There is nothing quite as exciting as receiving an interview request from a job you’ve applied for. Hopefully, you’ve spent a bit of time preparing for the interview. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing else you can do in the hours leading up to your interview.
It would help if you tried to clear your schedule before your interview so that you can spend the last hour or so preparing. Even if you’ve had plenty of time to prepare beforehand, there are still some things you can do at the last minute to help impress your interviewer.
Panicking Because Of A Job Interview You Have In A Few Hours?
Even if you’ve had time to prepare for your interview, you might start feeling nervous the day of. Feeling anxious about a job interview is absolutely normal – after all, you’re meeting a stranger who will decide whether they want to hire you!
However, if you’re stressing out to the point of panic, then be sure to use these tips to help calm yourself down:
- Take a deep breath and practice relaxation techniques like visualization or mindfulness.
- Remind yourself that the interviewer is just another person and not something to be intimidated by.
- Focus on what you know about the job and how you can help the company.
- Remind yourself that you’re qualified and worthy of the job by going over your skills, experience, and accolades.
- Go for a walk around the block to help clear your head.
- Talk with somebody you trust as it can give you the boost of confidence you need.
Last-Minute Job Interview Tips
Now that you know how to handle the butterflies in your stomach, let’s go over a few things you can do to better prepare yourself for the interview. The following are 12 last-minute interview tips that will help put you in a better position to succeed:
1. Go Through Your Resume Again
Your interviewer will use your resume as a jumping-off point for your interview. So, before you head out, review your job resume and make sure you can discuss each experience in greater detail. In fact, you should bring a copy of your resume with you if the interviewer asks for it. Doing so will also allow you to look over your resume right before your interview.
Additionally, be sure to review the job description and be ready to talk about how your skills and accomplishments match what the company is looking for.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
In general, most interviewers are going to ask similar questions. Make sure to research common interview questions beforehand and practice answering them out loud. Not only will this help you to come up with better answers, but it will also help you to feel more comfortable when answering questions.
Have a friend or family member ask you some of the questions to simulate the real experience. Doing so on the day of the interview can help you get into the right frame of mind.
3. Dress For Success
It’s imperative that you make a good first impression the moment you enter the door (or as soon as your video chat screen pops up if you’re doing an online interview). As such, you should dress appropriately.
If you show up wearing jeans or shorts and a t-shirt, and you’re not well-groomed, it’s going to appear like you’re either not taking the job seriously or that you forgot what time the interview was and had to rush to make it. If that’s the case, the interviewer will think you’re unorganized and irresponsible – neither of which are good.
If you’re unsure what to wear, err on the side of caution and dress one level up from what you think is appropriate. Doing so will show the interviewer that you’re taking the job seriously and respecting the company’s dress code.
4. Arrive Early
Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview starts, giving yourself plenty of time to find parking, get through security (if necessary), and settle in. At the very least, trying to get to your interview early will help ensure that you don’t get there late, which would leave a horrible first impression on your interviewer.
Be sure to look up the location ahead of time, so you know exactly where to go and how long it will take to get there (and be sure to account for potential traffic).
Arriving early will not only make a good impression on the interviewer by showing that you’re excited about the opportunity, but it will also give you a few minutes to yourself. Take the time to gather your thoughts and review your resume (and notes) one more time before being called in.
5. Be Positive
Having a positive attitude will go a long way toward helping you stand out from the competition. It will show that you’re confident and excited about the opportunity rather than just going through the motions. Not to mention that the interviewer will take your positivity as a sign that you’ll fit in well with the company culture.
Try to put yourself in a positive mindset before the interview. Visualize yourself giving great answers, and focus on the positive aspects of your job hunt (you’ve already landed an interview – that’s a great sign!).
As with any other situation, projecting a positive attitude is key. Avoid speaking badly about your current or past jobs, as this will leave a poor impression on the interviewer. Instead, focus on discussing what you’d like to do and have done in the past. Show that you’re excited about the prospect of taking on new challenges and learning new things.
Although you’re there to answer questions, you should make a concerted effort to listen to the interviewer. Listening is just as essential as talking when it comes to engagement. You want to ensure the interviewer is engaged, which is why listening is so important.
For example, if the interviewer is asking questions that you don’t understand, take the time to ask them to elaborate. This will show that you are interested and invested in the conversation.
It’s also important to listen for cues. For example, if the interviewer seems bored or uninterested, you might want to adjust your approach or even cut the answer short. Being aware of this kind of subtle communication can help you adapt in the moment and make sure that you’re giving the interviewer what they want.
7. Ask Thoughtful Questions
Asking questions will show the interviewer that you are truly interested in the job and that you have done your research. Therefore, it’s important to ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and industry, and also help you understand the job better. It will also help engage the interviewer, making your interview more memorable.
It’s a good idea to come up with a list of questions to ask before your interview. The following are just a few examples of questions you could ask:
- What are the biggest challenges facing the company?
- What are some of your long-term goals for the company?
- What kind of culture does the company have?
- What kind of opportunities are available for growth and development?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
8. Be Prepared To Talk About Your Weaknesses
One of the favorite things that interviewers like to ask job candidates is about their weaknesses. This can be a challenging question to respond to, as no one wants to list all their flaws and have them out in the open. After all, you don’t want to tell them something about yourself that is disqualifying or puts you in a bad light.
Interviewers ask this question to get an idea of how self-aware you are and how well you can reflect on personal attributes and characteristics. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest, but without being too critical of yourself. Try to think of some minor weaknesses that won’t be deal-breakers. It also helps to explain how you hope to improve those weaknesses.
9. Avoid Talking Too Much
Rambling on in an interview can make you seem unprepared, and it doesn’t give the interviewer a chance to ask any additional questions. Additionally, talking too much can make it appear like you cannot focus on the topic.
Excessively talking may also bore your interviewer or you could risk saying something you regret later. If you tend to ramble when you’re nervous, try to resist the urge to fill every silent moment with words and take a deep breath to collect yourself.
10. Be Confident
The more confident you are in an interview, the more likely you are to make a good impression. Confidence communicates that you are knowledgeable about the job and that you trust in your own abilities.
It also shows that you feel comfortable discussing your skills and experiences, which can help boost your credibility with the interviewer. You want the interviewer to feel confident about hiring you, and the best way to do that is to be confident yourself.
Of course, conveying confidence is easier said than done, especially if you’re a bit nervous. It’s why every bit of preparation helps – the more prepared you are for your job interview, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to answer questions. Additionally, try taking a breath before answering questions and focus on maintaining good posture throughout the interview to portray confidence.
Set Yourself Up For Success In Your Upcoming Job Interview!
Preparation is crucial when it comes to any job interview. Still, even if you’re fully prepared, there are a few last-minute things you can do that can help you stand out from the competition.
From getting to your interview early to being mindful of your body language, there are many small but impactful ways to ensure you walk out of the interview confidently. If you follow these tips and answer the interview questions thoughtfully, you can make a great impression and set yourself up for success.