Outfit? Check. Answers? Check. Checklist? Check…
OK, so you may have all of the above covered, but figuring out what to bring with you on the day of your interview can often be left until the last minute. But having the right things can be a great way to demonstrate your dedication to employers, so it’s vital to get yourself organised in advance.
We’ve already covered how to prepare for an interview, but here are four things you should always take with you on the big day:
Copies of your CV
Firstly, make sure you print out your CV.
Although some interviewers will bring a copy with them, having your own to hand out on request will show you’re prepared (and provide them with the information they need if they forgot to bring one).
Aim to bring enough copies to accommodate for each interviewer, by checking how many people are going to be there in advance.
That way, each person will have your details to hand throughout your interview – whether it’s to refresh themselves on your skills and experience, inspire potential questions, or simply reinforce what you’re saying.
Not only is it helpful for the recruiter, having your CV nearby could also remind you of any key dates, numbers, or percentages if you draw a blank.
Notebook and pens
Bringing your own notebook and pen is a great way to show an employer that you’ve thought ahead.
After all, there are a variety of things that might need to be noted throughout your interview – whether it’s important names, phone numbers, or even key details about the role.
Taking the time and effort to jot these details down will demonstrate that not only are you invested in the job (and you’re paying attention), you’re also going to refer back to it when the interview’s over – whether it’s to follow up or simply review how it went.
What’s more, having these items to hand can often improve your body language – by keeping excessive gesticulation, crossed arms, or hand-to-face-touching at bay.
Just make sure you always bring a back-up. No one is going to be impressed if you run out of ink on the first word.
Examples of your work
Fact: employers love candidates who can prove their skills with real examples.
And what’s the best way to do that? Aside from backing up your abilities on your CV, you can also bring examples of your work into an interview.
Of course, this won’t work for every industry, but could be an essential requirement for those looking for work in the media, digital, or creative fields in particular.
Possible examples could include anything from your university dissertation, essays, or any other form of written prose (whether it’s a blog post, article, or story), to design, fashion, or architecture portfolios.
And if you’re looking to break into an industry with little work experience, providing examples of how you’ve gained the required skills and abilities outside of work can be a great way to stand out.
OK, so you’ve prepared your answers, but what about your questions?
Every interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview, and the worst thing you can do is say nothing. So in case you draw a blank when the time comes, it’s vital to prepare a few in advance.
Sure, you might come up with a few throughout the interview (cue: pen and notepad), but relying on that alone is risky – especially if your interviewer is particularly thorough.
And isn’t just a great way to gain more information on anything you may be unsure of. Asking questions also shows you cared enough about the role to prepare – and if you ask the right ones, are the right fit for the company.
Go in with nothing, and you’re likely to end your interview on an awkward silence…
To find out what you should be asking, read our list of job interview questions you should ask employers.
Honourable mentions: an umbrella, directions, a bottle of water, written references, a smile/positive attitude (and various other clichés).
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