With everything happening online, it is easy to get invited to a last-minute interview, with not more than just a couple of hours to prepare. Don’t freak out when this happens. Stay calm and focused, as you would for any other interview. Sometimes your interview will come at a time when you are only scrambling to stay still. Your response will determine the difference between a failed interview and a job offer.
Here are some tips on how to land a job with a last-minute interview:
1. Read the company’s website
Getting a last-minute interview does not exempt you from knowing what the company is about. If you are interested in working for them, you must show interest in joining the team. Find their website and do a deep industry search. Learn as much as you can about the company and the services they provide. How are your skills going to add value to the company? Do you understand why they need someone like you to fill the position? Be prepared, you still have to stand out from the rest of the applicants.
2. Scroll through their social media profiles
As companies are evolving with the digital world, most of them will always have an online presence. Make sure you take a couple of minutes to find and search through the company’s social media and understand their language. Does it look like a company that has a lot of millennials or is it contemporary? How do they communicate with their audience? Do you feel like you will be a good fit for the company culture? Know the industry language and familiarise yourself with their target audience, this way you are better equipped in case of anything during and after the interview.
3. Research your interviewers
You have received the last-minute interview from your potential employers. Run a quick search on them. Find them on the company’s LinkedIn page. Do you have any shared connections that can give you a quick insight on what to expect? Can you get any information about their work personalities? There is a wealth of information online these days, take advantage, and make yourself unique. After all, the goal is to impress and get the job!
4. Dress the part
While this goes without saying, it is an important reminder for any interview, last-minute or not. Look up the company and find out their dress style. Are they office casual or official? Make sure every effort you make towards the interview, gets you as closer to the company as possible. Did you identify their dress code? Now dress a bit better than that!
5. Understand the job description
Getting invited to an interview means you applied for the role advertised and got shortlisted. Sometimes you can apply for a job or several, and it takes weeks or months to get invited for an interview. When that last-minute interview suddenly appears in your inbox, you can barely remember where you got the job ad and what it entailed. This when you should go over your CV and cover letter again. Have you had any improvements since you applied to the role that can better place you as the best candidate fit for the role? Make sure your CV & cover letter stay as updated as possible.
6. Come up with a few questions of your own
At the end of the interview, the recruiters are likely to ask if you have any questions. Jot down a few questions that you can ask when the interview is complete. Most job seekers are always too nervous to ask any questions, and this can be a negative sign to an employer. When you ask questions, you show interest in the role and company, and chances are, you’ll make a good catch for when they need to settle on someone.
7. Focus on your strengths
A last-minute interview means you have shorter than the average time to prepare. This means that to stand out, you have to show your best skills! This is the time you can blow your own horn and make them know just how good you are at what you do, and what you intend to bring to the table. A lot of people struggle with imposter syndrome, and at a time like this, they can be unsettled and scared. Believe in yourself and you’ll be proud.
8. Follow Up
After the interview, make note of the names of your interviewers for follow up processes. Do not forget to thank them for an opportunity to present yourself, either in person or virtually, as the new normal goes. Make a good first impression. Your interviewers are the first window into the company, so give your best shot. Ask for when you might expect feedback on the interview and when or if that time elapses and you have no response, follow up with them. Most recruiters give a 2-week period to get in contact, wait until that ends to follow up.
A last-minute interview can make anyone nervous. Sometimes, even the interviewers themselves will look up for last-minute interview tips right before you walk in! So it is okay to be nervous, but don’t let it stand between you and your next big job! Be confident and ace that interview! Good Luck!