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Career Advice

Top Tips for Last Minute Interviews

Ideally, when you find out that you have a job interview you may have days, sometimes weeks to prepare. Lots of time to get your answers in order, do some research on the company and of course plan what you are going to wear. However sometimes things don’t quite work out like that. You may get interviewsigncontacted by a HR Manager or Recruiter inviting you to interview that actual day or perhaps the very next day. Far from ideal, admittedly, but it happens nonetheless. Like every other part of the job search and application process though, a little planning can go a long way, even for occasions like this. So, if you happen to get a call from a recruiter or company, fear not! Our Top Tips for Last Minute Interviews should help you on your way…

Keep track of your applications
When you’re applying for lots of jobs, it can be very difficult to keep track, with the result that you could get a call from a recruiter inviting you to interview and not even remember what the job is for! Reply with a confused response and you don’t really do yourself any favours! Always try and keep a track of every job you apply for – whether you record it in a book, on a spreadsheet or using a tool like Huntsy, it’s simply important to do it. Being able to immediately reference the job you’ve been invited for interview for will in turn help allay some of the understandable fears and feelings of panic that being called for a last minute interview can bring. Of course having at hand the tailored CV or the copy of the application form that you submitted is a must too. The more organised you are with your job search the better!

Know your achievements
Whilst one would imagine that you should know your accomplishments and achievements inside out, sometimes, especially when nerves set in, they can be easy to forget. Make a list of the key things that distinguish you as a candidate – what you have to offer. Having a list to refer to that summarises the skills and experiences that prove you brought value to a previous employer is a must. Again, having a bullet pointed list outlining some of your key skills and achievements can be a really quick and handy thing to review no matter how pushed for time you are in advance of the interview.

Research is a must
Whether you have 2 hours or an entire day to prepare for an interview, researching the organisation is a must. There are so many online resources that can help – from the actual company website through to local, regional or national news articles you will find information to help you, if you look. Since virtually every mobile these days provides internet access, you can even do this when en route to the interview itself – provided you’re not driving of course! Being able to prove to the interviewer that you know a little about their company will impress, especially if they know you have had little or no time to prepare.

Have some standby questions
You can assume that at the end of virtually every interview, you are going to be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. That is pretty much a given. We’ve previously covered this very subject, so check it out for some ideas on potential questions that you could ask. The key thing is to always have some questions that you would want to ask any interviewer. Whether it relates to the company training and induction programme, or opportunities for career advancement down the line, it’s always advisable to have a few questions, in your back pocket, as it were. That way, irrespective of how ‘last minute’ your interview may be, you will have a viable response to give the interviewer, as opposed to answering with a negative response.

Have an outfit ready
If you have been actively on the lookout for a new job, chances are you have already thought about what you could wear if potentially invited for interview. If you haven’t, then it’s time to think now! Having an interview outfit ready and waiting is essential. Obviously erring on the side of caution, with quite conservative formal wear is advisable although you may perhaps have a little leeway should you be applying for a role within a more creative profession or discipline. So, prepare today – get that outfit cleaned, ironed, ready and waiting!

We hope that these Top Tips for Last Minute Interviews go some way to help, should you get one of ‘those’ calls from a recruiter or HR Manager. Got any other tips you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below…

Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching.


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