How To ‘Fake’ Your Way Through A Last Minute Interview

They left a voicemail yesterday afternoon asking for an interview this morning. This means they’d like to hire you based on your resume. So, how do you keep that chance alive with a great interview? Related: 8 Simple Interview Questions To Ask Hiring Managers Is it time to panic? No- prepping is EASY.


The Secret

Studies show that:
  • Our FIRST impression
  • Our LAST impression, and
  • How someone made us FEEL
...are pretty much the only things we remember when we meet someone new. Hiring managers want reliable, engaged, competent employees that are easy to manage. They hire people they LIKE - so leave them with a strong positive impression through these four easy steps.

The Four Essentials to Handling Last Minute Interviews

  • Know what the company does
  • Know what the job description asks for
  • Know which of your skills makes you the RIGHT person to solve their problems
  • Have your OWN questions ready for the interviewer

A Cheat Sheet

Fill out the following template:
Google this information: (XYZ company) is in the _______ business. They are (new to the industry, established in the industry). Their major products are ____________. Their major competitors are ___________. (Bonus: Recently, the company did ____________.) The Job Title is _____________. They need someone who can Organize X, Sell X, Manage X, Design X, Service X, Solve X (summarize the top three points from the Job Description/Posting under these categories or a better one you come up with).
If you can take a copy of the job description/posting with you, that’s even better. Be very familiar with it ahead of time, but refer to it freely in the interview - that’s OK. They will see that you are engaged and interested in the process. Believe it or not, often interviewees just sit like lumps, waiting for the next question.
My experience ______________ makes me the best person to fill this empty position and solve the problems related to that role because ________________.
You ARE the best person but you need to be able to tell them WHY! What is it you understand better than another candidate, can deliver better, can execute better? Think of the jobs you’ve had and stories you could tell about them. Just giving examples of times you executed the skills needed in the job posting (and did a great job) is all you need to do. Bonus: If you have old performance reviews you can scan or remember, you may find great examples of your top skills or accomplishments there. Tell them about any compliments you received for your work. Ask the following questions before you leave, even if you have to ask if you are permitted to ask questions:

1. How did the position become available?

This is good information for you and makes a lasting impression on the interviewer about your savvy and engagement - Was the person promoted or fired or did they quit or is it new?

2. What kind of problems do you see this position/new hire solving?

Good to know and shows you care about their needs.

3. How will you define success for the person who gets the job?

This tells you a lot - what do they really want to see from the right candidate? Is it sales performance or client retention, for example? It shows them that you care about doing well for them.

Don’t Forget Everything!

Finally, take all of this with you in a note or on your phone. Study the first three points HARD while you prepare, and be early so you can refresh your memory and be on time (of course). Keep your questions ready to ask and DON’T LEAVE without asking them. Say, “I just have few questions, if we have time.” Pulling out YOUR questions when you want to ask them is perfectly fine (again, put them in a note somewhere such as on your phone if you can, that’s easiest). It makes you look prepared and organized.

Hitting All the Right Notes

You’ve walked in now showing that you are:
  • Prepared
  • Engaged
  • Skilled
  • Smart
  • Easy to manage
Leave them with a big “Thank you! I hope to hear from you- it sounds like a great place to work!” and they won’t soon forget your name.

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