Remember the bus timetable – Preparation for a last-minute interview

InterviewThere is nothing more nerve-wracking than an important interview, and it is even worse when the interview is unexpected. When you are on the lookout for a new position you are usually well aware of your timescales. This is true of both the potential employer and the employee. In fact, one of the advantages of having a very experienced recruitment partner like ourselves on your side is control over the employment process. Part of what we do here is to take out the surprise elements and make the procedure seamless.

However, surprises still happen. Of course they do, they wouldn’t be surprises otherwise, would they?

There are many reasons why both sides of the table may find themselves performing an interview at very short notice. Employees who suddenly need extended time off, job listings that come to light unexpectedly, changes to a business that require immediate expansion of the workforce, and so on. The list of reasons is long, but for now, not really important. What is important is that the situation has occurred, and you need to deal with it.

For the potential employer, we would offer a very simple piece of advice. If you suddenly need to find a new member of the team and interview at very short notice, focus on the job description. The whole employment process is based on a considered and well-designed description of who you need and what experience and skills they must have. You may well be in a rush, and you may well have an urgent looming deadline, but take the time to sit down with one of our team and work through a solid job profile. A ‘bad hire’ has got to be the biggest worry when you are in a rush to replace a team member and a good job description will be a giant step towards stopping this happening. Salary, package, terms and conditions, contracts, due diligence and all the other bric-a-brac of the employment chain we can deal with step by step.

Calm down

For the candidate, preparing for a sudden interview can be a tense few hours. So here are a few tips to help you focus on what you need to do:

  • Calm down. I know it’s hard, but take a deep breath and allow yourself to take stock of the urgency. The interview is only an interview, and you have done them before. Yes, there is a bit of a rush, but take the right steps and try to stay focused.
  • Do some research on the business. You will need to know about the organisation because even in a short notice interview it will be expected. Even if you already know about the business, do some ‘current’ research. Have there been any new announcements or recent news items for example? Has the product or service range expanded?
  • If you know someone, make the call. Do you know anyone who works or has worked at the potential employer? If so, make a quick call and ask about the workplace.
  • Who is interviewing you? Take to social media, LinkedIn in particular, and look up the people who are on the interview panel. It will do no harm to know a little about them.
  • Focus on what you have to offer. Be clear on your skill set and your abilities, and have examples of how you applied these in a similar role or how you will apply these in the new one. This is about focusing on what the employer really wants, which is someone to fill an empty slot in their team.
  • Re-read your C.V. The last thing you need is a question about something on your resume that you cannot remember.
  • Don’t decide to run out for a new interview suit or shoes for example. It will just make you uncomfortable.
  • Speaking of uncomfortable – check the bus timetable, traffic issues, the location of the interview and anything else that could prevent you from arriving early. You can really live without a panic about being late.

Stay focused, stay calm and remember this is just another interview – you can do this.

Last minute interviews are not the first choice for anyone, but we have seen candidates rise to the occasion time and time again, and many employers have made some of the best hires from these kinds of employment situations. We are here to help, and no matter how rushed it is, we can make the process smooth and get a result for everyone. If you are looking for your dream role or employee, please get in touch with us today!

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