Your job interview is tomorrow.
You are feeling anxious and nervous. And here is the most overwhelming part: you only have a few hours to prepare.
We all have found ourselves in a similar situation at least once in our lives.
First of all, let me promise you something: you will survive. Take a deep breath and let it go.
Now, let's focus on doing your best given the circumstances.
Here is a step-by-step guideline to help you take advantage of the limited time you have in order to feel prepared and more confident.
1. "Connect the dots"
Take a thorough look at the job description.
There must be a reason why the company needs a new specialist. They are expecting certain solutions and/or results.
Think of the "why" behind each job function and requirement. Looking at your profile, connect that "why" with what you have to offer.
It is absolutely essential that you do this job for the decision maker. Instead of letting them make assumptions or guesses, connect your skills to their needs right away.
2. Recap what you know about the company
Make sure you understand some basic details about the company, such as:
what they do,
how big or small they are,
who is their customer and where is their target market,
what are their core business values and priorities,
who is their competition.
This is the absolute minimal must-know list. It is not ideal, and if you had some extra time, you would have done more thorough research about the industry, current market trends, etc.
3. Sum up your value proposition
What's in it for them?
This is the key question you need to be able to answer during your job interview, although you probably won't be asked so directly.
Take a piece of paper and write down as many ways as you can of how you could help their business. Leverage your value-added attributes that, although unspecified among the formal list of requirements, would give you an edge over your competition.
4. Look for reviews
Reviews are an invaluable source of first-hand information.
Use websites like www.glassdoor.ca, or good old friend Google, to find reviews written by people who had been interviewed at your target company in the past, as well as by current and former company employees.
5. Research the interviewer
LinkedIn is your best friend when it comes to learning more about the person (or people) you will be talking to at the interview.
Find out about their experience, professional and educational background, read recommendations from their colleagues or business partners. All this information can help you better understand their perspective and priorities.
6. Practice telling someone about yourself
You will be asked to tell about yourself during a job interview. Guaranteed. This will be your chance to make the first impression.
Rehearse your answer with a family member or a friend. It is better to have someone listen to you while you talk.
Keep it under 2 minutes. Practice more than once, if you need to.
7. Choose proper clothes
Your appearance = your first impression.
Do not leave the important decision of what to wear to the interview to the last minute.
Quite likely, you will feel nervous in the morning. Do not overwhelm yourself with yet another choice you need to make.
Pick out your clothes in advance. Make sure they are of appropriate style and do not make you uncomfortable. Any additional discomfort may be reflected in your body language.
8. Get enough sleep
There is never enough time to prepare. Yet, you need to let yourself get a good night's rest.
Before going to bed, try doing something relaxing and distracting. Give yourself a chance to power down and reenergize. This will decrease your stress levels and boost your concentration.