seekers can learn from my experience. In addition to preparing for the potential questions, it is also important to:
Make sure your entire outfit -- including your shoes -- is in good condition a day in advance of the interview. This gives you time to respond to any issues you find.
Evaluate the route you will take in advance. Make sure you know how long the drive will be and add in some extra time in case you encounter bad weather or traffic.
If you have a virtual interview, practice with the computer program that will be used in advance. You may need to download or update it, so allow time for that. Give yourself extra time for any unexpected potential issues.
Consider bringing a few printed copies of your resume with you to provide to the interview team.
Have paper or a notebook with you, and remember to ask the interviewer(s) for their contact information so you can follow up with a value proposition letter.
Interviewing can be extremely stressful. I know for me, my mind was racing. Having to deal with a last minute issue, like dirty shoes or unexpected traffic, only increases the anxiety. Attempting to minimize this by preparing as much as possible in advance will help make the interview process a bit less daunting.
Interested in additional interview tips? Click on the following links:
What to Say When You Don't Know the Answer to an Interview Question
Interview Preparation: Beyond Practicing Common Interview Questions
Still Unsure of What Questions to Ask the Employer in the Interview?