Phone interviews are discomforting enough. Live video interviews make you wonder whether or not you can get away with wearing casual pants since the interviewer(s) will only see your business casual or professional upper. And if the internet running slow and other technical difficulties aren’t stressful enough, wondering whether or not the camera is flattering you certainly is. In-person interviews, be they 15 minutes or an hour, have their own cons as well. Like phone and live video interviews, however, in-person interviews are easily conquerable. After all, you’re only in the spotlight, your every move being analyzed and scrutinized, for a relatively brief period of time.
But when it comes to an in-person all-day interview? That’s another game altogether. Like any other interview, an all-day interview is conquerable. To do so, however, you’ll need a gameplan.
As with any game, presentation or new venture, preparation is key. Prior to your all-day interview, here are some things you can do to prepare.
Research the company with which you're interviewing.
If you come into the interview without a clue as to the product(s) and/or service(s) the company offers, let alone what they stand for, their mission and what they’ve been up to recently, you can kiss your chances goodbye. Learn as much about the company as you can prior to being interviewed. It will make it easier for both your interviewers and yourself. This isn’t something you need to spend weeks researching, but at least browse through the company’s website the night before. It’s as easy as watching a YouTube video. As a matter of fact, you can also watch any YouTube videos the company may have.
Research the position for which you’re applying.
Once you’ve researched the company with which you’ll be interviewing, look into the position for which you’re applying. Look at how this position will fit within this particular company and the ways in which it's both similar and dissimilar to the same position elsewhere. Just because a title is the same between two different companies doesn’t mean that the job functions are identical. It’s important that you know what you’ll be getting into, and knowledge as to how this position works within your interviewing company will help you stand out from the other candidates.
Compile a list of questions to ask your interviewer(s).
You know how interviewers always ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview? Should any pop to mind when they ask, you should definitely ask them. Far too often, however, people don’t immediately think of something and thus fail to ask anything. Don’t let that be you. The night before your all-day interview, compile a list of questions to ask your interviewer. That way you have questions to ask and knowledge to glean whether or not you freeze up when they ask if you have questions.
Prepare everything you need to keep you going all day.
Picking the right interview attire is a tough task. But it’s far easier to accomplish this the night before the all-day interview than the day of, when you’re rushing out the door. There are also items that you should never forget to bring to an interview, such as your resume and a pad and paper for notes. Preparing them the night before will help ensure that you don’t forget them the day of.
Since this is an all-day interview, you should also bring any medications you need, phone battery packs, a comb and any hair products and makeup kits should you choose to use any. During an all-day interview, your hair makeup can become undone and/or need to be touched up due to the environment of the interview facility and other factors. Prepare a small hair-and-makeup kit to keep your look as pristine as it can be whenever you get a small break from interviewing.
Preparation is nothing without execution. Here are some ways to ensure you step up to bat and give the performance you’re capable of.
Smile and be confident.
Smiling will actually put both yourself and your interviewer at ease. It’s also an indicator of confidence, which interviewers are always looking for in candidates. And you should be confident. After all, you were one of the few selected for this all-day interview! You made it this far for a reason. Don’t fall short of the end goal now simply because you mistakenly think you might not belong.
Take a deep breath and take your time.
There’s no need to rush. If you suddenly have a brain freeze, smile and indicate as much. Your interviewers are humans too. We’ve all been there. Take your time and be yourself. Rushing isn’t going to do you any good. So take a deep breath and relax. It’s better to take a couple of moments and answer a question after giving it substantial thought than to hurriedly give an answer you’ll later wish you hadn’t.
Remember, they want you to succeed.
If you want, you can pull the old school trick of imagining your interviewer in their underpants to help with your nerves. But it may serve you better to remember the simple fact that your interviewer wants you to succeed. In public speaking, no one ever wants the person on stage to fail. Rather, whenever the speaker stumbles, we in the audience grit our teeth and hope that they right the ship. It’s the same thing with interviews.
Besides, your success helps your interviewer too. It’s not like they want to keep searching for an employee. They’d rather the search be done as quickly as possible should the right candidate show up. For their own sake, they want that right candidate to be you. Remember that. Your interviewer is actually rooting for you, not against you. They want you to succeed.
All-day interviews are tough. But like other interviews, they are conquerable. Utilize this seven-tip gameplan,and you’ll be well on your way to emerging victorious.
J.P. Pressley is a writer, entrepreneur, and an asthmatic former two-sport college athlete (basketball and track). Is he a jockey-nerd or a nerdy-jock? The world may never know. You can learn more about him at his personal website.