So you applied for a job online, and just got a call from the recruiter asking if you can interview with the hiring manager. You are super excited until you hear that the interview is happening in 48 hours. 2 days. OMG!
Don’t panic; just prepare. Complete with timing and strategy, we’ve complied a comprehensive list of essential ways to gear up for your interview and knock it out of the park. Ready, set, prep!
As soon as you hang up with the recruiter:
1. Study for your interview like it’s a final exam.
• Find as much information as you can on the company or organization, and commit as much of it to memory as possible.
• If the job you’re interviewing for requires knowledge in a certain field, do all the learning and brushing up you can on information that will be relevant to your interview.
2. Generate a list of potential interview questions (and their answers!) beforehand.
• Base your list of questions on both what you expect them to ask and the real-life experience of others
• Reach out to people who worked in similar companies and positions as you are interviewing for and ask them about their interview experience
• Use tools like Glassdoor’s interview question database to look up real interview questions and their answers.
36 hours before the interview:
3. Write out answers to every question you anticipate, and practice delivering them out loud.
• Even if you don’t remember your responses word for word, you can fall back on certain key points and phrases.
• Write your own list of questions for the interviewer, and be prepared to ask them when the time arises.
• Make sure your questions are nuanced and well-researched. Never ask for any information that can be simply found online.
4. Compare your skills and experience to the job description.
• For each component of the job description, brainstorm your relevant skills and experiences, and think critically about how you want to present them.
• If there’s a preferred skill or experience you do not have, be able to demonstrate you’ll be competent without it.
12-24 hours before the interview:
5. Be rested and healthy for the big day.• Before getting good night’s sleep, try to imagine yourself acing the interview.
• Eat wholesome, healthy meals for the days preceding the interview.
• If you are prone to anxiety, try breathing techniques or meditation the morning of the interview, and even directly before.
3-6 hours before the interview:
6. Dress for success
• Keep your fashion choices subdued and classic – don’t wear clothes that will distract the interviewer.
• If you’re unclear on what type of clothes to wear, don’t be afraid to reach out to your interviewer and ask.
• Wear clothes you feel confident in. Don’t be afraid to invest in an “interview outfit” or two that you feel your best in.
7. Empower yourself
• Practice a firm handshake, strong posture, and attentive body language in advance.
• Think of a mantra you can call upon for self-confidence, like, “no matter what, I will do my best.”
• Try to imagine yourself not getting the job. While it might be painful to think about, what can you see yourself having learned from the interview experience?
8. Don’t leave any unnecessary unknowns.
• Plan what to bring (extra copies of your resume!) and even what transportation you are taking to the interview way in advance, so there’s no added uncertainty the day of.
During the interview:
9. Keep an interview journal
• During or even after your interview is over, take a few minutes to jot down what parts you felt you aced, and where you could have shone brighter. These notes can serve as a valuable guide for your future interviews.
6-12 hours after the interview:
10. Follow up.
• Extending the conversation shows that you’re passionate about the job. Don’t call every day asking if you got the job, but a simple thank you note can speak volumes about your commitment to the position.
• And if you didn’t get the job? Let them know if you’re still interested, and ask what you can do to be a more attractive candidate in the future.