Checklist Candidate


Here is a list of things you should prepare prior to the day of your interview. You should add the additional items you need for your interview to the list:

  • Have enough copies of your resume for each interviewer.
  • Have a list of your references
  • Take a folder that contains paper and can hold your extra materials (resumes, references, etc); bring a pen with you, too.
  • Have your list of questions neatly written out so you can read them.
  • Lay out the clean, pressed clothes you plan to wear.
  • Have your briefcase/bookbag packed by the door and ready to go.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview.
  • Plan your route to the interview.
  • Determine where you will park.



Now you are prepared. You know you will do a great job in the interview, so do something for yourself. Go for a walk, rent a movie, or

take a bubble bath. Then set your alarm and get some sleep…you will be great!!


On The Day

You may feel nervous or a little pressured the day of your interview. It is essential that you are organized ahead of time so you do not find yourself running frantically around ten minutes before you need to leave. There is no better way to guarantee you will be frazzled during your interview than to start the day off rushed and disorganized. Your checklist should ensure most things are ready the night before the interview. The day of your interview there are only a few things important to remember.


Personal Grooming

  • Hair should be clean and neatly combed.
  • Nails should be clean and well-manicured.
  • Jewelry should be minimal and in good taste.
  • Any fragrance worn should be very light and subtle.
  • Shoes should be freshly polished and shined.
  • Wear what is appropriate for industry specific, but a suit is always a safe bet.
  • Make-up should be low-key. 


Travel Time 

Be sure you know exactly where the building is you are going to and how long it will take you to drive there. Have money ready for parking. Leave early enough to allow for the worst traffic conditions and never park at a parking meter. You do not want to be thinking about the parking ticket you are getting while you should be relating your great skills to an interviewer 

Arrival Time 

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early so you have time to relax, catch your breath and compose your thoughts. It is better to be early and wait than be late and miss the opportunity to get your dream job. Some of these suggestions may seem trivial when you are nervous and concentrating on landing a job. Take the time to plan ahead. Even if you are not normally a list-maker, draw up a list and schedule your time the day of an interview. Your day will run more smoothly and you will be glad you were prepared. 

Body Language

You have taken the time to dress professionally. Be sure your body language also projects a professional image.

Eye Contact 

Good eye contact conveys confidence and enthusiasm.

Facial Expression 

Smile! Imagine yourself as an interviewer meeting people all day. Everyone begins to look the same until you walk in with a refreshing, friendly, energetic, and smiling face. You will be remembered! 

Energy Level

Show enthusiasm for the position and try to be energetic. 


Maintain good posture through the entire interview keeping your shoulders square yet relaxed. 


On an interview morning, you may want to have a cigarette. AVOID THE TEMPTATION. If you absolutely must smoke, do it before you get dressed. Avoid smoking immediately before you go into an interview or in the car on the way there. Cigarette smoke lingers on your clothes, breath, and hands long after the cigarette is gone, and breath mints and cologne do a poor job covering it up. The smell of nicotine can be very offensive to the non-smoking interviewer and you do not want to start off your interview on the wrong foot. You need everyone in the room on your side. 


Everyone has their own way to relax for an interview. If relaxing for you means a quick shot of scotch before leaving the house, stop and think. Although the effects of alcohol may be calming, they may also be impairing and you need all your wits about you for an interview. And, as with cigarette smoke, the odor of alcohol lingers long after you drink it. A job candidate who smells like alcohol will NOT be hired. Find another way to relax. 

Greeting the Receptionist 

Although not all companies have receptionists, there will usually be someone who greets you when you arrive for the interview (10-15 minutes early of course!). It is essential you treat this person with respect and courtesy. Even though they may not be directly involved with your interview, their casual remarks to the person responsible for hiring could be critical. Eight out of ten employers will ask the receptionist’s opinion of interview candidates. Be sure the opinion of you is favorable. Engage the receptionist in some small talk. Be polite and friendly but be careful not to interrupt their work or overdo it.  


Inevitably, the time will come for you to meet the interviewer(s). Don’t forget to smile and walk tall and confidently. The moment you enter the room, before you have even said a word, your interview has begun and you are being evaluated.  


It only takes five seconds for the employer to form an impression of you Make sure it is a good one.