Things You Don't Need to Do Before a Job Interview, Contrary to What Everyone Says

If you follow all of the interview prep that people suggest, the days leading up to interviews would be a sleepless cram session interspersed with getting your hair done and buying a new wardrobe. Getting advice to ace the interview is great, but realizing that you can't possibly take all of the suggestions is just as important.

Look professional and be prepared — those are the only two real interview must-dos. The rest is icing. Here are a few things that you can erase from the interview prep to-do list.

Buy a new outfit

Even if your interview is with a fashion magazine, you can definitely piece something together from your closet. If buying something new to wear to the interview will make you feel better and more prepared then by all means. But in no way, shape, or form is this a pre-req for an interview.

Stay up late preparing

At a certain point it's better to be well rested then to know every single thing you could possibly know. Prepare as much as you can, but also get your eight-hours the night before an interview. A good night's rest will help you more than cramming ever could.

Show up really early

Sure you want to be on time, or five minutes early, but showing up 20 minutes early, 30 minutes early, 45 minutes early, can border on creepy. Don't creep your potential employer out, keep your arrival time within the realm of acceptable. But of course, don't be late.

Plan out everything you're going to say

The impulse to write yourself a script is understandable, but it will ultimately sound like, well, a rehearsed script. Odds are the person interviewing you wants to have an actual conversation with you, to see how you think, and how you respond. Prepare for the conversation but don't plan it out, it will likely only make you more nervous when you inevitably get off script.