by Guest Author, Miles Oliver
Landing a new role requires plenty of time and effort on your part. You may have to grind for months to land an interview and will typically go through dozens of job adverts before you find a role that resonates with you.
However, when you do find an opening, things will move fast. Recruiters do not want to wait weeks to get you in the room and may even schedule next-day interviews. This means you have to stay interview-ready at all times when job-seeking, as you can not afford to pass up the opportunities that come your way.
Get ready by proactively taking care of the small things. Keeping your interview attire fresh and your car well-maintained ensures that you are always ready to meet with prospective employers should they call you in for an interview.
Being mentally prepared for an interview can help you develop a connection with the interviewer and increase your odds of getting hired. When you are mentally prepared to interview, you will be able to give well-rehearsed answers to questions that most applicants trip up on.
Get mentally prepared for your next interview by researching common interview questions and writing down a list of answers complete with examples. This will show interviewers that you are serious about landing the role and are ready to step into the new position. If you are unsure of where to start, begin by answering common questions like:
- Have you ever failed at a task?
- When have you taken the initiative?
- Tell us about yourself and your values
Jot down a few bullet point answers that you can use to jog your memory in the interview. Try to focus on the positives and keep a shortlist of examples that you would like to highlight when answering questions. This will give you a strong foundation to build on when you begin to research prospective employers.
While submitting an application, conduct some preliminary research on the company. This will strengthen your cover letter and give you a feel for the firm if they call you in for an interview at short notice. Note down a few stand-out elements, and focus on things like:
- Their mission statement
- The “people” page of their website
- Their upcoming projects
You do not need to take extensive notes on every firm you apply for — just enough to start your search off right if you are called in for an interview.
When you do get called for an interview, set aside as much time as you can afford to deep-dive through the prospective employer’s website. Even 10 minutes of additional research can help you discover key facts like:
- Your interviewer’s background
- The challenges the business faces
- Prominent PR surrounding the firm
- Current market pressures
You don’t have to become an expert in the field overnight, but you should have a rough idea of the situation that the business is in. This will convince hiring managers that you have a proactive mindset and are ready to jump straight in.
Logistics and Physical Preparation
Staying interview-ready is about more than rehearsing stock answers to simple questions. You also need to be prepared to get moving at a moment’s notice should an interviewer call.
Remain ready for an interview at all times by taking care of the dashboard warning lights on your car before they become a real problem. If, for example, your “check engine” light comes on, you cannot afford to ignore it — even if the car is still running. Instead, get booked in to see a mechanic who can get to the bottom of the problem.
You should also intermittently fill up your tires and check your oil. Ensuring your tires are inflated to the correct PSI will save you money on fuel and help you avoid a flat should you need to suddenly drive 50 miles for an interview.
Pick out an outfit that you know will be your go-to on interview day. Hang it up in a safe space and resist the temptation to wear it out for another occasion.
You should also visit your doctor and dentist regularly when applying for jobs, as health ailments and bad breath are sure to undermine your interview. Visiting your dentist may even help you uncover hidden causes of bad breath like a sinus infection or GERD.
Staying interview-ready is key during the job-seeking process. You may be called in at short notice and can’t afford to pass up an interview due to a fault with your car. Get yourself in interview shape by preparing mentally for the questions you may face and put together an outfit that you know you’ll wear on the day. This will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to bring your best self to the interview.
Need more job search advice?
For more insights and a community of like-minded professionals join our LinkedIn group Resume Help and Advice for Professionals and Executives
About the author: Miles Oliver is a freelance contributor whose writing focuses on professional development. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org