There she is-the interviewer standing between you and the job you want. Get past her and you’re closer to your goal. Fail to make a good impression and you’re back to daily searches on Monster.
So what do you think happens when you are asked to bring your resume and you forget? Or your travel mug leaks and you arrive at the job interview with brown coffee stains down the front of your shirt?
Use this checklist from Sean Haggard of Interview Backdoor to avoid those simple mistakes that can cost you a job.
Items to Bring to Your Job Interview:
1. One professional resume for each person interviewing you, plus one copy for yourself to reference
Why? Doesn’t the interviewer just print off your online job application? In most cases, yes, but bringing your own resume ensures that the interviewer sees exactly what you want her to see-formatting, content, and initiative. Keeping a resume aside for yourself gives you a reference point for answering questions when you have job interview jitters.
2. Two professionally printed reference lists
Why? See above.
3. Two nice copies of relevant testimonials and reference letters
Why? Interviewers who do not know you are always taking a chance when hiring you. They never know for certain how you do your work, whether you will quit suddenly, or whether you will even show up on time. Having a stack of testimonials reduces the hiring risk that they feel by letting them know how great other people think you are.
4. Two nice copies of positive, relevant work reviews and awards
Why? This information gives the interviewer a better idea of how you have performed in the past. You are not just saying you did those great things-you have proof that someone else has recognized your tremendous accomplishments.
5. Two nice copies of relevant designs, artwork, proposals, project plans, reports, etc.
Why? If the interviewer must choose between applicant A who talks about all the wonderful things he has done and applicant B who shows all the wonderful things he has done, the interviewer will likely choose the applicant who demonstrates his abilities.
6. One nice portfolio in which to arrange your testimonials, reviews, and related work
Why? Show that you are organized and professional.
7. Two pens that work
Why? One pen always dries up or blows up. Prove that you have come to this job interview prepared.
8. One notepad, with questions and notes written in advance
Why? Not only do pre-prepared questions help to calm interview jitters, but they also show the interviewer that you have taken the time to research and think about the position in advance, that you are taking this interview seriously, and that you are definitely interested in the position.
9. Paper directions to the interview
Why? Satellite navigation systems provide rogue directions when you can least afford a delay, and mobile phone coverage is not always available.
10. Contact number in case you get lost (or are late, but don’t be late!)
Why? You need to do everything possible to avoid being late to an interview, including calling the interviewer and being guided in.
11. Fully charged mobile phone
Why? See above.
12. Hairbrush or comb
Why? You could have an interview on a windy day or maybe you just want a touch-up to look your best.
13. Breath mints
Why? Ever talked to a guy with bad breath for a few minutes? Now try doing it for an hour and see what kind of impression you have of the person.
Why? Having a cold and dripping on the conference table is not recommended.
15. Stain remover
Why? Stains happen unexpectedly. You stop suddenly in the car and your coffee comes rushing at you, your pen blows up, you spill spaghetti Bolognese down your tie at lunch. Be prepared.
Why? You may need coins for parking meters or vending machines. You may need cash for an unexpected lunch with the interviewer or emergency garage parking.
17. Anything else the interviewer has asked you to bring
Why? Because if you want this job, you are basically going to do whatever the interviewer says!