Last Minute Interview Prep Guide
You get the call to show up for that crucial job interview—tomorrow. It's called last-minute prep, and you may have to do it to land that dream job you applied for days, even weeks ago. You should have done some homework by then, so you won't be coming into this cold, but that may not be so reassuring, with the most awaited moment merely hours away.
After the initial panic—count to 10 and take a deep breath—you've got to get down to the business. What are you going to do to ace that interview and land that job offer?
1. Get familiar with your potential employer
You've got to do that research—something you likely started, when you decided this company was one you wanted to work for. Do it again, with more focus this time. Learn all you can about the company, its philosophy and with whom it does business.
If you are a novice, you have to have a great answer prepared when they ask why you want to work there. Now consider your own strengths and how those are applicable to what this job description calls for. Make sure your facts are up-to-date because businesses change their product lines, customer bases and even their corporate identities, They change their logos and their slogans, so some 2-year-old article you pulled off from a search engine may not be totally relevant tomorrow.
2. Prepare your stories.
There are certain responses you should know cold—such as, "Why you want to work there?", and "Why you think you are the right person for the job?"—as the interviewer will expect these.
You're more likely to score big on the questions designed to get inside your head, to learn what makes you tick. It's no accident that job interviewing pros rely more heavily than ever on behavioral questions. Past performance gives them a pretty good idea of future results. How did you handle a difficult project or co-worker? When have you demonstrated problem solving skills?
Use your work and life experience to tell stories about how you handled comparable situations. Identify a handful of stories about how you have functioned in both leadership and team roles. These stories must have positive endings -- what was the result or outcome? Did sales increase by 10%? Did your boss praise you?
Keep in mind that you may also get questioned about your failure. The key here is to share what you learned from an experience that didn't turn out the way you hoped. Avoid failure stories that might raise red flags and reveal your serious weaknesses. A team failure that included some factors, which were beyond your control can work well. Even a disaster can be salvaged as positive, if you can convince the interviewer that you learned from it.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Most of us don't really know how we come across to others. Even the most charismatic and likable people need to prepare and practice.
Recording yourself responding to anticipated questions can provide valuable insights into your interviewing strengths and weaknesses. That's why we have the perfect job interview coaching services to help you practice and refine your technique on your web cam.
When you get a last-minute interview call, you won't have a lot of time to prepare and practice. Do what you can and focus on the most common questions: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire you? Why are you looking for a job now? Use Big Interview or grab a friend or family member to help you plan a mock interview.
4. Arrive on time and be ready to impress.
Punctuality counts. Arrive a few minutes early, but not more than ten or you might come across as too anxious.
Don't take anything for granted, even travel time. A practice trip can be helpful, if you are unfamiliar with the interview location. Account for time to find parking and get through any security checkpoints.
Remember that you are making an impression even before you walk into the interview room. Be polite to the receptionist. Avoid taking calls or behaving unprofessionally while you wait. When your interviewer appears, stand up and make a great first impression with confident eye contact and a solid handshake.
Now get in there and put that preparation to work.