How to Prepare for an Interview on Short Notice

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It can be stressful to be asked to interview on short notice during your job search, but it’s still important to prepare before your interview. Preparing ahead of time for a short notice interview can improve your chances to get hired. This article explains how to prepare for an interview on short notice with quick interview tips.

Why you should prepare for an interview on short notice

Preparing for an interview on short notice can help you answer interviewer questions clearly, calmly and confidently to improve your chances of getting hired. Spending a short amount of time to practice answers to common interview questions, reviewing your resume and choosing an appropriate outfit before your short notice interview will help the job interview go smoothly.

How to get ready for an interview on short notice

Here are several steps you can take to prepare yourself for an interview on short notice:

1. First, read the job description.

Read the description on the job post to find the qualifications and skills that the employer values most. Think about how your personal and professional experiences match these requirements and how you’ll talk about them with an interviewer. For example, if the job description asks for customer service skills, think about anecdotes where you provided excellent service at your previous job.  

2. Next, research the employer 

Research the employer by looking through their business website and social media accounts. Pay attention to the employer’s purpose, audience, products and services, values and culture. Understanding these features will show your interviewer that you understand the employer and the job you’re applying for.

3. After, think about why they should hire you.

Most interviewers will want to know why they should hire you, even if they don’t ask this question directly. Prepare for this common interview question by thinking about your relevant experience and skills ahead of time. You could also bring up specific tasks and requirements you read in the job description and state how you can contribute to the company with those skills. 

4. After, review your resume.

Review your resume beforehand so you can easily remember your most relevant experiences, skills and abilities during the short notice interview. It is easy to forget what an interviewer knows about your personal and professional life. Reading through your application can help you stay focused on the features that make you a great fit for the job.

5. Last, prepare your interview outfit.

Choose an appropriate outfit ahead of time so that you feel confident and collected during the interview. Your outfit should match the interviewer’s expectations for workplace attire and the job culture. For example, traditional law firms will expect candidates to be wearing formal business attire.

Quick interview tips

You can succeed in an interview with very little notice by following these tips:

Try to relax and rest before your interview

Taking time to rest and relax before your interview can help you feel more comfortable and prepared. You could do this even if the interview is on the same day. Take a small nap or break before the interview so you can feel calm and ready before your short notice interview. 

Read your interview answer notes out loud

Preparing answers to common interview questions can be helpful, especially if you repeat them to yourself out loud beforehand. Rehearsing your answers can make you feel prepared and familiar with your qualifications and remember what you’d like to say during the interview. 

Find out how to get to your interview location

Look up directions for how to get to the interview location ahead of time. Consider whether there will be traffic at the time you are traveling. Even with a short notice, you can show your interviewer that you are able to be trustworthy and organized by being early or on time.