How to Prepare for a Job Interview in 24 Hours
Get ready for your job interview on short notice with these tips.
By Kyiara Griffin
May 11, 2012
Being in the right place at the right time is all it takes. It could be that a friend happens to know that the company they work for is hiring and is willing to put in a good word for you. Sometimes, it is even the long shot opportunity you signed up for months ago, thinking it was worth the try. The reality is job hunting depends on timing, and when the call comes for an interview you want to be able to take it, even if that interview is a pleasant surprise.
First things first: when you get the call/message, try to figure out if you can even make it to that interview in the time allotted. If you are unsure of the location, ask about directions at that moment. If you are not sure you can make it and this is the kind of interview that can be rescheduled, then follow the three C’s: provide a coherent, cohesive, and concise explanation for your concerns while requesting another interview date/time.
Rescheduling when the call and/or email is received leaves a better impression than pushing back the interview when you are running late. This applies to phone interviews as well, since poor reception can impede the flow of an interview (which, in that situation, may be the only thing besides a resume, a portfolio, and/or a background check that will be used to make a hiring decision).
Next, research the company. Assuming your time is limited, focus on what the company does (to know what you are in for), the company’s mission statement (to know what they stand for), and recent campaigns (to know what is important to them). Being familiar with the company’s products and goals shows a continued interest in the company and can make you stand out.If it is available and you need the refresher, take some notes on your specific job opportunity’s description. Monster is right on this one: never show up to an interview without understanding the job. There are websites like Glassdoor which allow you to read about the experiences of other interviewees for certain companies, so take some time to look up the interview process and prepare yourself.
There is also the matter of the interview look. Think about the image of the company you want to be hired by and plan to dress accordingly. As a female who normally rocks an afro, I always have to plan time to straighten or pull back my hair. Depending on the job, there are other aspects of presentation as well. For example, more conservative jobs generally prefer that tattoos and anything other than ear piercings are covered.
Prepare your interview itself. Know what is on your resume and/or your portfolio to look more polished. The interviewer is almost certainly going to ask about previous work experience, and you want to provide the best presentation of yourself and your experiences possible. Think of a few stand-out moments from previous jobs, and keep those in mind for the interview. If I am really nervous about an interview, then I will even practice giving responses in front of a mirror.
Last, but not least, get to the interview early. This is more about personal comfort than appearances. Arriving early to the interview gives you the chance to review your notes and steel yourself. It also gives you time to tidy up if nerves have made your hands clammy. You have put in the effort, and now it is time to show it. If you are still nervous, be comforted by the fact that your troubles will be over in a day.