Cheat Sheet: What You Need to Know to Nail a Last-Minute Interview


For weeks you’ve been actively sending your resume out and applying for job openings when (finally!) you get a call from a company who wants you to come in for an interview—today! Because you still have to do your current job today, you have exactly an hour to prep. How do you get ready for this?

You obviously don’t have time now to do exhaustive in-depth research, so you’ll need to prioritize and nail the basics. As an agency recruiter, I know firsthand what an employer actually expects you to know when you walk through the door for an interview—both when it's been scheduled in advance or when it's been arranged at the very last minute.

In this scenario, after you Google directions and figure out exactly how to get there and how much time you’ll need (better to give yourself extra minutes so you don’t run the risk of arriving late), here’s what else you can do with your limited time.

The People: Who Are You Interviewing With?

Names and titles can be a blur, particularly if you’re hearing them for the first time. Write down everyone’s name and check out their LinkedIn profiles. This may help you find commonalities or shared interests that could be helpful in building rapport. If the company website has an “About Us” page, read through it and memorize key facts, names, and titles.

The Organization: What’s the Latest News?

See if there’s a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Instagram handle, or Twitter presence, and pay attention to anything striking. For example, did the company just secure another round of funding or launch a new CSR initiative? Knowledge of these types of items can be good conversation starters, particularly when you don’t know as much about the organization as you would if you had more prep time.

If nothing of note stands out on social media, you can do a simple Google News search with the company name, or, if they have a press page, you should be able to find recent coverage or press releases.

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Written by: Jessica Vann

Posted on

January 16, 2017


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