Your great resume has landed you an interview. This is a big deal. The job market is so competitive that even getting an interview is an achievement. So the next step is to make sure you’re fully prepared for the interview. This can be a tough call. What do you take with you? To be best prepared for anything, here’s the checklist:
The last thing you want to do is get lost on the way to your interview. After all of the prep that you have done, turning up late, even with a valid excuse, is not going to give a good first impression! Write the directions down, because even GPS can get it wrong.
Bring some cash with you. You might need it for parking or something might go wrong on the journey. If there is going to be a long wait when you arrive, maybe you can buy a magazine and a drink to keep you going until your name is called.
It sounds superficial, but you will give a much better impression if you arrive with nice tote bag rather than wearing your trusty rucksack that you have been carrying around since school! It forms part of the overall first impression you make.
Interviews are a nervous time, as is the potentially stressful journey to get there. Make sure that you have a deodorant stick so you can freshen up before going in.
Printing out a set of your own business cards is a really professional move. Give one to your interviewer so that even if you don’t get this job, they can have you in mind for future opportunities.
Don’t risk putting off your interviewers by rocking some horrible morning breath. Have a mint or some gum at hand to freshen yourself up before the interview begins.
Always make sure that you have the phone number of your interviewer before you set off. That way if there is mega traffic or a road accident, you can let them know you are running late.
Never go to an interview with some form of identification. They might not ask for it but you don’t want to get caught out if you have to show it at the visitor desk or something like that.
One of the most important things to bring is your very best handshake! Nobody likes a limp handshake, so make sure that yours is nice and strong and it will leave a lasting positive impression.
Show your willingness to listen and learn by taking in a notebook and pen to jot down any important pieces of information that they might tell you.
Even though you have already been asked for an interview, always come to your interview armed with a couple of copies of your resume, just in case they don’t have it to hand.
Along with your resume, bring a couple of your best references that you can allude to if a relevant question is asked about previous experience or opinions of your last employers.
If you are applying for the kind of job that would require it, bring a portfolio of your work that you can bring out and show your interviewers.
If rather than a portfolio, your best work is the kind of work that is seen on a computer screen, then come armed with a flash drive full of your best pieces to show off.
Try to be as proactive in the interview as you can. Be armed with questions for when prompted as it makes you look much more connected and alert rather than sitting there being passive.
Don’t forget to bring your most confident self to the interview! A confident appearance can mask a number of insecurities, and the interviewer will appreciate that you are trying to put forward your best self.
There is no point turning up to an interview with only 50% enthusiasm. Your potential employers are going to want to see a person who can add something to their company, so bring your 100% ‘A’ game!
Now you’re all prepared! Go kill it!
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