Luckily, most interviews are scheduled in advance to allow adequate time to research and prepare, but life doesn’t always go according to plan and you may very well find yourself agreeing to an interview on short-notice. The last thing you want to do is miss an opportunity because you felt that the interview was scheduled on too short of a notice. You might be thinking there is no way to prepare for an interview in 30 minutes, but that is where you are wrong, because you definitely can!
15 Minutes for Company and Position Research
Research is an easy way to eliminate the pre-interview jitters and you can get a sufficient amount done in 15 minutes.
First, study the crap out of the job description! Print out the job description if you can or take screenshots on your phone to continue studying the job description on the go. Job descriptions reveal so much about the company you’re about to be interviewing with. From the style it is written in to the keywords they use, you’ll gain a pretty good understanding of what topics will be discussed in the interview. Make notes on some of your accomplishments, previous situations, and examples of past experience that match what the skills are needed for this position.
Secondly, read up on the company. Go to their home page and look at their “About Us” and/or “Mission Statement.” From their website you want to gain insight on who they are, how they’ve grown or expanded, and what values are important to them. Don’t spend too much time on their site, just enough to gain a bit more understanding of who they are and what they value.
Finally, see if you can find out anything about their hiring process from Glassdoor. Some companies, especially bigger ones, have plenty of information on their company page about their interviews from people who actually interviewed there. This can be a great tool if the information is there.
10 Minutes for Q&A Prep
Give yourself 10 minutes to plan some answers based around the most typical interview questions and in memorizing a few great questions you’ll ask the interviewer at the end.
It’s very easy to find out what the most common interview questions are: just Google search it and find an article or two that lists them! Plan your answers to these questions and relate them to the information you have from the job description.
After, write down three questions that you’ll want to ask the interviewer at the end. These questions need to be crafted to demonstrate how interested and excited you are for this opportunity (even if you’re feeling a little grouchy about it being such short notice). Ready yourself with questions about the company culture, interviewer, (“What’s been your proudest moment at [Company X]?” is always good) or the position itself. Remember, don’t ask self-serving questions about benefits, vacation time, or salary!
T-minus 5 Minutes!
Getting in the right mindset is how you want to spend your last five minutes.
Spend 60 seconds imagining that you’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the interview and let your confidence shine through your nerves. If you can trick yourself into feeling that you’ve had adequate time to prepare and research for the interview, your attitude could also trick the interviewer into thinking the same.
With these last four minutes, quickly run over all your notes one more time to ensure that your research and past experiences are cohesive to the company and position. Spend time memorizing the questions you’ll want to ask at the end, it’s the easiest way to wrap-up the interview on a high note.
If you follow the schedule above, you will find yourself with enough knowledge and a confident mindset that will allow you to conquer any short notice interview. And to think you did it all in 30 minutes!