Katy mentors and educates young professionals and helps those beginning their careers and financial journeys to make informed decisions.
Job interviews can be scary, even late in your career. Everyone gets a bit nervous when it's time to sit down across the table from the hiring manager who will decide if you get the job or not.
Walk in a little more confident knowing you have everything you need to show off your qualifications.
Review this list below to see if you have everything, before you go! Then you won't be scrambling around the morning of trying to find everything.
What to Bring to a Job Interview
In any profession, bring these items to your job interview:
- Resume (enough copies for everyone in the room)
- Portfolio of your work (if applicable)
- Notebook and pen
- Your business cards
- List of questions to ask
- A bag, briefcase, or binder to hold everything
- Directions to the location and contact information
What to Print Before an Interview
First, you always need to bring your resume. Sure you applied online and they should already have a copy of it but it's easy for interviewers to forget especially if they have a lot of candidates.
You'll also want a copy for yourself. When they ask situational questions you want to be able to select work experiences from your resume to reference in your answer. It helps to have the document in front of you to jog your memory.
In most professions you can build a portfolio of your previous work to show off. Portfolios aren't just for graphic designers. You can put together a "portfolio" with any graphical or documented evidence of your work. Whatever elements you want to share beyond your resume like CAD drawing, sale statistics or projects you completed.
Notes or Questions
You can either type up or write out questions you want to ask at the end and any notes you want to bring.
Getting prepared for a job interview should involve a lot of company research and practicing answers to common interview questions. But in addition make sure you're documenting what you find and bringing into the interview with you.
As I practice answers to situational interview questions I make a bullet list of projects and tasks I've accomplished that I'm ready to bring up as answers to the tough questions. Then I can use that list in my notebook during an interview to job my memory instead of getting flustered.
As you research the position, write down questions you'd like to ask the team. Then, when they ask at the end of a grueling round of questions if you have any questions you can flip to that part of your notebook instead of giving a blank stare.
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Best Bag or Briefcase for an Interview
The best bag or briefcase to bring to a job interview is the one that fits everything you need and looks professional for your industry.
If your role demands a high level of professional dress like law or business executives stick with a briefcase.
For both men and women a nice-looking leather satchel is a good option for a more casual environment.
Before you pack up, think through these special situations to make sure you don't forget anything.
The place you are interviewing might have some security and you likely won't know the policies until you get there. Plan ahead by leaving all knives or questionable items out of your bag.
Don't count on using your cell phone for anything once you get in the building. To keep things simple I use mine for navigation to the location but then leave it in the car.
That means write down all information you have stored on your phone like contacts, pin numbers and notes before you go.
Extended Interview Days
In some situations you have multiple rounds of interviews in the same day. Or you have a tour scheduled to see the facility.
Plan ahead for these by bringing snacks, water and a way to charge any electronics you need.
© 2020 Katy Medium
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on March 13, 2020:
Hi Liz, I've been caught without a pen before and feel unprepared when I have to ask to borrow one! So it's always on my list.
Liz Westwood from UK on March 13, 2020:
I smiled at your inclusion of a notebook and pen. I still use them, but many don't now. Seeing your tip about leaving your phone in the car, pen and paper made a lot of sense.