In this article, we look at what to bring to a job interview, covering the essential items that you should always take with you.
So you’ve put your best shirt on and polished your shoes, and now you’re ready to leave the house for your interview. It’s a big day, and one filled with lots of nerves and excitement as to what lies ahead. Will the interview questions be tough, or will they go easy on me?
Before you walk out the door, there are some essential things you must bring to the job interview. But what are they?
1. Something to write on
Pro tip: Quality doesn’t have to cost a fortune – we’re pretty crazy about this faux leather lined notebook which is great value for money.
You should always take a notepad and pen along to an interview so you are able to write anything important down. Without this you could easily forget what the interviewer has told you which could be of importance at a later date. An example might be something the interviewer asks you to do, such as sending in further information.
Sat in an interview with a notepad and pen also looks very professional and the interviewer(s) will know that you are taking it seriously.
However, take care not to sit scribbling away during the interview, or to lose eye contact – it will distract the interviewer and make them feel uncomfortable.
Don’t forget to buy a quality notepad that hasn’t been used before, and stay clear of just bringing a scrappy piece of A4 paper that’s clearly seen better days. You should also choose a quality pen (a scrappy pen will say something about you) bring more than one pen in case you run out of ink.
Pro tip: Leave your chewed BIC biro at home and bring a professional pen like this one with you – little details like this speak volumes to employers.
2. Extra copies of your CV
Print out at least 5 copies of your CV and bring them with you to the interview. You should always be prepared and ready to hand one out to each one of the interviewers in case they forget theirs or have to make a trip back upstairs to print one off.
It will be convenient for the employer if you have a copy to hand, and it will also show how prepared you are for the interview. If you notice that they don’t have a copy in front of them, don’t be afraid to offer them one each so they can see how keen you are to go through it. Although highly unlikely that they don’t have a copy with them, it is still better to be prepared.
You may also find it handy to have a copy of your CV sat in front of you so you can better answer any questions, and have a reminder of your work history and timelines. Try not to read your CV too much during the interview as you should know most of it off by heart, but sometimes when questioned about certain tasks or results it can be easier to have a glance at what is being discussed to jog your memory and provide a great answer.
Pro tip: Take the copies of your CV with you in a neat folder like this one, so they look crisp and clean when you take them out.
3. Examples to showcase your work and achievements
Depending on the role you’re applying for and your previous work history, you should always consider taking examples of your work along to an interview if possible. This could be anything from pictures, essays or dissertations, artwork, blog posts and published articles.
Anything you can think of that would be easy to take with you and would add credibility to your CV and past performances would be a great way to impress in the interview. If you were the only person to provide actual examples of your work during the interview, you’d already be one step ahead of your competition.
Pro tip: Use a portfolio book like this one to present your examples, so they look crisp and professional.
4. Pre-planned questions for the employer
An interview is not a one sided affair, and employers will always want you to engage and ask your own questions. You’ll have a notepad and pen with you, so this can be used to contain a few notes of questions that you want to ask.
Plan your questions ahead and have them written down in front of you so you don’t forget. The employer will appreciate that you have taken the time to think of some questions before you came, and that clearly you are keen to find out more about the role and the company. Such an approach shows that you are well prepared and re-enforces your commitment and interest in the role. Here are some good questions to ask in an interview to inspire you.