Q. I’m having a family emergency. It’s really bad. I have an interview the day after tomorrow. Does it look bad if I reschedule?
A. I’m so sorry about your emergency and no, it definitely does not look bad to reschedule it. Less is more — there’s no need to divulge details of the emergency, simply reach out to the employer and indicate you’re immersed in an emergency, can you reschedule when you come up for air. When I worked in recruiting, it was not an issue whatsoever to reschedule. After all, employers want you to succeed and ace the interview!
If you interview when you’re immersed in stress (not to mention completely sleep-deprived), you probably won’t do very well. And if the employer pushes back and makes a big deal out of rescheduling and has zero empathy, well that’s a huge red flag. Compassionate employers will understand.
Q. I’m interviewing and was told there will be a test during the interview. How should I prepare? Help!
A. Definitely ask the interviewer about the test: What is the topic? Is it timed? Simply ask how you can prepare. For instance, when I worked in recruiting, I administered tech tests to candidates. They were in a room without their phone and had to put pen to paper (yes, kicking it old school, which was ironic for a technology test) for the next 45 minutes. Interviewers didn’t only ask them about the result (how they would program something); they were more focused on their thought process and explaining how they came to their conclusion.
I could always tell who aced the test without having knowledge of the tech aspect based on how relaxed they were and who finished prior to the 45 minutes compared to those who were stressed out and ran out of time (I gave them a 10-minute warning prior to the end of the 45 minutes so they knew it was time to start wrapping it up).
The more prepared you can be the better. Often you’re given a situation or problem to solve when it occurs on-site. Again, I’d ask questions about the topic and review it ahead of time as best you can. The most important thing to remember is to be calm and confident during the interview so you can think clearly and articulate your findings. You got this!
Vicki Salemi is a career expert, former corporate recruiter, author, consultant, speaker, and career coach. Send your questions to [email protected] For more information and to subscribe to Vicki’s newsletter, visit www.vickisalemi.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @vickisalemi./Tribune News Service