How to Prepare Fast for a Short-Notice Interview

April 11th, 2014

You’ve just gotten a call for a job interview with a great company, but they want to meet with you tomorrow. How can you prepare for an interview—and hope to succeed—on such short notice?

Most of the job search literature out there focuses on long-term, carefully planned employment hunts. But if you follow to these simple tips, you can be ready to wow a future employer in less than 24 hours:

Have the Right Outfit on Standby

When you’re on the job hunt, you should always keep at least one good interview outfit clean and ready to go. You can wear a dark pants suit or a blazer and tie for almost any company, just make sure they are clean and presentable. If you have to, take advantage of the nearest one-hour dry cleaners.

Do Some Online Sleuthing

Get online and dig up all the information you can about the company. Scope out their web site to find their mission statement, the services they provide, the company’s background and information about their products. Search local newspapers and business magazines, employer review sites and any other reliable sources for information about the company. Use it to formulate 5-7 intelligent, thoughtful questions about the organization.

Rehearse Good Answers to Common Questions.

You’re sure to get asked at least a few of the standard interview questions. Here’s what they’re looking for in your answer:

  • “Tell me about yourself.” – Your response should include highlights of your career and anything relevant to the interviewer.
  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” – Make sure you have an answer for both. Never say you don’t have any weaknesses! Name at least one and state how you’ve overcome it.
  • “How have you learned from your failures?” – Tell about a time you learned a valuable lesson or things simply didn’t go your way.
  • “Why are you interested in this job?” – Show you know something about the company, its products and its culture.

Figure Out How To Sell Yourself

Of course you can’t predict exactly which questions your interviewer will ask, but you can create talking points that outline the overall message you want to convey. Quickly review the job posting to remind yourself what attributes were listed for the ideal job candidate. Then use this information along with what you learned about the company’s goals and services to choose 4 or 5 accomplishments, skills or experiences that you think will sell you for this role.

Don’t Stress About It

There is such a thing as too much preparation, even when you only have a short time to cram. Do enough so that you feel confident and self-assured, but not so much that your brain is on overload. Get a good night’s sleep so you’ll look — and feel — rested and energetic in the interview.

Any more interview-related questions? Ask the experts at Synerfac!

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