4 Ways to Rock a Last-Minute Interview
The process of landing a job offer is unpredictable. You may be waiting to hear back after applying only to find out the hiring manager has a last-minute cancellation and can fit you in for an interview tomorrow. This doesn’t give you much time to prepare, so how do you make sure you hit your interview out of the park when you get a last-minute call? If the clock is ticking, make sure you do these four things.
1. Review your resume. It’s important that you run through your work history in your mind ahead of time so that you sound confident and polished in the interview. Make sure you can articulate your major accomplishments in previous positions and explain how they relate to the position at hand. Refresh your memory on the names of managers you’ve worked with as well as the timeline of your past positions. Take time to practice sharing your story with a friend or family member out loud the day before the interview.
2. Be ready for standard interview questions. If an interview is scheduled quickly and you don’t have much time to prepare, your interviewer probably doesn’t have a lot of prep time either. That’s why you should come ready to answer typical interview questions like:
- What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
- What would your current/last boss say about you?
- Why are you the best candidate for this position?
- Practice answering these questions aloud to ensure that your responses are thorough, thoughtful and concise.
3. Prepare a few questions. Your interviewer will almost always finish the interview with, “So, do you have any questions for me?” The questions you ask can be just as important as your responses, so have a few on hand. Here are a few to get your wheels turning:
- How will this position contribute to the company’s goals?
- What would you expect from this position in three months, six months, and a year?
- How has this position evolved since its creation?
This is your opportunity to learn more about the position and show that you’ve been paying attention. Don’t pass it up!
4. Take a moment to relive your best career moments. Sometimes in interviews, we can let nerves get the best of us. One technique that Daniel McGinn recommends in his book Psyched Up to combat nerves is to take time to mentally visualize some of your past top performing moments when you were under pressure. Perhaps you nailed the interview for your last job, or led a successful pitch, or completed a task just in the nick of time that made your boss look great. Think about those high moments just before your interview and mentally prepare to nail this one as well.
When you don’t have much time to prepare for an interview, you’re forced to make scrappy decisions on how you’ll use your limited time. Make sure you can tell your story in a compelling way, be ready to answer standard questions, prepare a few questions of your own, and cap off your prep time with visualizing your best moments and you’ll rock the interview.