3 Weird Things to Do Before an Interview (That May Get You the Job)

Last Updated May 13, 2011 5:01 AM EDT

You've put on your favorite suit, thought up an answer to the dreaded biggest weakness question and even popped a breath mint, now all you have to do before your big interview is sit in the lobby and nervously twiddle your thumbs. This may be the standard pre-interview routine, but it's not the only one out there by far, reports blog CAREERREALISM this week.

An entertaining post by Ted Hekman, CEO of ResumeBucket.com, delves into the wacky world of unorthodox pre-interview routines, looking at some of the unusual behaviors people use to calm their nerves before pitching themselves to a potential employer. Besides being entertainingly odd, Hekman argues that many of the routines he's heard of actually benefit those who use them in some way. Here are three examples.

Prepare a Folder to Fiddle With. Yeah, it sounds strange, but this is a great pre-interview technique that can come in handy. Often, you will be asked to wait for a few minutes before your interview. Most times, it's just because the person interviewing you is busy or wants to make you feel as if you aren't the most important person for them to meet. However, on occasion, this is actually a test. They will secretly observe you to see what you do when you are waiting to be interviewed. If you have a folder with your papers in it, you can spend the time appearing to organize yourself so you ace that test.

Put Water Behind Your Ears And On Your Wrists. This is actually something to do just before the interview. Duck into the bathroom and dab a few drops of water behind the ears and on your wrists. These are areas where you have major arteries and some experts claim by putting water in those locations you can help to calm your nerves by cooling down quickly.

Look at Facebook. This is actually two strategies in one. First of all, check your Facebook profile out and make sure that your own profile is set to private and there are no embarrassing photos of you tagged on the site.... The second half of this technique is to find out the name of the person who will be interviewing you and look up their Facebook profile. Get as much information as you can about the person since this will be helpful to you to throw into the conversation when you are meeting with them. Showing an interest in something the person is interested in is a sure way to get yourself remembered.

These are a just a few of the routines Hekman mentions, so if you're intrigued check out the complete post to hear more. With about a million posts out there on preparing for interviews all of which gives suggestions on how to plan answers, convey your accomplishments and project professionalism with your demeanor and dress, what to do in the actual lobby is a bit of blind spot (though being nice to the receptionist is oft quoted advice). Personally, I go for the old standby of bringing a book to read as it distracts me from my nervousness and, who knows, might make me appear cool headed and clever (assuming I leave the Twilight saga at home).

What do you do in those final moments before an interview to get your head in the game and ensure you make a good impression?

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(Image courtesy of Flickr user HikingArtist.com, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.