It’s not easy landing an interview, especially an interview from your dream company. It’s important that you come prepared to every interview, so you don’t sabotage your chances of landing the job. Here are some items to bring to every interview to make the best impression.
1. Several Copies of your Resume
You should always bring copies of your resume. Often times, you’ll end up meeting with multiple interviewers rather than just the person who set up the interview. As a courtesy to them and to yourself, bring at least 4 copies of your resume: one for the hiring manager who set up the appointment, two in case you meet with two other recruiters, and one for yourself as reference.
2. Work Samples
Depending on the job you are applying to, you’ll need to demonstrate your work experience with samples of what you have done in the past. Be sure to glance over the job description when preparing your work samples to know what kind of work they expect from you. For example, if they are looking for creativity, find work samples that demonstrate your creativity. If you have work that can’t be printed, consider bringing a laptop or tablet to display it.
3. Reference List
This shows initiative. If they haven’t already asked for a list of job references, then you know what’s coming next. All hiring managers will want to gain some insight about your work performance from people who have worked with you. Bring your list of references. They may ask for you to send your list of references upon return to your home, so why not give them your references right there? Check out these Tips for Preparing your Job References.
4. Notes, Questions, & Notepad
Right from the start after applying to a job, you should be doing research on the company and maybe the hiring manager. When you do that research, write down notes on a notepad and jot down questions that you might have for the hiring manager. This is something you want to bring to an interview, so you can properly explain what you know about the company and ask questions to fill in the gaps with what you didn’t know about the company. Add more questions to that list like these 6 Questions to Ask your Job Interviewer. Make sure you bring a couple of pens, too, so you can jot down some notes during the interview as well. You may not be able to ask all of your questions during the one interview, but it will help you learn more about the company and will show the hiring manager that you are interested in the position. You can always follow-up after the interview through email with more questions.
Pack all of the above items in a professional-looking portfolio. You don’t ever want to present yourself in a disorganized way. If all of your materials are neatly arranged in a leather portfolio, it looks professional, rather than showing up to the interview with a sloppy mess.