10 Things to Bring to the Interview: a Checklist

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interview itemsAn article by contributor Hannah Dickins.

If you’re a college student or a recent grad, this job search can feel like one of the most important things you’ve done in your life. You’re probably feeling some pressure, and it’s normal to feel a little queasy with nervousness. If you’ve done all you can to prepare yourself for the interview, such as researching the company and reading over practice questions, all that’s left to do is show up prepared. Take a few deep breaths, and gather up the things you’ll need to bring to the interview with you.

1. Copies of your resume

The more copies of your resume you have, the better. You may be interviewed by a series of individuals, and having a copy to present to each of them will show your preparedness. It will also assure that every interviewer has the same information to base their decisions on. You should also keep a copy of your resume for yourself in case you need to point something out.

2. Work samples or a portfolio

Depending on what you’re interviewing for, this may or may not be necessary. If it isn’t necessary, it’s still good to have. Any high level achievements that are relevant to the job, or past projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate the strength of your skills can easily be used as an example of your desirability as an employee.

3. Questions for your interviewer

It’s always awkward, but your interviewer may ask if you have any questions for them. Try to prepare about five questions to ask ahead of time. You may have questions based on the interview you’ve just experienced, but having some to hold on to in case you draw a blank can be a life saver.

4. Something to take notes with

Your interviewer may relay information to you that they expect you to remember. They could mention a resource or a particular company related website. If your interviewer sees you write that information down, they’ll know you’re taking them seriously. You’ll also be less likely to forget if your nerves have clouded your mind.

5. A physical copy of the job description

Your interviewer already knows the job description, and you might know it fairly well. Having a hard copy with you can help you talk through the points of the job description to highlight your strengths and relevant experiences.

6. A list of your references

Obviously, you should talk to your references ahead of time and let them know you’re counting on them. In most cases, you won’t need your references on the first interview. If things go really well, having that list on hand can expedite the hiring process.

7. A touch-up kit

If you’re going through a series of interviews, or you’re waiting among multiple people, that gives you time for things to go wrong. You might need to eat in between interviews, and you don’t want to blast garlic breath into anyone’s face. Carry mints, tissues, a hair brush, a lint roller, and anything else you may need to freshen yourself up.

8. Your phone

You may need to save numbers or contact someone after the interview. Just make sure it’s completely silenced while you’re engaged in any professional interaction. Employers may suggest corporate apps or other things that may involve the usage of mobile internet. Keep it on your person – just make sure it won’t make a peep.

9. Your notes

If you’ve spoken to these people via phone call or email beforehand, you should have taken down that information. People’s names and job titles particularly come in handy. Nothing is worse than drawing a blank, saying “I spoke to um… uh… that lady on the phone.”

10. Anything you’ve been asked to bring

Some employers require certain things from their employees. If you’ve been asked to bring a specific piece of information, credential, or example, you can’t afford to forget it. You’ll be off to a rough start if you’re already being absentminded.

You’d be surprised how much being prepared can take the edge off of interview jitters. If you have everything you need, you won’t be struggling to remember information. Anything you can do ahead of time to save yourself some trouble will go a long way. Just make sure you can fit it all into one professional looking slim bag.

Hannah Dickins is a Community Manager at Directorstats.co.uk. She’s a self-confessed technology addict. She’s interesting in the eLearning industry new and new helpful online tools.

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