No Time to Prep for an Interview? Here Are the Essentials

Great news! You got the interview. But it’s first thing tomorrow morning. How will you be prepared on such short notice? It’s a moment where you’ll simply need to focus on the absolute interview essentials. While it’s ideal to read ad nauseum on interview questions, interview tips, etc., sometimes it’s just not reality. Here’s where you should focus your time.

Have resumes in hand

If they’ve already seen your resume and called for the interview, they liked what they saw. At this point, I wouldn’t worry too much about resume tweaks and edits. Instead, focus on making sure you have paper copies to bring along. If you have a working printer, easy enough. If not, troubleshoot. Maybe a friend or relative can help. A local library is an option. If all else fails, places like Staples can certainly print it for a fee. While it’s a nice touch to use fancy paper, it’s more important that you have it. Bring a few copies in case you end up meeting with more than one person.

Paper copies of a resume can seem like an old-school thing to insist on, especially since they likely already have a copy. But regardless, showing up with a resume (even if they end up not needing it) counts as an interview essential.

Research and write questions

Have a good idea of what they do, even beyond the scope of what you would be involved in should you get the job. Re-read the job details as well. From there, have some solid thoughts on why you want to work there and what appeals to you about that position. Write down questions for the interviewer.

Prepare your outfit

Another essential component. No matter what you hear out there about the workplace becoming more casual, interview attire is still an area where you want to pull out the stops. Go ahead and tackle this the night before. Does anything need to be laundered or ironed? Make sure this is all ready to go so it doesn’t become a source of stress in the morning.

Be early…but not too early

Ahead of time, know where you’re going. Be sure to leave the house in time to walk in the door 10 minutes prior to your interview time. If you arrive 20-30+ minutes early, find somewhere you can chill out for a bit. If you don’t see many options, you can even sit in the car for a while.

Keep in mind the idea of smells. Sometimes, breakfast or coffee places are an easy go-to for killing time. However, they often leave a strong smell on your clothing. Ideally, no one wants to walk into their interview smelling like a Denny’s Grand Slam (though it’s wonderful to eat). See if you can find a place more neutral. And when it’s ten minutes before your meeting time, head in.

Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist