9 Things to Put on Your Job Interview Checklist

Avoid setting yourself up for interview failure by taking these pre-interview steps.

Avoid setting yourself up for interview failure by taking these pre-interview steps.
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[Quiz: Should You Ask These Questions Before or After Your Job Offer?]

Practice with a friend or family member. Performing a mock interview with a spouse, family member or friend "lets you think about what you're saying, how you're saying it, [and] it can help preclude a few moments of silence if you don't have a clue how to answer during an interview because you've thought about it ahead of time," Doyle says.

If no one from your immediate circle is available, check with the career office at your former college and tap someone there. Also, a Google search can provide information about which nearby state workforce offices and public libraries offer mock interview services, she notes.

Relax in the hours leading up. Don't spend the final hours before the interview frantically studying and practicing, Doyle says. "I wouldn't recommend cramming, looking up information, practicing. You're just going to stress yourself out more," she says, adding that it's best to go into the interview with a "clear slate and clear mind."

Put the necessary work in. There's no single standard for how much time you should devote to preparing for an interview. What matters is that you spend some time gearing up for the sit-down, especially if it's been a while since your last one.

"A a lot of folks just don't put in a lot of time to stand out in the interview process," Carniol says. "If you haven't been interviewing in awhile, it's not necessarily like riding a bicycle – it's more like exercising a muscle."