October 22, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
The Interview: 24 Hours to Go
By Abigail Rowse, Employability Officer
So, you’ve got an interview tomorrow. Perhaps you’ve just found out about it, maybe you’ve been preparing for weeks or you’ve accidentally left it until the last minute.
Either way, read on to find out how what to do when you’ve only got 24 hours until your interview.
Before you get started
First things first, know that even if you haven’t prepared yet, it’s not too late. There’s still plenty you can do in 24 hours to prepare. As with exam revision, it’s a good idea to start early – but it’s always better to do something rather than nothing!
Before you start, read this blog and then make a plan. Everyone is unique and it’s important you prioritise what you’re least prepared for or most worried about.
Get the basics right
It might sound obvious but this is worth repeating: make sure you know where you’re going. Write down the room number, building and address, and ensure you know how you’re getting there and what time you need to leave.
Get your outfit ready. Unless your wardrobe contains nothing but trainers and sportswear, there’s no need to rush to the shops. Pick something smart and clean, and put it aside ready for tomorrow.
Lastly, pack your bag. Print off anything you need, such as directions, copies of your CV and anything else the interviewer has asked you to bring. Include anything that might give you a last-minute confidence boost such as breath mints or a lip balm.
Research the company, organisation and team you’re going to work for. This doesn’t mean a cursory glance at the website, but more of a deep dive.
Read the job description or role profile carefully; this may contain information about how your role fits into the bigger picture.
Research what the company’s values are and look up recent press releases. How does the job you’re applying for fit in with the company? What do you like about the organisation and why are you a good fit?
Techniques at the ready
It’s impossible to predict the future and know every question you’ll be asked and every task you’ll be given. However, you can learn some techniques to help you feel prepared in any scenario.
Using the STAR technique in interviews is often a good plan. This gives you a structure to answer questions to ensure you don’t miss anything out or waffle.
Reflect, reflect, reflect
Using the job description and what you know about the role and company, jot down the main attributes or experiences the employer is looking for.
Now it’s time to reflect on how you meet what they’re looking for. Think about relevant experiences you’ve had that demonstrate your abilities in the best light. Consider experience you’ve gained from your degree, work experience, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.
Try using the STAR technique to talk about some of these experiences; talk out loud to a friend, housemate or even the mirror.
First impressions count
You wouldn’t expect a car to run well with no fuel and flat tyres, and it’s the same for you. Get an early night, eat well and leave plenty of time to get to the interview. If it’s a telephone interview, make sure your technology is fully charged and ready to go.
While some adrenalin is healthy, it’s still important to make sure you try to relax and practise breathing techniques to calm you down. Don’t forget, nobody loves interviews and the other candidates are in the same boat as you. Just remember: there is a reason you’ve been invited to interview!
Once you arrive, smile and be friendly to everyone you meet. It’s not just the interview panel you want to impress. During the interview, remember to make eye contact and be yourself. Take your time as you answer each question; it’s not a race.