You just landed a job interview tomorrow!
I have a job interview tomorrow! WTF do I do!!? Where do I start? What do you do when you receive a call out of the blue and you find yourself facing an unexpected job interview tomorrow?
How did this happen?
When I am looking to fill a position, the hiring manager needed that position filled yesterday. To the hiring manager, their unfilled position is the most important position out there. Put 4 hiring managers in a room with unfilled positions and you have a steaming pile of urgency on your hands. When I call or email a candidate, it is because the resume looked good and I want to figure out as quickly as possible if you are “the one”. If you aren’t the one, time is a wasting and I need to move on to the next candidate. In the least, I want to tell the hiring manager “I have talked with 3 candidates and have 2 more coming in”.
Hiring manager is grandma who wants a baby
The hiring manager is the equivalent of the overbearing mom from the old country that wants grandchildren. I don’t want to walk past that hiring managers office because I know they are going to run out of their office with hands waving in hysteria asking for an update that is more recent than the one I emailed out that morning. We have all had the same conversation. “Mom! You don’t force things like finding love or the right candidate.” You could be the candidate we bring home to mom. We could be popping the big question to you. “Would you work with us”? There is urgency and this is how you ended up with an interview tomorrow.
I want you the candidate to come in yesterday, but I will settle for you in a job interview tomorrow. I don’t want to seem over-anxious but mom is getting grilled by grandma (head of the department) and I need to bring a girl home or there are going to be some raised eyebrows. Does he like girls (his job)? Does he know where to look for a date (where did he post this job)? I absolutely know that you will probably do better in the interview if you have a few days to figure out what to wear, get a shirt to the cleaners, and do some research on our company, but shit rolls downhill and some weeks the hill is really steep. Grandma (department head) is questioning mom (hiring manager) and mom is breathing down my back.
Avoid the situation
If you are ever asked if you can come in for a job interview tomorrow, do what you can to avoid the situation. Explain that your mother is in the hospital or has a doctor’s appointment. This sounds dramatic but here is the flip side: If you talk about your daycare, your dentist appointment, or any other, it may lead to the conclusion that you are either lazy or that this job is not that important to you. When I hear “I can’t make it in tomorrow” what I hear is “we aren’t important enough for you”. Where there is a will there is a way. Nothing is impossible! This is all about priorities. If The Situation from Jersey Shore asked you out on a date tomorrow, interesting, but you aren’t going to move mountains to make it work. If Brad Pitt asks you out on a date tomorrow, you are going to make it work. Not only are you going to make it work, you are going to get your hair done and find a new pair of heels. If Jennifer Anniston asks you out you are going to detail the car and happily make it work. If mom is in the hospital, there isn’t much of a workaround and I am not going to be the asshole that says. . . “can you postpone that operation for a day? The hiring manager really wants to meet you”.
If you are in a situation where you have a job interview tomorrow, here is the “1 day to get shit done” checklist.
Ask the recruiter three things:
- Ask the recruiter what the appropriate dress code is and match it. The only thing worse than coming in underdressed, (because you didn’t know what to wear) is coming in underdressed when you were told what to wear. Remember, the recruiter is putting their reputation on your name so they will help you look good.
- Who are you meeting with? You might meet with the recruiter; you may be meeting with a hiring manager. Take names and hit up LinkedIn and Google.
- Ask for any advice they may have for a candidate. You may be surprised how much help a recruiter will give you if you just ask. Remember, they want you to look good too.
- Product and Services: If you are interviewing with a Fortune company, only focus on the very high-level information and what is pertinent to your discipline. Take notes and bring these to the interview. Conspicuously let these notes be seen by the interviewers during your interview. (That’s nasty)
- Careers: You may find out a little bit about the company culture. Often times the career page will explain any philanthropy, benefits, what the company stands for, etc.
- Leadership Team: This will give you an idea of what the dress code is and what kinds of backgrounds the company goes for. Do further LinkedIn and Google research on the CEO and the exec that heads up the department you are interested in.
- Press Section: Find out anything you can about recent announcements or news. You want to read up on newest products, promotions, etc.
Glassdooor.com can provide good information including manager styles and salaries of the company in question. This site may give you interview questions that are asked during interviews as well. Both employees, as well as candidates, post reviews and interview questions here. This can be a great resource.
Google the CEO and the C level person that works in your discipline. Google the CFO if you are interviewing for an accounting position and the CMO if you are interviewing in the marketing department. Blog posts are a great thing to reference in an interview because blog posts give insight into what is important to that person.
Look for reviews on any products or services from this company.
LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn to find out as much information as you can on the people who you are going to be interviewing with. Some of the folks you are interviewing with may not have much listed on Google, but they will probably have something listed on their LinkedIn profile.
Check your LinkedIn network to see if there is anyone you know that has a connection with this company. They may work there, be a contractor or have a second connection. Call these 1st connections. Don’t waste time with email. You only have a day and email might not be quick enough. See if they have any advice for you on the hiring process.
If you have the time, visit the company the day before so you know EXACTLY where it is, how to get there, how long it will take you to get there and where to park. You want to be in the lobby 10 minutes before your interview. Not 20 minutes and not at the start time. 10 minutes. You do not want to show up 7 minutes late and blow your opportunity before your interview begins.
Practice your introductory pitch OUT LOUD. Have an outline that you can refer to if needed. You will most likely be asked some form of the question “tell me about yourself”. There is no excuse for failing this question. A short (less than 2 minute) pitch about you. 90 seconds on how you are relevant to the position or your philosophy on getting the job done and 30 seconds that shows a little bit about your interests and personal side.
Lastly, Go to the store and buy some mints: Crush 2 of these before you go into the building. Not one, 2. Lack of breath mints has started many an interview on the wrong foot.
Getting an interview tomorrow is not optimal, but at least you are in the game and with a plan, you can maximize your opportunity.
See you at the after party!
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. E.G. “He has a nasty forkball”.