How to Ace that Last Minute Interview

By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC

www.theauthenticpath.com

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When you’re searching for a job, it's important to be prepared for interviews that pop up at the last minute. These steps will help you to make a good impression even when you have very little time to prepare.

 

Steps to Quickly Prepare for the Interview

 

1.      Try to reschedule. Try to buy yourself more time. Ask if there’s a later date or time when you can schedule your interview. A reasonable amount of notice will enable you to prepare and perform better. If you go ahead and accept that last minute interview, remain enthusiastic and make the best of the situation.

2.      Ask for the job description. The most recent copy of the job description is one of the most important documents to study before an interview. If you don’t have a copy, see if you can find it online. If not, ask the company for an updated copy of the job description.

3.      Try to collect other information and materials. Find out who will be interviewing you. Will it be one person or a team of interviewers? Also, ask if they can suggest any other materials that would be valuable for you to peruse beforehand.

4.      Prioritize your research. When you’re moving at a more leisurely pace, you probably like to learn everything you can about the company you're interviewing with. When it is comes to last minute interviews, though, it's better to just focus on key areas.

5.      Clarify the timeline for a decision. You may be able to discover what created the urgency for the interview. Maybe this is a position that the company wants to fill quickly. On the other hand, this could be their way of doing things.

6.      Simplify the logistics. Do everything you can to streamline the details so you can fully concentrate on the interview itself. Always plan to arrive with plenty of time to spare. There's nothing worse than being late for an interview or running in at the last minute. Being on-time is really arriving 10-15 minutes early.

  •  Allow ample travel time. You can't predict the traffic and you never know if your destination will be difficult to locate.
  • Consider taking public transportation or splurging on a cab so you won't have to spend time searching for a parking space.
  • If a friend can give you a ride, you can even rehearse on the way over.

 7.      Get a full night’s sleep. A full night's rest will ensure that you look and feel more alert at your interview. Always avoid sacrificing sleep.

8.      Schedule a workout. Try to fit in a workout the morning of your interview. Physical activity gives you extra energy and reduces stress.


Steps to Take Long in Advance of That Last-Minute Interview Request

1.      Have your wardrobe ready. Dressing for an interview can be a snap. Always have several "interview outfits" ready to go. Keep your shoes polished and suits pressed.

2.      Know what to say. Practice your interviewing skills. Rehearse how you are going to present your accomplishments so it sounds natural and genuine during the interview. Have 10-15 specific examples and choose which ones to discuss based on each individual job opportunity.

3.      Assemble a portfolio of work samples. Even in the digital age, you may still require hard copies of your work samples. Create a portfolio that you can show during your interview if appropriate for the industry. Bring extra copies of your resume too.

4.      Develop a relaxation practice. Searching for a job is hard work. Manage daily stress with effective techniques, such as meditating or listening to instrumental music.

5.      Establish a support network. The help of family, friends, and neighbors is invaluable when you looking for a job. Join a job club or start one of your own for extra camaraderie.

6.      Master quick and nutritious meals. A healthy diet will keep you fit on those hectic days when you spend all your time looking for work. Prepare balanced meals quickly by cooking in batches and freezing individual portions. Or choose a simple salad of greens and spruce it up by adding some cheese or chicken.

It can be both challenging and nerve-racking when you receive a last minute interview. Always stay a few steps ahead and have everything ready to go.

 

Respond quickly and accept every interview that comes your way, even if it's at the last minute. Remember that each interview brings you closer to landing the job you want.

Additional Resources

5 Vital Qualities Every Employer Seeks in Applicants

A Beginner's Guide to Salary Negotiation When You're Intimidated by Rejection

A Beginner's Guide to Getting a Job When You Have Limited Experience

Examples of Successful Career Goals

Finding Meaningful Work

How to Create an Elevator Pitch Employers Want to Hear

How to Develop a Career Plan That Will Bring You Happiness

How to Discover the Career of Your Dreams

Interviewing: Are You Making These Mistakes?


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