You got a call for an interview, prepared for it, practised answers to typical interview questions, and even had a test drive (or ride) to the interview location before the big day. Good job, but the preparation is still not over.
For a great first impression, you should walk into an interview with all the essentials in your hands. Going empty-handed or carrying cell phones and keys is not recommended, as it can make a questionable first impression. Ideally, you should make a list of items you want to bring to a job interview well in advance. Here are some essentials.
Copies of your CV
Perhaps you already sent a copy of your resume when you applied for the job, but that’s not enough. Be sure to bring a few more copies, so that you can hand out one to each interviewer and keep one for yourself. You may need your copy to reference while talking to the interviewers. Your copy may also come handy when filling out any additional form at the interview venue.
Pen and Pad
You never know when you may need taking a few notes during an interview. So it is always a good idea to keep a pen and notepad handy. Jotting down important points also helps to show that you are organised and serious about this job. However, don’t overdo it, as it could make you look distracted.
There could be a long time gap between when you first applied for the job and when you come for a face-to-face interview. So you may not remember every point mentioned in the job description. Having a copy of your job description helps you take a quick look at it anytime so that you can refresh your thoughts and stay focused during the interview.
List of questions
Questions you ask during a job interview speak volumes about your expectation from the job and understanding of the roles and responsibilities. So you should be a little careful about choosing the right questions. Don’t ask a question, if the answer is easily available on the company website. One good idea would be to prepare a list of questions and carry the list to your interview. Typically, questions about the company’s growth plans, work culture, and how the current job is likely to contribute to their long-term goals are received and appreciated well.
Interviewers may ask for some samples of your previous work or you may want to present a portfolio to justify your candidature. In either case, it is important to showcase the right samples and present them in the right way. You don’t need to show off too many samples. Just one or two good examples would suffice. When it comes to presenting the portfolio, consider using a professional-looking folder or provide a link to your online portfolio.
Employers usually do not ask for references until you reach the final stage of an interview. However, you may find a way to present references even before your employer asks for it. So it would be a good idea to carry with you a full list of references. In your list, consider including contact details of your previous employers or clients. If you are a fresh graduate or trying to enter into a new profession, consider showing off your college grades, awards or a letter of appreciation.
Employers prefer candidates who have done a thorough research on the company they are interviewing for. So be sure to visit the company website, read reviews of their products and services, and talk to their past employees, if possible. Now jot down all important facts about the company in a piece of paper and carry it along to the interview. You can use the notes as a reference while speaking to your interviewers.
Most importantly, wear a nice smile and have confidence in you, when heading towards your job interview. Good Luck!