How to Get Through an All-Day Interview

by Rebecca Vogler, Head Editor, INALJ Nevada

How to Get Through an All-Day Interview

rebeccavoglerAfter graduation, I was invited to an all-day interview about two hours south of where I lived for an adult services coordinator position in a public library. It was a scary prospect, knowing that I would be in the company of my possible future employers. Would they like me? Would I like them? Would I say something stupid that would make me immediately unlikeable?

More and more places of employment, no matter what sort of career you are in, are conducting these longer interviews, especially if the place where you are interviewing is far from your home. Often, you will be put up in a hotel room the night before the big day and will be expected to spend one or two meals in the company of your interviewers. If you find yourself in the same sort of position, here are some things to remember to pack to make the day go easier.

1. Carry a bottle of water
You may not be offered anything and that water will be helpful for when your throat goes dry after answering a million questions from a panel of interviewers.

2. Bring multiple copies of your resume
Hopefully your interviewer is organized enough to print out multiple copies for anyone who interviews you, but it makes you look extremely organized if you print some out yourself and have them ready

3. Hold onto a notepad and a pencil or pen
Make sure you can take notes of what you learn about your possible new workplace. Remember, you are also interviewing them to make sure you would actually want to work there. Also, the questions they ask may be asked by future interviewers and it would help to keep those questions fresh in your mind for your next interview.

4. Pop those breath mints
Preferably don’t bring gum since it does not present a picture of professionalism to be popping gum while answering questions. A breath mint, however, is discreet enough to quickly consume and still get some nice fresh breath.

5. Carry a briefcase or attaché case
Try not to lug the entire world in there, though. Keep it small with just the essentials.

6. Stash an alternate outfit
You never know when you might spill some coffee on your blouse or suit at the little breakfast nook in the hotel just before your interview. Nothing screams disaster like having nothing clean to wear to an important interview

7. Wear a watch
If you’re part of the Millennial generation, chances are that you don’t even bother to wear a watch and use your cell phone to check the time. Don’t be seen looking at your phone! You don’t want to be perceived as someone who is stuck texting your friends at all hours of the day. A watch will do the trick of showing you the time without giving you the temptation of checking Facebook.

8. Don’t forget your manners!
These day-long interviews are not just about finding out if you have the experience and skills necessary for the open job position. They are, more often than not, about whether you would make a good fit in the company or library. Make sure to remember your table manners, say please and thank you, and do everything you can to be the most agreeable person. You need your interviewers to really fall in love with you.

These little hints will make your stressful day go so much better. Good luck in your interviews and may you get the job you’ve always wanted!

  2 comments for “How to Get Through an All-Day Interview

  1. Riley
    April 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    These are really good hints and tips! I would suggest anyone expecting interviews or networking sessions to buy a decent padfolio (they run around $25 on Amazon). It will keep you organized and you won’t lose papers. Plus, if you’re meeting with a lot of people throughout the day, you’ll have a hand free for shaking and a place to stash business cards, handouts, and your pen.

    I also like to bring some floss, change of pantyhose, a brush…all that stuff to keep embarrassing disasters away. Always be prepared!

    • Colleen
      May 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      So if you have a padfolio, do you put it in your attache bag, or carry it instead of an attache bag?

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