The behavioral interview is one of the most important steps in the hiring process and will help the interviewer decide whether or not to offer you the job. While you are almost certainly aware of how important it is to prepare for sometimes challenging behavioral-based questions, it is also important to prepare in other ways for your behavioral interview. Using this behavior interview checklist will help you avoid pitfalls that have the potential to throw you off your game and cause you to lose confidence.
So, take time out of your busy day to make sure you can tick all of the boxes on this behavioral interview checklist. Doing so will help you avoid running into last-minute snags that could potentially distract you from your interview.
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Behavioral Interview Checklist
• Drive to the interview location beforehand. Doing so will minimize your chances of getting lost on the way and potentially being late.
• Put a copy of your resume in the car and review it right before your interview so that you feel comfortable discussing anything on it. If the behavioral interview also happens to be your first interview, bring extra copies of your resume to hand out to the hiring manager and anyone else who may be in the room.
• Prepare your outfit. We recommend that you get everything ready the night before your interview. Wash and iron your clothing as needed, and make sure you have a clean pair of socks or tights. Your shoes should also be polished and shined so you look put together and professional.
• Get your hair cut. If your hair is looking a little shaggy and unkempt, make sure you get it cut at least a day beforehand. Ask for a simple, conservative cut that will be easy to style on the day of your interview. You should also avoid getting your hair colored with flashy, unusual colors.
• Take care of your hygiene. In the hours and minutes before you leave for your interview, make sure you take care of your hygiene so you don’t subject the interviewer to any unpleasant smells. A good hygiene routine should include showering, shaving as needed, applying deodorant, brushing your teeth, and rinsing with mouthwash.
• Spritz (lightly) with cologne. If nervousness tends to make you sweat, consider covering up the scent with a light spritz of cologne. Limit yourself to a maximum of one or two quick sprays on the wrists so that you don’t overdo it.
• Bring a wardrobe emergency kit. Be prepared for any wardrobe emergency by packing your car or purse with a clean pair of dress clothes, socks or tights, extra buttons, and a needle and thread.
• Eat before you leave. Few things are more embarrassing than a growling stomach during an interview. If you feel too nervous to eat a full meal before you leave, try to grab a banana or other healthy snack to munch on during your drive to the interview location.
• Grab a pen and paper. Bring paper and a writing utensil with you so you can write down notes during your interview. Even if you don’t end up writing anything down, simply having a piece of paper with you will make you appear more professional, attentive and prepared.
• Leave early and check the weather and traffic channels before you go. You should aim to arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview but plan to leave even earlier if there are accidents or other delays.
• Remind yourself of the interviewer’s name. Many people tend to forget names when they are nervous, so don’t feel bad if you are one of them. To ensure that the name of the hiring manager doesn’t slip your mind at the last minute, repeat it several times in your head before you enter the building for your interview.
• Leave your cell phone in the car or make sure you turn it completely off. Other than possibly checking the time, there is no reason to have your cell phone on during a job interview.
• Pop a breath mint. If your breath is bad, never resort to chewing gum during your interview. Make sure the breath mint is small enough that it won’t inhibit your ability to speak or take a long time to fully dissolve.