Preparing for interview at short notice

Preparing for interview at short notice

 20 Feb 2020

How to prepare for a short notice interview
 
You get the call inviting you to an interview, and the panic sets in because it’s tomorrow afternoon and that doesn’t leave you much time to prepare. If this hasn’t happened to you already, it probably will at some stage during your career, so knowing how to prepare at short notice is essential. Life doesn’t always work out the way it really should, and being prepared for this part of the recruitment process can speak volumes about the type of candidate you are and how capable you are of being ready for anything at the drop of a hat!
 
Dress to impress
 
This may not be the top priority when it comes to interviewing prep, but it could be the one that takes the most time. Select your interview outfit (and remember you only have 7 seconds to make the right impression so don’t cut corners) and either get it in the wash or down to the one-hour dry cleaners. Fresh, neatly pressed clothes are an essential part of how you present yourself. If you’re worried about what to wear, look at the company’s website and see what employees wear to the office and then step it up a notch.
 
Do your research
 
Make sure you take the time to research the company. Most company websites have an ‘about’ section and ‘meet the team’. Here you can find out valuable information about what the company does, their mission statement and company culture, and it could even give you some background information about the person who will be interviewing you. Make discreet notes to take with you into the interview with key prompts on them. A hiring manager is not going to mind you having notes as this shows that despite the short notice, you have done your due diligence and have come prepared.
 
How do you match up to the job criteria?
 
Every job has a description and details the criteria that the position requires. Make a note of these criteria and how your skills and experience match the role that you are interviewing for. Where possible, use past employment experiences to demonstrate how you have met the criteria. Simply answering yes or no to questions is not good enough. Make sure that you have thought about what this position will require from you, and how you can demonstrate your suitability for it. A good method to follow is the STAR method, this is what most companies will expect you to structure your answers like when it is a competency based interview. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and will stop you from waffling and going off on a tangent.
 
The interview questions we love to hate
 
The chances of you getting to the end of an interview without being asked some of those trickier questions are slim. Where do you see yourself in five years? What is your greatest weakness? Tell me about yourself, and why should I hire you? All examples of questions that you need to be ready to answer confidently, but they require some thought. Write out your answers and practise them in the shower or during your commute.
 
Get on the Net…
 
Get googling and find any recent press releases or news articles about the company. Maybe they have just launched an innovative new product or have carried out some admirable charity work. It is also a good idea to have a quick look at their competitors and general industry news so that you feel fully briefed on their sector. Also, have a quick look at the company’s social media pages. Twitter may have some more light-hearted articles and LinkedIn a more corporate feel, but it will keep you up to date and give you an idea of the culture you are walking into.
 
Plan your Journey
 
Car, bus or train – all require some planning and forethought. Make sure you know the times for buses and trains and any connections you need to make. Check for any engineering works or diversions that could cause delays and if possible, put your car or bus journey into an app like Google Maps at a similar time of day as your interview to get a realistic idea of journey time.
 
Last but not least, be yourself!
 
Let your personality show through and don’t let this turn of events be your downfall. Businesses are looking for candidates that show initiative, can think on their feet, demonstrate good organisation skills and preparedness as well as being able to work well under the pressure of tight deadlines. They know that this interview has left you little time to prepare, so getting your priorities straight and devoting a bit of time, consideration and research to the task means this interview could be your chance to shine!

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