What to Bring to a Job Interview

What to Bring to a Job Interview

Once you are invited for an interview, it means you have passed the pre-selection stage and have stepped into another phase. Take time and congratulate yourself because it was not easy for you to make it this far. An interview is not a guarantee that you have gotten the job; most times there will be other tough contenders that were also invited and so it is up to you to create the best impression ever. If you are invited for an interview, you need to make adequate preparations to calm your nerves down. This article will explore items you are to bring to an interview.


Items to bring to an interview

Several Paper Copies of Your Resume

This tops the list because it is so essential; you need to bring at least five or more paper copies of your resume to an interview. Make sure your resume is printed on high-quality paper and neatly arrange it in a folder so that it does not get squeezed or wrinkled. Although initially when you applied you might have submitted a soft copy or hard copy of your resume, it is still very important to carry extra copies because your interviewer might have not printed out your online resume. In addition, the company may decide to set up an interview panel for your interview session. In such a scenario you can easily distribute a copy of your resume to each member of the interview panel.

Pen and  Paper

This is also very important; use pen and paper to take notes to show the interviewer that you are interested in what he is saying. By taking notes you are showing the interviewer that you have developed an interest in your new job. Write down questions you will ask the interviewer and also other salient things you are learning during the interview so that they will not escape your memory. The popular adage says “the faintest pen is better than the best brain”, the human memory is very short and cannot keep a record of everything but a pen and paper is a good way to keep a record.

A Written List of Questions

In an interview, the job applicant is given a chance to ask questions about the company, and have a list of pre-written questions that you will ask the interviewer. These questions can be gotten by making a thorough research about the company. Asking your interviewer questions shows that you have an interest in the company and have foresight. Questions can also come up in your mind during the interview session, write them down and feel free to ask your interviewer. if the interviewer should ask “Any question?” your response should be affirmative because responding negatively shows you don’t have a keen interest in the company.

List of References

This may not be so necessary but you need to take it along with you in case it is demanded by your interviewer. Take at least five lists of references to the interview so that you will not be stranded when it is demanded by your interviewer. Referees are people you have worked with in the past who can speak about your professional abilities and achievements. If you don’t have much professional experience, you can contact your former lecturers in schools or people in the organization where you worked as an intern to serve as your referee. Do not include family members, friends, or close relatives as your referees.

Write down their names, departments, phone numbers, and email address.  Write down a short sentence about their relationship with you such as “I reported to Richard three years ago as a Secretary” or “I worked for Celina two years ago as a Personal Assistant”. Make sure you inform them beforehand that they are your referees and seek professional advice from them about your career. Neatly arrange the copies of the reference list in a folder and place them in your briefcase so that it does not wrinkle or squeezed.

Notes from Previous Contacts

By the time of your interview, you might have probably had some conversations with your new employer or interviewer via phone calls, emails, or social media. Save these conversations in your phone memory so that you can always refer to them when necessary. You can also record the phone conversations you had with your new employers or HR staff. This is very important because most companies inform interviewees about their working hours, salary, and organizational policy before the interview. Keeping records of these conversations can help you refer to them when necessary such as: if you are not comfortable with the salary, you can use the interview platform to negotiate a better salary.

A bag or briefcase that neatly houses all your documents

Once you have decided on all the items you want to bring to an interview, then choose a handbag or briefcase that will neatly contain all your documents. Make sure you select a bag that makes you look professional and not casual. Leather bags may not be a good choice but they can be appropriate in some interview settings. At this juncture; you have to research the company and to know about their culture and use your best judgment based on your research.

A Positive Attitude

Arrive a bit early or more like 30 minutes before the time so that you can relax and prepare psychologically.  You should study your route to the venue beforehand, if you are using public transport, make sure you set out early due to traffic and other interruptions. Arriving for an interview behind schedule will give the interviewer a negative impression of you. Take your laptop along if necessary and anything specifically requested by the interviewer. Be confident and enthusiastic; do your best to show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job. Interviewers love candidates that are positive and smiling is also a positive attitude.


Items not to bring to a job interview

There are certain items that you may not take along with you to an interview and these include Drinks, Candy, Chewing Gum, Competitors Products, Friends, Kids, Hats, Pets like dogs, cats, and others. If you must go with your smartphone, ensure that you put it in silent mode. Most importantly, you must not portray anything that reflects a bad attitude.

Interview Tips

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