How to survive an all-day interview

You’ve been on the job hunt and you’ve scored yourself an interview with a company that you’d love to work for, but then they tell you that your interview will consist of multiple meetings, with multiple people across a number of hours. Gulp. How can you prepare for a day, which will surely take its toll, mentally and physically? Here’s your survival kit for an all-day interview:

1. Find out who you’ll be meeting

When you have a bog standard, one hour interview, you’ll usually know if you’re meeting with the HR manager, or the Director of the company. But when you have multiple hour long interviews with different people, the details can sometimes be unclear.

A few days before the interview, ask for a list of who you’re meeting with, and ideally at what times. That way you can do some research into your interviewees (a quick Google or LinkedIn search should help) and you can pace yourself across the day.

Even if the company does not provide you with all the information you’d need, it would be useful to know how many people will be seeing you at once.

2. Treat every interview as though it’s the only one

While the day may feel like one long interview to you, it won’t to the people who will be interviewing you. Remember to shake hands, make eye contact, greet your interviewer, and offer them a copy of your CV.  Don’t pick up a new interview where your last one left off, you’ll need to take a few minutes to warm up.

Similarly at the end of the interview, don’t look at your schedule and make as though you need to rush off. Thanks them for your time, and close with a phrase like ‘I look forward to hearing from you’. This will make the interviewer feel like they have seen the best of you.

3. Give consistent answers

After the day has ended, your interviewers will take notes and will compare them with one another. You may feel like your interview has been a trap, especially if they ask multiple questions about the same topic. But try to give consistent answers. If you repeat the same answers over and over again, they will wonder if you have any other experiences, apart from the one you’ve repeated, but, if you answer every question differently your interviewers may not see the ‘real’ you.

Add different details to your answers to show there’s more to you than your practiced answers.

4. Don’t forget your emergency kit

A long day like this will test your stamina. Does your blood sugar and your focus drop after lunch? Bring a small chocolate bar or small packet of sweets to eat between meetings. Are you a caffeine addict? They may not offer you a cup of coffee, but they’ll surely have hot water, take some instant coffee to add to give you a kick when you need one.

Whatever pick me ups you usually rely on are more important on a day like this, make sure you have what you’ll need.

An all-day interview may seem daunting at first, but treat it like a normal interview. Be positive and think of the information that you’ll learn throughout the day. And as always, be prepared and you’ll be fine.

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