Taking care of the smaller details before your interview means you have less to worry about on the big day, making you feel more confident and in control.
Use your online network to your advantageYour basic research should go beyond the company website to give you a wider insight into general industry trends, opportunities and challenges.
You can glean information about the company and employees from LinkedIn. If they have a company page, check out the insights link to see where employees came from, former employees you may know and employees with new titles. All this information helps you see how people progress within the organisation, which you can then use as a basis for questions about career opportunities during your interview.
Check to see if anyone in your network has ties to the organisation – you can also ask them about what it's like to work there or maybe even about your interviewer.
CV and online checksEmployers are increasingly using social media to check out candidates. Make sure that what people can see out about you online matches the details on your CV. For example, dates and job titles should correspond with information on your LinkedIn profile. Check your social media profiles and try to push down any negative activity with more positive tweets, comments or blogs – or impose tighter privacy settings.
Learn your CV inside-out. If you can't speak in more detail on any point on your CV, you'll lose credibility. You can use some of the information to form an achievement story. Predict any 'red flag' areas, such as gaps or reasons for leaving a previous company. Preparing and practising polished replies to these (as well as to the predictable "tell me about yourself" type questions) will help you feel more confident.
Outfit checkTry on your interview clothes to make sure they fit, are clean and in a good state of repair. Don't leave this to the night before, and get someone else to check your outfit over. Are you inadvertently showing more of yourself than is professional? Is your jewellery distracting? How do you look when you sit down? Interviewers can make all sorts of judgments about you based on what you wear and how you act, so it's important to get this part right.
If you aren't sure what to wear, go along to the company offices at opening or leaving times to get a feel for what people generally wear. Aim for the same level of formality, or one notch up. Otherwise, a business suit is appropriate for most sectors.