Job Interview is the most crucial phase of a person’s life. It is one step towards your success in life. If you are here, that means you probably applied for a job and now you have got a callback. So don’t worry, you have come to the right place. Here you will find absolutely everything you need to know about preparing for an interview. Once you have made up your mind about the interview, then there’s only one thing you have to take care of, that is, a list of essentials to take with you.
The first step towards preparing for an interview is to make a checklist of all the essential items you have to bring to the interview. Don’t panic. Just take a deep breath and leave this tension on us. We will clear all your doubts and you can go ace your interview. We might need a Thank you note afterwards ! Anyways, the most important thing is your confidence. Then comes your A-game. Other than these there are a few things which are shown below. So to make the employers pleasantly surprised, check out our fully detailed and updated list of what you need to bring to your interview. Come on let’s have a look and dive straight into the main points.
What to bring to a job interview ?
You don’t want to make a fool of yourself if you show up half prepared for your interview. So we are here to help you with that. Here are some items listed below. Use this list to make sure you are fully prepared for your big day.
- Folder – There are many documents and papers you need to carry to the interview. So a folder is an organized way to do that. You can store all the necessary documents in the folder. Plus you will have an easy access to your documents when needed.
- Copies of your resume – You should carry at least 5 copies of your resume. It will ensure that you have a resume for every employer you meet. Keep them safe, otherwise you’ll lose them. Keep them in the folder so they don’t wrinkle or bend. And it certainly won’t hurt to print a copy to keep for yourself. Would it ?
- Copies of your cover letter – Keep at least 5 copies of your cover letter. Bring them in the folder to ensure that they are safe from bending and you have easy access to them. One for you and others for all the employers you meet. It will be helpful, trust us on this one ! It will also be helpful in case one gets misplaced.
- Portfolio or your Work samples – Your portfolio is the most crucial and promising step ahead to you securing the job. Your work samples should be neatly maintained and are required to be perfect for the level of the job. The portfolio will be the best option to showcase your talents and what you have achieved in the past. It also helps the employer in finding your true potential and increases your chances of getting the job. The hiring manager always goes for the portfolio first. Keep it in the folder to have easy access to it when needed.
- A notepad and a pen – You should absolutely carry a notepad to write down the names, the company’s information and of course to note down what the employer has to say. Maybe try to catch up on the important information you get. But don’t take so many notes that you forget to make eye contact. That will not be a good impression and will show you as incompetent. Make sure to carry more than one pen so you have an extra if one runs out of ink. Don’t forget to first ask for permission from the employer to take notes.
- A list of references – Now, even if you are going well with the interview, a list of references will be a good addition to the list of things you need to carry with you. The employer might ask you for references anytime during the interview. So it will be good to be prepared for this hurdle beforehand. Think of all the people who could vouch for you and maybe put in good word for you to the hiring manager. Make sure to include the contact information with the details of your references. But don’t worry if you are not much experienced or don’t have any references to list down. Any former teachers will also make a pretty good reference. Just don’t list down your family members or friends. That will surely be the embarrassing highlight of the day.
- A bag or a briefcase – Carry a briefcase so it looks professional and you have a great first impression on the employer. It will help you carry all the items easily to the location. You should organize the items and documents in a proper manner so that they are easily accessible to you when needed. You don’t want to look like you can’t even handle your things. Pages dropping out of your hand will not look good. Now, would it ?
- Identification proof or Photo ID – Of course this is a very common thing to remember to take anywhere. Nut we thought it might be beneficial for you to remember to take it with you for your big day ahead. You don’t want to lose a probable job because you forgot your photo id. That would be depressing but don’t stress, we are here to remind you. Taking your identification with you will be good and will look professional. It may also earn you more points on the employers priority list of selection for the job. And plus you might need it to get through the security outside of the building.
- Talking points – You might want to add this also to your list. These should basically be the summary of your experience in bullet points. Points will be easy to glance at once before the big meeting. It will also boost your confidence and keep you out of stress. These points can be your specific skills that you might want to put light on in front of the employer. And most importantly your accomplishments should be surely mentioned so that you remember to review them before the meeting and you don’t forget to tell all about them.
- Questions for the Hiring Manager – These are the questions for you to ask the hiring manager. Any queries you have regarding the job can be written down on a paper and asked during or after the interview. These questions may also be regarding any company policies you need to clarify about. You can ask about the position you are applying for. But remember, do not ask for the salary details. It might cast a bad light on you in front of the manager. At least wait until he / she brings it up himself / herself. And remember to be specific in your questions and of course, ask in a professional manner to make a good impression. The questions should be valid and easily understandable to the employer. They should be good and relevant enough to make you stand out from the other applicants.
- Travel directions to the interview – You should absolutely carry the travel directions to the building you are suppose to go to. You certainly don’t want to get lost in the middle of no where. Do you ? So better carry a print out of the directions to the company building. It will of course be helpful if you are going in a new city for the interview or travelling first time to the area. And getting lost might get you late for the meeting. It could also cost you the chance to work in the company. After all your hard work and preparation, you don’t want to get late because of unexpected delays and interruptions that might get in your way. So it is better to be prepared before hand. And even after planning your schedule 10 – 15 minutes early, you are still running late then you should definitely inform the office or the employer.
- Contact information – You should have the contact information of the employer as well as the front desk of the company you are going to. In case you are running late or any other interruption has entered your way, then you can easily get in touch with them and maybe they will understand. But good luck with that ! Mostly the hiring managers don’t consider any issues but you can always hope for better. However, it is better to make sure you reach to the building on time.
