How to Schedule and Prepare for a Successful Interview
Our team here at Pagoda recognizes that growing your career (both in-person and now remotely!) presents many challenges, every step of the way. No matter what stage you are at right now, here is some advice you can use to prepare for all of your interviews.
Scheduling an interview at a good time is not always as straightforward as it seems. Arranging your interview at a time when the interviewer is most alert can positively influence the interviewer’s perception of your fit for the internship.
Timing is also important for building relationships with the professionals you may be working with in the future. For instance, earlier interviews in the middle of the week are more likely to be when people are working at peak productivity, increasing the likelihood of full engagement and deeper conversation.
- Aim to schedule interviews earlier in the day, and in the middle of the week
- Pay attention to time zone differences!
Scheduling interviews efficiently promotes positive experiences for both candidates and hiring teams. There are apps organizations use to increase efficiency- from sharing a Calendly link or using Google calendars, to other software to help account for timezone differences. Familiarize yourself with what the company uses, and be sure to set appropriate reminders for yourself. This is especially important if you are working across multiple scheduling platforms!
- Be familiar with the industry-standard scheduling tools
- Set reminders for yourself, especially if you are working across platforms
It is important to put a date and a time that is suitable for yourself, and an outline of communication. If that has not already been outlined to you, it is also important for you to communicate that you are flexible. – Liam Dempsey
”Once you have been accepted for an interview, which is fantastic, you can move to the next step of your process which will be to confirm your time and speak to your host company and the individuals involved. So it is important to put a date and a time that is suitable for yourself and also an outline of communication. If that has not already been outlined to you, it is also important for you to communicate that you are flexible. For example, you might be able to put forward to speak on Tuesday at 10 am, UK time via zoom, but it is also important to outline that you can also be flexible for other times.
So when it comes to your interview, you might realize you might have some issues to attend the interview or certain stage of the process due to an illness, or maybe something unexpected come up, this does happen to all of us sometimes, so just look to communicate this with the individual that you have been talking to from the company, look to apologize for the inconvenience, and make it very clear to arrange another time.”
Do your research about the role, company, and industry for any position are interviewing for. You don’t need to have all the answers, but recruiters and hiring managers can always tell when you’ve put in a genuine effort to learn about the role. Take this quote from Pagoda Alumni Victoria Rudolph, who completed an internship in 2015 in China with a Law Firm.
There are three areas that are very key to understand before you [start] the interview. Number one is the role itself. Do you understand what the role is and what you will be expected to do? Number two is the company itself- make sure you understand their product or services, anything relevant in the news. Thirdly, I would say the industry at large: the sector and their competitors. Knowing these three areas, you’ll feel a lot more confident going in. – Victoria Rudolph
The key to a successful interview is being prepared, but not just prepared for answering questions! Make sure you are also visibly and technologically prepared- this means dressing for the role that you want and having tested your technology before going into the interview.
- Research the role, company, and industry you are interviewing for
- Always show up about 10 minutes early for your interview
- Make sure your technology works ahead of time
”When you are arranging your interviews with the host company via e-mail, make sure to first double-check the time difference before you give your availability, and always include both your time and their time just to make sure if everybody is on the same page. Show up about ten minutes early for your interview, just to make sure technology is working, the internet is working, and dress up accordingly for your interview- smart and casual.”
There is no one true “best time” to schedule your interview or a one-size-fits-all method for a successful one. However, in making an effort to have good timing, efficiency, and preparation, you increase your chances of leaving a good impression with your interviewer.
Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it. –Theodore Roosevelt