8 things to do in the 15 minutes before a job interview

That crucial 15 minutes before a job interview can become the longest 15 minutes in a job seeker's life. Not many professionals recognize this time as an excellent opportunity for setting their energy and focus for what lies ahead. This is a perfect moment for establishing how you'd like to be remembered by the recruiters. Here are a few things you can do to make the most from that key quarter.


Arrive early

Running late to an interview will only add more stress to the situation – make it your point to arrive early. But don't immediately go in – you'll place pressure on the interviewer to meet you earlier and that will only make the meeting start on the wrong foot. Instead, wait in your car or a nearby cafe.

Stay calm

We all react differently to stress, but one thing is certain – stress doesn't make it easier to show the best side of one's professional image. Keep your mind clear and in the minutes leading to the interview stay calm and collected. This will help you to remain focused during the interview – listening better to the recruiter will in turn allow you to respond with clearer answers. You'll get a sense of what's important to them and adjust the representation of your accomplishments to these requirements.

Be nice to everyone around

When arriving at the lobby, be nice to the receptionist, guards or anyone else who greets you. There's a fair chance that one of these people will be reporting back to the recruiter to tell them about your behavior before the interview. Besides, being nice is a way to alleviate the stress involved in the situation – a chit chat with the receptionist can loosen your nerves and help you to greet the recruiter with a smile.

Stop rehearsing your answers

This is a mistake many job seekers make. You don't want your answers to sound scripted and inauthentic – stop rehearsing them and accept the fact that an interview is after all a conversation. Trust yourself to know the answers already and allow the interview to take on a flow of its own.

Think about how you'd like to be remembered

This is a great moment to decide which one or two things you'd like to be remembered for when leaving the interview. Maybe your killer communications skills or perfect knowledge of three languages? Focus on a few things that will impact your likeability and memorability – use the interview to stand out from the crowd and get your skills recognized.

Assume a power pose

Sitting down while waiting for the interview, you should assume a power pose. You'll not only come off as more confident and poised, but also gain an internal sense of confidence. Too good to be true? Check out this viral TED talk by Amy Cuddy and you'll see how body language impact how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves.

Don't check your email or social media

Even if it seems the best way to kill time, there's a slight possibility that you read something that upsets or puts you off the mental balance. It might distract you and consequently throw you off your game. And that's clearly one of the worst things that can happen during a job interview, where recruiters expect you to be focused and present. Do yourself a favor and avoid news until after the interview.


Focus on your breaths and count them until you reach 10. Then repeat this exercise. This is easily one of the most immediate techniques to calm your nerves and help you to become more collected in a matter of minutes.

Take a breath and relax – you're there because recruiters are interested to get to know you better. Use these 15 minutes to rehearse your strategy and you'll be on your way to nailing this interview.

About the Author: Tess Pajaron is an experienced Community Manager working at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. In her free time, she enjoys reading and traveling.

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