a) forgot you had a job interview at 9:30
b) just got off a call from a hospital/clinic asking if you could come in for a desirable job interview at 9:30
c) have been asked to attend a job interview much earlier than you expected
There are a decent number of “last minute job interview” guides to prepare for a job as little as a day in advance – but in this day & age, let’s get real: Sometimes – for whatever reason – you and/or an employer may not even have a day…
…So if you ever find yourself staring down the barrel of a job interview where minutes count, here’s what you do:
FIRST 15 MINUTES
- Get, double-check, and map-out your route and time to get to the interview (add-on 15 minutes for parking, walking from parking, elevators, delays, etc…)
- For demonstration purposes, let’s say it will take you 15 minutes by car or public transit to get from your front door to the parking lot of your interview destination and 15 minutes to get from the parking lot to the interview room, including 5 minutes to spare.
- Just before heading into the shower, hit “Print” to start firing-off 2-3 copies of your resume (more if you know there will be a larger number than that making-up the hiring committee at the hospital or other medical institution you are travelling to)
NEXT 15 MINUTES
Clothes and grooming
- If you don’t have the duds – you can’t do the interview. Make sure you have these before shaving/showering, etc… (Count on 10 minutes in the bathroom and 5 minutes getting dressed.)
- Women: Have a standard-issue business outfit ready to go. You don’t need to assemble and store this away but set aside the parts that have to be washed every time you wear them (blouse, shirt, etc…) with a note about what else goes with the outfit (skirt, jacket) and hang those items close-by
- Men: have a pressed suit, clean (and ironed dress shirt) and selection of ties on standby. Make sure you have a pair of polished shoes or a bottle of liquid shoe polish with a built-in applicator
- Both: Don’t get nervous and overdo it with strong perfume or cologne, or extravagant jewellery
NEXT 15 MINUTES
- If you haven’t done so already (or lately) look-up the hospital, clinic, company or other institution at which you’re going for the interview. Take 3-5 minutes getting to know more about its culture and guiding principles, as well as any notable awards or state statistics
- Whether or not you’ve served in a similar position (specialist, nurse administrator, operating room nurse, etc…) or not, read through the roles and responsibilities of the position at this hospital
- Use the institution web site and job description to see if there are any interview questions specific to this job that you can anticipate (you should already be able to answer general questions in interviews for your specialty)
FINAL 15 MINUTES
- In addition to all the regular soft-ball questions, you should prepare for the not-so-soft-ball ones, like “What can you do for us?” and “Will you do the job?” and the sometimes-shocking (and increasingly-popular) “Can we tolerate working with you?” Answer these out-loud as you do the following:
- Shine your shoes/finish doing your makeup
- Double-check that you have your resume, directions, contact number, and anything else you need to get to and from the interview
ON THE WAY
This is a great time (hands on the wheel!) to go over the talking points of who you are and what you’ve done to stand-out as an above-average performer.
Remember, these points are for YOU, not the hiring committee, so practice different ways of saying them back in the car/on the bus/subway, etc… (out-loud or in your head) until you can deliver them in plain, down-to earth conversation.
If you can get to the point where these responses sound natural, you’ll be well-set-up to succeed in the interview room…And with only an hour to prepare.
Good luck! (And next time, try to give yourself a little more time ; )