In an ideal world, you would apply for a job, get an interview and have lots of time to prepare and get ready. However, as we all know, things don’t always go as we’d like. Employers and recruiters can work at a very different pace. Business needs and circumstances can dictate that the recruitment process has to be hurried along somewhat. It’s not unheard of for candidates to get calls at the eleventh hour, asking them to attend an interview with minimal notice. If that’s the case, it’s entirely normal for a little panic to ensue, but that needn’t be the case. Our basic tips on how to handle last minute interviews should help if you’re faced with a situation just like that.
Firstly, if you’ve been very proactive in your job search, you may have applied for lots of jobs and therefore it’s essential that you are organised and keep track of what you’ve applied for. Why? Well, let’s just say you get a call inviting you to a last minute interview and you reply with a confused “Huh? What job?” – you’ll be doing yourself a real disservice. Make sure that you have some record of your job applications – online, in a book, on your phone – wherever. If you’re able to immediately identify which job you’re being interviewed for, it will go a long way towards helping calm those feelings of panic that are likely to surface if you’re called for an interview at the last minute. Also, it’s pretty advisable to have a record of your application form or CV at hand too so that you can get a quick refresh of why the employer has shortlisted you for interview in the first place!
List your achievements
Admittedly, you should always be able to outline your achievements to anyone who asks. Sometimes however when nerves get the better of you, it can be easy to forget all that you’ve done well. It’s a good idea therefore to have a list of your accomplishments and achievements at hand. Write down all the key successes you have been responsible for – the main areas that potentially would distinguish you from other candidates and the areas that an employer would want to know about. Being able to use this as a quick reference guide if you like, can be of real benefit when prepping for a last minute interview.
Make time for research
No matter how little notice you’ve been given before an interview, it is still essential to do some research. Of course when you first apply for the job, you will probably have done a little research anyway. However for the interview, you’ll need to do a little more. A quick online search, read of the local paper or review of the company website may be all that you need. Those few minutes to get yourself up to speed with the company and any recent news etc can be time well spent. Forget checking out Facebook and Twitter and spend a little time doing some research instead!
Have some ready-made questions
As we all know, most interviews conclude with the candidate being asked if they have any questions. The worst thing that you can do as a candidate is say no! Always have some stock questions ready that you could ask. You could ask questions about the company’s training policies or long term career opportunities or even growth plans. The key thing is to have something that you could ask. Generic questions such as these could be asked of most employers and will help you convey a positive impression to the interviewer, no matter how last minute your interview has been.
Organise your Interview attire
Most of us have clothes that we would typically only wear for occasions such as interviews. Generally such clothes tend to be quite conservative in nature and usually quite formal too. If you are actively jobseeking, it’s pretty essential that you have those clothes ready and at hand for any interviews you get invited to. Have your interview attire cleaned, ironed and ready to wear. You don’t want the stress of knowing that your best suit or shirt is at the dry cleaner’s or in the wash. Being able to just open your wardrobe and instantly get suited and booted for your interview can help to alleviate some of the nerves that a last minute interview can typically bring.
We hope that by outlining some basic tips on how to handle last minute interviews, we help any of you guys who may be faced with just that. If you are…best of luck!