The current state of the economy and the job market has made it almost impossible to find a job. If you want to be one of the “chosen” to land an interview, you must be at the top of your game. No longer is it enough to simply appear at an interview dressed in a suit and armed with a positive attitude. Today’s candidates must be thoroughly prepared for each interview they attend. An important component of that preparation is knowing the ten things you should always bring with you to an interview.
- Five copies of your resume – even if you have submitted your resume electronically, it is still important to bring along hard copies. In many cases, candidates will find themselves interviewed by multiple managers, so it is always important to have enough resumes to go around.
- Professional references – be sure to bring a list of 3-5 professional references. Include each reference’s contact information including email address as well as the capacity by which they know you.
- Personal references – more and more companies are turning to personal references to round out the interview process, so bring a list of personal references as well. Phone numbers, email address and relationship should be carefully noted for each reference.
- Work History – keep a list of your previous employers including physical address, phone number, employment dates and manager names. Being unable to provide this information is unprofessional and may raise an eyebrow or two.
- Education – bring a list of each school you attended, the address and the degree, or program studied.
- Skills – As technology continues to evolve, many potential employers are interested in what programs candidates have mastered. You should also include any specialized skills or equipment you can operate
- Questions – almost all hiring managers will end the interview by asking if the candidate has any questions – prepare a list in advance. It is a great idea to do this by carefully reviewing the company website. The questions should be thought provoking and relevant.
- Documentation – Bring along any professional certifications as well as a valid driver’s license and social security card. In the event that the position is immediately offered to you, you will have all of the information needed with you.
- Samples – Many jobs require a candidate to provide samples of their work. Be sure to bring along representations of your best work. This applies to almost all jobs. For example, an architect may bring along samples of their designs while a teacher might bring lesson plans or an example of a teaching plan.
- Attitude – never underestimate the power of your attitude – remember you are selling yourself, so it is crucial you come prepared to do just that. Be well rested and eat shortly before your interview.
Being adequately prepared for an interview is the first step towards has a successful session. Be sure to prepare your interview items in advance so you are not rushing around trying to locate everything right before your interview.