Getting Ready for a Day-Long Interview Marathon

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10 January 2017
interview advice


Landing a day-long interview is a great sign that the company is strongly interested in you as a candidate. However, most big data pros dread these marathon sessions, and with good reason. They can be exhausting and nerve-wracking. Here are some tips to help you prepare and survive your next marathon interview session.

Ask Questions Ahead of Time

Ask ahead of time about the names of those who will be interviewing you, the formats you can expect, etc. Hop onto LinkedIn to research the people you will be meeting with and be sure to make time to practice problems if you will be asked to whiteboard or code throughout the day.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

It might be tempting to load up on coffee, but you don’t want to end up jittery, nauseated, or running to the rest room every five minutes. Be mindful of what you eat for breakfast and lunch. Bring a bottle of water to sip on, try to avoid sugar, and generally try to make sensible food choices to keep yourself mentally sharp.

Accept That You Will Have To Repeat the Same Answers Over Again

During a marathon interview session, you are going to get asked the same questions over and over again. You might be able to smile your way through it at 11 a.m., but by 3:30 p.m., you could find yourself ready to snap. Accept the fact that you’re going to have to repeat things and smile as brightly the fifth time you repeat yourself as you the first time you were asked.

Bring the Right Materials

You’ll bring copies of your resume, a pen and paper, of course. But you also need a way to organize all of the business cards you will collect and paper that you are handed by your interviewers. Invest in a portfolio that includes a notepad, folder space and an area to hold business cards.  If you have been asked to bring reports or your professional portfolio, make lots and lots of copies in advance. You don’t want to run out and you certainly don’t want to ask the employer to make copies for you.

Stand Up and Move Around

Between each interview, stand up and move around to get the blood flowing. Perhaps take a trip to the restroom, even if you don’t have to go. Look in the mirror and take some deep breaths. Avoid looking at your phone during breaks, as this can add to your stress levels. Use the time between interviews to relax and recharge.

Fake It Till You Make It

You’ll probably feel exhausted and drained by mid-afternoon, but don’t let that impact the energy level you show to your interviewers. Even if you want to lay your head on the desk and sleep, be sure to smile and keep a high-energy tone. Use your break time to recharge with a snack and a little bit of movement. Reward yourself with a power nap when you get home at the end of the day.

Big data is a competitive business, and day-long interviews are just part of the challenge. To gain a competitive edge, consider working with a professional recruiter who is an expert in the field.  If you are a data science professional seeking new opportunities to grow your career, Onboard Recruitment Advisers would love to talk to you. Our recruiters work closely with professionals in analytics, and we help our talent cultivate the resume and interviewing skills they need make a positive impression on hiring managers. For more information on our recipe for your success, contact us today.

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