Checklist: 14 Items to Bring to Your Job Interview
Picture this scenario:
It’s the day of your big job interview. You’re excited, nervous, and dreading the experience. As the time approaches for you to leave the house you frantically dash around. Shoes, check. Clothes, a big check. You run out the door to the train/car/bus, all with a slight feeling of dread that you’ve forgotten something major.
If the above sounds familiar, you’re not alone. While interviews are a necessary part of the job-hunt process, they can also cause even the most put-together candidate to temporarily lose their marbles. You’re in luck, however. Simply Hired is here to help with a handy checklist of 14 items to bring along to the job interview. So buckle up and get out your pen. We’re about to simplify your interview prep.
- Copies of Your Resume – Sure, you may have sent that resume in when originally applying for the open position, but interviewers are only human. In the mad rush of the workday, resumes can be lost, forgotten in the printer or simply never reviewed. Bring multiple copies to hand out and to help you reference your information to help answer questions.
- Game Face – While job interviews can certainly be intimidating, it pays to have an air of cool, calm, confidence. On the big day, take some time to relax and breath deep and do your best to appear collected while those butterflies are circling your stomach.
- Elevator Pitch – During the interview candidates will inevitably be asked a variety of “tell me about yourself” questions. To help prepare for the query, come up with a 2-3 sentence answer that encompasses who you are, your experience, and why you’re interested in the position. The pitch is also a great icebreaker to get interview conversations flowing.
- Bottle of Water – While most offices offer candidates coffee, water or other beverages of choice, it pays to be prepared in case reception is less than on point. Grab a small water bottle to help chase off a dry mouth from nerves and talking about how amazing a fit you’d be for the company.
- Pocket Money – The last thing you want on interview day is to be caught unawares. Having a few dollars on hand will ensure that you’re prepared for any inevitability. Gas, bus fare, subway tokens (and water) all require currency. Have a pocketbook with a few bills in it just in case the need arises.
- Your Cell Phone – Interview day is not the time to be forgetting your method of communication at home. The GPS tracker on your mobile device can help you navigate unfamiliar streets while the messaging and mail features allow you to pull up interview details for reminders. In the event something unforeseen delays your trip, you’ll also be ready to give the interviewer a call and let them know you’re running late.
- List of Questions – If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a hundred times. Candidates can count on the inevitable “do you have any questions” follow up to end nearly every interview. Prepare a list of questions the day before and if you have problems remembering small details, jot them down on a notepad and bring it with you to take notes in the interview room.
- References – Most application processes won’t require references at the outset. If you make it to the interview, it’s another ballgame entirely. Many companies will ask you to fill out an employment application when they arrive in the office for the first time. Be sure you have your references selected and the relevant contact info handy. Don’t forget to give your references a heads up that you’re interviewing and they may be contacted.
- Salary Expectations – Another topic that may rear its head on interview day is the money question. If the interview goes well, or you’re asked to fill out an application, you may be asked what you’re expecting to get paid. Do your research beforehand and have a number in mind to help ensure you’re compensated fairly should you land the job.
- Knowledge About the Company – Preparation is a key element to success in an interview room. Be sure to come armed with research, facts, and figures about the job you’re applying for, the specific industry, and the individual company. Details such as the number of offices, primary business lines, and key mission statements can help demonstrate you’re prepared and a serious candidate.
- Interviewer Name – Along the same lines and number 10, be sure you show up on interview day with a good understanding of just who you’re interviewing with. Name, title, and relative seniority within the company are key elements and could give you a heads up as well as background to help launch a solid interview tete a tete.
- Directions – Unfamiliar with your interview location? Don’t wait until you’re en route to try and scramble to get oriented. Prepare ahead of time by looking up the general location and several potential routes, including available transportation options. Even in today’s modern age of handheld GPS, knowing where you’re going ahead of time and how long it will take you to get there are irreplaceable for helping you show up cool, calm, collected and on time.
- Punctuality – Speaking of being on time, punctuality is a critical element to “carry” with you when headed to any big interview. By being punctual we don’t mean showing up at the exact time of your interview, either. Plan on arriving 10-15 minutes early to show your potential employer you know the value of a schedule. After all, if you can’t make it to the interview room how can you be expected to show up to the job on a regular basis?
- Your Put Together Self – The last, but certainly not least, thing you should bring along to the interview room is you with your best foot forward. Remember to dress sharp and take extra time with personal grooming. The interview is essentially your job tryout and isn’t the day you want to try out a new edgy look. Suits and conservative shoes and accessories are never considered overdressed and will go a long way to showing your employer you mean business.
So, you got us. Not all 14 items on our checklist are technically toted along with you to the interview room. In some cases, however, it’s what you carry with you in personality, preparedness, and mental attitude that matter most. Use our handy checklist to help calm your nerves and show up looking and thinking your best come interview day.