When you’re preparing for a job interview, many things go through your mind. Most of them involve what you need to say and the questions you’ll need to answer. It’s important not to forget to prepare all of the items you’ll need to bring with you.
Here are eight items to bring to every job interview:
1. Directions and contact info.
Print out directions to the location of your interview, especially if you’ve never been there before. The worst thing you can do is get lost, which will make you late, which will most likely make you lose the job. At the top of the page, write down the name and contact information of your interviewer. This way, if something does go wrong on your way to the interview, you can let them know.
You never know if you’ll be asked for identification, so bring it anyway. When in doubt, ask the person who set up your interview in advance. Better safe than sorry.
3. Business card.
As a job seeker, business cards are great for networking and interviewing. Your business card should include your name, email, phone number, and any other contact information you think is important. Give your card to your interviewer, or anyone else you talk to about the job. (If you need inspiration about what to include, I recently came across these cute ones from Moo!)
4. Notepad and pen.
It’s important to have paper and a pen handy to jot down notes like people to contact, addresses, or anything else mentioned in the interview that you want to remember later. When your interviewer provides you with information like this, you will look much more favorable if you’re prepared with your own supplies to write it down.
Print out a few copies of the most updated version of your resume. You can provide your interviewer with the new copy and let them know of any changes you’ve made since the version they originally viewed. You should also have extra copies in case you need to reference it during the interview – or if extra interviewers show up.
Bring an updated list of your references. Your interviewer may or may not ask for these, but again, it’s best to be over-prepared. The list should have at least three professional references, along with how they know you and how to contact them.
Depending on the kind of job you’re after, it might be valuable to bring a portfolio of your past work. This can be a folder, binder, or even a website shown on your tablet. Your portfolio should be organized in a way that makes it easy to reference during your interview. The contents of your portfolio will depend on your profession, but there should be quality examples of your work and accomplishments.
At the end of every interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Have a list of questions ready to go so you’re prepared. These questions can be about the rest of the hiring process, company culture, or something else. You want to have specific questions so your interviewer can see your true interest in the position.
There are lots of items you can bring to a job interview to show you’re prepared. It’s important not to forget the simple things because they might really make a difference on the day of your interview.