You finally landed a job interview. Congratulations! After patting yourself on the shoulder, you need to start preparing for it right away. Interviews are about 80% preparation and 20% execution. You cannot leave anything to chance on your big day. It is important to remember all of the little details. As I said before, it is the details in life that counts.
I heard a story of a man that went on an interview for his dream job. He was introduced to the hiring manager and hit it off right away. However, when the hiring manager asked for his resume, this man simply forgot to bring a copy. The interview went downhill from there. The company did not make him an offer. He said if he had not forgotten to bring his resume, he would have landed the job. On the day of your interview, these are the 5 things you need to bring with you.
1. Resume copies
Interviewers usually have a copy of your resume. However, don’t assume that the people interviewing you will always have a copy of your resume. Printers do break down or run out of ink. My advice is to print out your resume on nice professional paper. Make a few copies just in case you will be interviewed by many people.
2. A pen and notepad
You don’t want to look silly when you need to write something down but don’t have a pen. Your future employer will probably make a mental note that you did not bring something as simple as a pen to an interview.
You need to have something to write during an interview. When interviewing candidates, I pay attention to whether they have a notepad with them to jot down notes while we talk. If you want to stand out from the crowd, bring a notepad. It is even better when you use it during the interview.
Don’t forget to bring a list of questions to ask the hiring manager. Some people forget to do this in their rush to prepare for the interview. They think they can just make up some questions during the interview. I believe the questions you ask is just as important as your replies to questions. Never leave this to chance. In the heat of the moment, your mind might freeze up and you will forget to ask those great questions you wrote down before the interview. So bring your questions along.
4. References or testimonials
Some interviews require you to bring a list of references so that the hiring manager can check them afterwards. Depending on your industry, it might be common practice to bring along your references. Testimonials are also another form of references that can really make you stand out from the crowd. Testimonials let the hiring manager know how great other people think you are.
5. Work samples
Certain professions might require you to bring some of your work to show the interviewer. For example, a programmer can show his/her latest coding projects on a laptop or iPad. An artist can show his/her portfolio of creative work.