Called for a Last-Minute Interview? Consider These Tips to Prepare with Short Notice!


In a perfect world, every job interview would get scheduled in advance, with at least a few days to prepare. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. What do you do if you get a call to interview in 24 hours or less? Your first instinct might be to say no, but this could cause you to miss out on the opportunity. If at all possible, try to demonstrate flexibility by going along with the request.

Follow these last-minute interview tips to shine with little advanced preparation.

Last-Minute Interview Tips

Review the Job Description

Spend a few minutes carefully reviewing the job description. Pay close attention to keywords describing the ideal candidate — e.g., excellent team player, works well under pressure — and prepare a few examples explaining why you embody these traits. In addition to noting the areas where you excel, be aware of areas where your skills and experience could be considered lacking and prepare a response to address the gaps.

Briefly Research the Company

You will be asked what you know about the company, so start cramming. The hiring manager will not expect you to recite a detailed history, but having at least some knowledge about its products and services, history and client base is a must. Quickly review the organization’s website and social media profiles to learn about its culture, and do a quick search for news posts to see if they have made any big announcement or received any honors recently. Use this information to explain why you you want to work for this organization and why you would fit right in with the team.

Prepare a List of Questions

Interviewers expect candidates to ask questions. It not only shows you were engaged throughout the interview process, but also that you’re truly interested in the opportunity. Have a few ready in case none come to mind during the meeting.

General questions, such as “How is success defined for the position?” and “What do you expect the selected candidate to achieve during the first 90 days on the job?” are great inquires to have top of mind. Try to take it one step further noting a few questions during your research into the company. Make use of your time by scanning through photos on social media or their website. Pick a couple, maybe the pictures of the team volunteering at the local park posted on their Facebook page or the mouth-watering doughnut picture you saw on Twitter with the comment I <3 #DoughutDay! In addition to showing your interest, you’re now learning about the culture and the values that matter to the organization.

Focus on Your End Goal

Feeling panicked about a last-minute interview is natural, but try to stay calm by concentrating on the task at-hand. As much as possible, hit pause on everything else going on around you and channel all your efforts into interview preparation. Calm your nerves by focusing on all you have to bring to the job and envisioning yourself as the last candidate standing.

Get the Job You Really Want

Finding an architecture, engineering or construction opportunity that seamlessly aligns with your career goals can be difficult, but RealStreet is up to the challenge! Our team prides itself on making ideal matches with skilled professionals with job opportunities. We have the resources to help you make a rewarding career move. Contact us today to start your search!

It was my distinct pleasure working for RealStreet, aka KJMK, on separate FEMA disaster recovery assignments and long-term recovery planning assignments between October 2004 and May 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Francis and Wilma. I found working with these professionals enjoyable as well as self-fulfilling and rewarding. After a 9-year stint as Read More…

Steve Spry, CAPZO, Certified Alabama Planning and Zoning Official

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