Job interviews are stressful. Unfortunately, nothing can change that. There’s a lot on the line. However, you can minimize the stress of interview day by being prepared. A big part of that preparation is having everything you could potentially need for the interview. Bring these eleven essential items with you to your interview to reduce your stress and maximize your chances of landing the job.
A few copies of your resume
- Odds are your potential employer already has a copy of your resume in digital form. However, you may be interviewing with multiple people or might be asked for a hard copy during the course of the interview. Have several copies ready to hand out and you won’t have to worry about it coming up.
- PRO TIP: Go to a print shop and have your resume printed out on nice paper. It’s cheap and will take about 10 minutes. It makes for a much better presentation than if you just run a few copies off your home printer.
A folder or bag
- You’ll need something to keep your paper and notes in. I recommend a padfolio because it allows for paper storage and easy note-taking. Whatever item you select for this purpose keep it clean, organized, and professional.
A pen and notepad
- Taking notes during your interview is a must. It shows that you’re engaged, diligent, and actively listening. Make sure that your pen works and that your notepad clean and crisp. Keep these items simple. Your bobblehead pen won’t be seen as cute, it will be seen as a distraction.
Some prepared responses
- Read our blog post on tough interview questions. Ensure that you’ve written out answers to each of them and any others you think might come up. Now, don’t read these responses during your interview, but keep them in a side folder in case you need to review them before your interview.
Some prepared questions
- Much like your notes on responses listed above, you need to prepare questions for your interviewer. Nothing looks worse than when an interviewer wraps up an hour-long conversation with “So, what questions do you have for me?” and the response is “Um, nothing really.” Prepare insightful questions that display your understanding of the role and the business.
- You should already be very familiar with the job description. It can be helpful when preparing responses and questions. Bring it with you if you have a particular question about the role or just in case you need to review it last minute to get in the zone.
The interview details
- Bring Google Map directions. Don’t laugh! Detours, accidents, and road construction are everyday occurrences. The best practice here is to drive to the interview location the day or evening before the interview to be sure you know where you’re going. Have your interviewer’s contact information handy in case something comes up.
Turned off cell phone
- If you need to bring your phone turn it off. The best option is just to leave it in your car. If you’re bringing the other items on this list with you, you won’t need it.
- Bring whatever you’ll need to spruce yourself up at the last minute. Could be a hairbrush, comb, or lint roller for your suit. The more confident you are about your appearance, the more confident you’ll come across in the interview.
Mints or gum
- There’s nothing wrong with freshening up at the last minute. No one likes coffee breath. However, don’t chew gum or mints during your interview. It’s distracting and unprofessional.
Bottle of water
- Many offices will offer visitors water or coffee on arrival. Don’t rely on that. Bring your own small bottle of water. Few things are worse than trying to sell yourself for a job and struggling with a tickle in your throat the whole time.
Use this list when preparing for your next job interview. You’ll be ready for anything an employer can throw at you and will be significantly more confident when speaking with them.
For more information on interview preparation read our article on “How to Prepare for a Job Interview”.
Did we miss anything? What item are you always sure to bring on a job interview?