- Business cards – They may not be necessary but are certainly a good addition to the list. They can be eye catching and helpful for increasing your chances of getting the job. It is only because the hiring manager may find you smart and more experienced if you show a business card. It depicts you as a more professional candidate for the job. They might also be helpful in providing your contact information to the employer. Business cards are just a piece of paper to store your information in a concise form and in a single place.
What else you should carry with you ?
Well, there are a lot of other things that you need to keep in mind while preparing for an interview. They are not things to carry to the meeting, but rather some personality traits or may we say, a professional persona. Here, come on we will have a look at them.
- Positive mind – You need to remind yourself that you have worked so hard for this job and now this is where it all comes comes together. You need to keep a positive mind going into the big meeting. Do not stress or have doubts about the job just before the interview. It can destroy all your hard work that you put into it. You just need some positive vibes around you to keep you all ready to go and ace the interview. Believe in yourself and there it is. You did it. You will get through it with flying colors.
- Confidence – Now the next is confidence. Well all of us know that this is the most important and required component of your list. Remember, do not get nervous. Do not get cold feet at the last minute. It will ruin your preparation and afterwards you will feed bad and regret not being confident enough. But of course, you know there is a fine line between being fully mentally prepared and being overconfident. Do not in whatever circumstances, cross that line. More than anything else, being overconfident will surely almost drop your chances of getting the job.
- A professional outfit – Your first impression will be taken on how you look. It is very important for you to look absolutely professional. You need to set a work outfit for your big meeting with the employer. A suit with formal shoes and well trimmed hair should be a nice and presentable attire for men. And as for women, a shirt with trousers or maybe work skirts paired with nice pair of heels or shoes. These are just our suggestions for you, but it totally depends on what you have on your mind. Just remember that your outfit should be neat, presentable and properly ironed. You don’t want the employer to see the wrinkles on your shirt peeking out during your interview ! And one more last tip is that wear what you feel comfortable in but also maintaining the theme of a professional attire.
- Practice – All of us have heard that ‘Practice makes a person perfect.’ Haven’t we ? So this applies here too. Practice for the interview in advance. Like practice your communication skills. Maybe practice speaking your questions out loud. Check your confidence level too. Practice enough that you don’t regret afterwards. Search for the common interview questions that are mostly asked and practice answering those questions. And lastly, practice arranging and taking out items from your folder without fumbling.
- Attitude – This may sound absurd but it’s not what you think. We are not telling you to go to your interview with a snarky attitude. By this we simply mean that you should have a positive attitude when you go in. You should have hope and faith in yourself that you will ace it and get through certainly.
- A well prepared mind – A well prepared mind would be the perfect ingredient for a successful interview. You need to be mentally prepared and healthy while going in. Throw out the self doubts and the low self esteem surfacing your thoughts. Make sure you get a good sleep before the big day. Go get the job with a peaceful mind.
- Your A-game – This is a must. You need to bring out your A-game for the interview. Be well prepared. Don’t hesitate. And you will ace it.
- A good mood – A good mood will give you a fresh start for the big day. And you will go into the interview with a confident persona. You also won’t be impatient or scared.
- A convincing smile – As we know a smile is the key to fit in every where. Stride confidently into the room with your perfect smile. It gets the undivided attention of the hiring manager. A smile also makes the best first impression.
- Last minute check ups – The above listed things and extras are enough. But you can also check out these small items necessary for unwanted circumstances. Here it is.
- Silenced mobile phone – Bring you phone with you but it should be silenced and fully charged. You don’t want to have to be interrupted by a call.
- Cash – Some cash should be helpful to bring in any case of emergency.
- Research about the company – Do a thorough research about the company and the job you are applying to. Maybe about former employees and about the job requirements along with the rules inside the office.
- Breath mints or floss – They will help you maintain a good oral hygiene during the interview and will make you feel clean.
What not to bring to an interview ?
- A negative attitude – You don’t want to make a bad first impression. Your negative attitude might do just that. It might put you in a bad light and maybe cost your potential job.
- Salary demands – Do not ask about your salary in the interview. It might seem greedy and of course unprofessional. At least not until you are sure of getting the job or the employer brings it up himself / herself.
- A companion – Do not at any cost bring yourself a companion. Neither your parents or any guardian, nor any friends. Nobody is needed in the interview room. They might just give you a low confidence because of peer pressure.
- Hats or caps – Any type of accessories are not advisable to wear to an interview. They might just be a distraction for the employer during the interview. And in some cases, physical appearance can be a hurdle in the way.
- Strong perfume – Wearing strong perfume or cologne in a office might be risky as you never know, someone might have an allergy. It will just add to the distraction.
- Food or drinks – You can certainly eat food before or after the interview. You can even celebrate after with some drinks too. But bringing food items inside the building might not be a good idea to impress the employer.
- Untidy appearance – Wearing shabby or loose clothes is not a professional work attire. And certainly do not attend the interview with unclean and untidy hair. Again, physical appearance also plays a role in getting you a job.
So, these were the things you need to keep in mind while preparing for your big day. It is a special moment in anyone’s life and you sure don’t want to spoil it. At last we wish you All the Best and hope you come out with flying colors. You enter the room with confidence, and exit it with pride for yourself because you absolutely deserve it. It is important to be aware of what to bring to an interview but it is also necessary to know that what you say during it or the way you act in front of the employer, will have a bigger impact on your chances of getting the job.