Your big job interview is just ahead, just hours away. You feel your stress levels rising, your thoughts scurrying around your brain fast and furious. Then, you stop yourself and ask: What should I be doing now?

If your big interview is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., you need a plan to make the most of the hours beforehand. Spend the time so you are calm, confident and prepared when you show up for the interview.  In an ideal world you might take the day off work or a half day, so you can focus on interview preparation and self-care. But even if you can only take an extra hour or so, use the time beforehand carefully.

What should you do?  I asked a career expert this question – DonnaSchilder, a leadership and career coach from Long Beach, California.

They shared plenty of suggestions, which I’ve synthesized into these five big ideas:

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