Getting a call for a job interview can be both thrilling and terrifying. On one hand, there’s the possibility of landing a job, but on the other there are the nerves over how the meeting will go. Many people take the time to research the company, review interview tips, and run through possible interview questions, but they miss one critical step. While being mentally prepared is important, knowing what to bring to a job interview can really set an applicant apart from the crowd. Here are some helpful things to have on hand the next time you’re interview bound.
It may seem basic, but bringing along your meeting details is a crucial step in the interview preparation process. Whether you print out an email, bring along your phone with the invite, or grab a handwritten note with the instructions you received, be sure to bring this information with you. There’s nothing more embarrassing than arriving at an interview late because you forgot the location or had the wrong time in mind. By having the invitation details on hand, you also have a reminder of the names of those you’re supposed to be meeting with, in case you get flustered and forget.
Copies of Your Resume
If you’ve been called for an interview you’ve probably already submitted a resume. For this reason, many applicants don’t think to bring along extra copies to the interview. Unless you’ve been asked to bring along a copy of your resume, it’s unlikely the interviewers will expect this, but having a few extras on hand may impress them. The hiring process can be tedious and sometimes resumes get misplaced in the shuffle. Having an extra copy to give to each of your interviewers keeps your details at their fingertips and reminds them why they called you in the first place. In addition, having a copy for yourself gives you something to refer to when you’re asked about details on your resume. It also makes the process of filling out application forms easier, should you be asked to do so during the interview.
As far as interview tips go, this one may seem ridiculous, but it’s actually very practical. Ahead of your interview be sure you have two good pens (make sure they work well) to bring with you. You never know what you may be asked to fill out once you’re there and coming prepared makes you appear organized and on top of things. Even better, if your interviewers are suddenly in need of a pen, you’ll have an extra to share. You can also use your pen to jot down notes at the end of the interview.
Questions for Interviewers
Interviewers are usually impressed when an applicant comes prepared with questions to ask about the position and the company. Taking the opportunity to ask more about the job enforces your interest in working for the business. It gives interviewers the impression that you care enough about the job that you’ve put some thought into it. By asking questions you’ll get extra details about the job and be able to better assess whether or not it will be a good fit for you. If you’re unsure of what type of questions to ask, try doing an online search of the best questions to ask in an interview. Write your inquiries down in a notebook and keep it close at hand for when you’re given the opportunity to ask questions. Just be sure to keep it concise; narrow down your options to a few clever queries.
Power Story Prompts
Speaking of having a notebook handy, it’s a great idea to prepare another page with a few short reminders about your past success stories. Interviewers commonly ask applicants to describe situations in which they made decisions that solved a problem or created something positive. Thinking about these types of questions ahead of time and preparing some answers is a wise idea. Once you have some anecdotes in mind, jot down a few brief notes to prompt you during your interview, in case you get stuck.
If you’re being asked for references, there’s a very good chance that your interviewers are quite interested. You don’t want to spoil that enthusiasm by being unprepared. Be sure to have a complete list of your references along with their current contact information and job titles. It’s always a good idea to print off several copies of your references to bring to the interview so that you can give a copy to multiple interviewers, if necessary.
So, if you’re wondering what to bring to a job interview, try to stick to the basics. It’s wonderful to do some interview preparation, but you don’t want to go overboard and arrive with armfuls of clutter. Organize a few key items and you’re sure to make a great first impression.