“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin
How right he was. Preparation is what helps separate those that ace their job interview and those that do not. But it’s not just the way you prepare for the questions. Sometimes it’s what you bring to the interview that can make a tremendous difference. The following are seven important things to bring with you to any job interview:
- Directions to the Building – It may seem obvious but if like many of us you rely on the GPS chances are you won’t have the address printed out anywhere. Technology fails sometimes, so be prepared and make sure you also give yourself some spare time in case you get lost on the way.
- Copies of Your Resume – Always make sure you have copies of your resume on hand. Your interviewers may not have their own copies, and providing your resume to them before the interview begins will impress them and show you are organized.
- Job Description – It’s a good idea to take a copy of the job description with you, especially for large businesses. It’ll give you the opportunity to go through it with the employer, and provide a reference for you to understand what the employer is asking.
- Paper and Pencil – You should also bring a notepad of some kind to take notes throughout the interview. You’ll want to write down names, the things you’ve talked about, and more. Make sure that you’re keeping track of anything that you should remember for both the interview and the job.
- Work Examples – If you have any work examples on hand that you can show the interviewer, bring those as well. Not everyone will have these samples, but whether it’s a portfolio or documents that relate to the job, showing these work samples could help you remove any doubt about your abilities.
- Questions to Ask – It’s a good idea to make sure that questions happen organically. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot bring a few questions that you had while researching the company. Consider jotting down a few questions to ask the interviewer in order to show them you’re genuinely interested in the role. See also: How many questions should you ask at an interview.
- References – Finally, on most resumes applicants put “available upon request.” During the interview you may get the request, and if you already have all of the information you need on hand you show the interviewer that you’re truly prepared.
You should also remember there is one thing you should NOT bring: your cell phone. You can keep it with you in your pocket if you must, but it should be shut off to prevent vibrations or ringing from interrupting the interview.
Interview preparation is going to be the key to succeeding at your interview, and by preparing what you need to bring in advance, you’ll decrease your stress and improve your chances of getting the job.
Is there anything else we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments.