As you gear up for an interview, you’re likely agonizing over the questions you’ll be asked, the answers you’ll give, and how to make the best possible first impression. Most of your preparation will probably focus on the time you spend face-to-face with your interviewer.
But to be 100% prepared, there are a few things you’ll want to clarify before you show up in your best suit. Because trust me: Knowing all the small details—like who you’re meeting with, where to park, or what to bring—can make a big difference in your confidence on interview day.
So before you head off to your next interview, make sure you have the answers to these six key questions. (And if you don’t? It’s totally OK to ask.)
1. Who Will I Be Meeting With?
Since you could be interviewing with a recruiter, your potential future boss, a handful of your could-be teammates, or all of the above, you’ll want to know all of your interviewers’ names and titles (so you can properly LinkedIn-stalk beforehand).
2. Is There Anything I Should Know About the Format of the Interview?
Will you face a firing squad—er, panel of interviewers? Maybe you’ll be grouped together with other applicants and tasked with creating a presentation. Or maybe, it’ll just be a standard one-on-one, 30-minute interview. Either way, knowing ahead of time will help you fend off any not-so-pleasant surprises.
3. About How Long Can I Expect it to Last?
I once showed up for an interview that I thought would last about an hour, tops. Turned out that it was scheduled from 8 AM until 12 PM, so I could meet with five different representatives from across the organization. Wish I’d packed a snack!
4. Is There Anything I Should Bring?
(Besides a few copies of your resume, of course—but you already knew that.) Depending on the position you’re going for, the company may request work samples or a portfolio—and showing up empty-handed could kill your changes of snagging the role.
5. Is There Anything I Should Know About Getting There or Parking?
Nothing will throw off your game more than finding out that the off-ramp your GPS suggested is closed because of construction, so you’ll have to get off at another exit and find a back route (and probably show up late, to boot). Or discover that the parking garage only takes cash—and you have none.
6. What’s the Office Dress Code?
Whether you glean this from calling the front desk receptionist or stealthily watching the people going in and out of the building, you’ll want to know whether to pull out your nicest jeans or your most professional suit.
Knowing these details (combined with your thorough interview preparation, of course), will set you up for success in any interview. Now, go knock ’em out—and snag that new role!