A Step-By-Step Guide to Prep for A Job Interview

What’s the best routine to follow leading up to that job interview you have scheduled for Monday morning? Well, it all starts from the day prior. Here are some best practices from gradmalaysia to set you up for success.
Jasmine Mun
Writer, gradmalaysia.com

7:00 PM, the night before – Prepare Your Gears!

“I have a job interview tomorrow morning; I should create a list of items to bring.”

That’s right! Every victory comes with one percent of pure luck and 99 percent of meticulous preparation. With a list of items to remind you to pack sufficiently, it saves you from a stressful morning. Let’s instead use the time to dress well, grab breakfast and travel safely to the interview venue. 


  • Pen and paper
  • Copies of my resume
  • Interview notes
  • Breath mints
  • File
  • Set interview location on my phone
  • Look up estimated travel time to reach the venue
  • Blazer
  • Water bottle

 Remember, a well-prepared morning gives you peace of mind and puts you in a good mood to conquer that interview.

11:00 PM, less than 12 hours to go – Don’t Sabotage Yourself…

… and get that beauty sleep in! The night before an important appointment is not the time to hang out with friends or have a family game night. Instead, we should head to bed early to have a well-rested night for peak performance the next day.

“But I can’t fall asleep! My mind is occupied with thoughts for tomorrow’s interview.”

The more reason for you to hit the sack earlier! Do try and persuade yourself to clock in enough rest, as this gives you time to calm your thoughts. Lack of sleep will cost you your ability to think clearly which will severely affect your focus during the interview. 

8:00 AM, 2 hours before - No coffee for the restless!

“But I need my daily dose of caffeine to function!”

Your need for coffee is #relatable. Especially in the morning before something as big as a job interview, you might think having some extra shots of that heavenly bean juice will help you to think straight.

Hate to break it to you but too much caffeine causes agitation, nervousness and jitteriness. While it’s true that it boosts your mood, metabolism and mental performance, a heightened dose of what you’re normally used to can lead to anxiety and even digestive issues.

Now is not the time to experiment with new things! Instead, do the usual, grab your keys and let’s head to the venue.

9.00 AM, time to leave the house – Plan Your Drive!

REMEMBER: plan your drive by leaving at least 15 minutes earlier. We want to have forgiveness time in case we missed a turn or can’t find a parking spot. Punctuality is something that recruiters pay attention to, so let’s not make tardiness our first impression.

9.45 AM, less than an hour – Tone Down the Body Language

Anxiety will always linger no matter how hard we try to conceal it. However, it’s good to remind yourself to be mindful of any actions that make you appear less confident, like fidgeting, squirming, and the ‘uhms’ and ‘ahs’ that sneak into your speech. Chewing gum or doing tic-tac-toe on your palms are good methods to keep your mind occupied and release any anxious energy.

“No… it’s not the nasi lemak you ate earlier, it’s your nervousness giving you butterflies.”

Make as many toilet trips as you need before the interview, just remember to come back on time!

10.00 AM – It’s showtime!

Walk into that interview with your head up high. There’s nothing to worry about if you’re well-prepared for it. Reward yourself with an ice cream when it’s all over.