Today’s post is in response to a viewer question about what you should bring to a job interview. Below is my checklist:
- Portfolio, Notepad, Pens – having a professional looking portfolio in which you can keep many of the items on my list, including a notepad for taking notes, looks professional and will keep you organized in your interview. The portfolio doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you are looking for options or inspiration, here are a couple of options:
- Copies of your Resume – as a good benchmark, you should bring at least one copy of your resume for each person in the interview room (including you). It’s even better to bring a few extra copies in case someone unexpectedly joins the interview, or if you are invited to an impromptu 2nd or 3rd round interview.
- Business Cards – I typically recommend that people have business cards for their job search. These cards would have your personal contact information and come in handy when interviewers are passing out their cards to you – you will have your own card to return.
- Reference List – It is always better to be over-prepared, so having your reference ready in the event that the interviewer asks is a great way to demonstrate your organization skills and preparation. Don’t provide the interviewer with your reference list, however, unless and until they ask for it.
- Research Notes – Having a ‘cheat sheet’ of your research notes on the company can be handy to have before you walk into the interview room. Not only will they act as a good refresher, but they may also help you get focused on the interview. Keep in mind, you should not refer to your ‘cheat sheet’ in the interview.
- Questions – Be sure to bring your question list to the interview. You will be able to keep track of the questions that have already been answered throughout your interview, and help remind you of the questions you want to have answers to before you leave the interview.
- Map – Although most mobile phones have a mapping capability, it’s a good idea to have a hard copy of the directions and/or map to the interview location. If your mobile phone loses connectivity on your way to the interview, you don’t want to get lost on your way to an interview without a map.
- Schedule/Calendar – In the event that you have the good fortune of being invited in for another interview during your current interview, having your schedule with you will enable you to confirm your availability on the spot. Just remember to turn your phone off before entering the interview room!
- Mints – a good first impression is critical in a job interview. One sure-fire way to destroy this is with bad breath. Having a breath mint before your interview will be your best defence (and you won’t have to worry about having gum in your mouth during the interview).
- Water Bottle – interviews are stressful, and dry mouth is one of the ways in which our bodies react to stress. To help alleviate this, make sure you bring a bottle of water with you and have a drink of water as needed.
- Briefcase/Bag – unless you have a back issue that requires you to wear a backpack style of bag, I would strongly recommend refraining from bringing one to your job interview. Instead, use a briefcase, laptop bag, or messenger style of bag. If you don’t already have one, here are a few examples:
I would also recommend that you gather your interview checklist items the night before so that you don’t have to scramble for them the day of your interview.
If you have any additional recommendations of things that people should bring to an interview please do leave them in the comments section. Also, if you have any questions that you would like for me to answer, I would be happy to help. Feel free to leave a comment below, or to send me a private message.