Now that you’ve crafted a great resume and used your connections, you’ve finally landed your dream interview. But how should you prepare? Sometimes it’s tough to know what to bring to your interview besides yourself. HC has got you cover with 15 things that you need to bring to an interview.
Email the person you’re interviewing with and ask where to park, what door you should enter through, and where you should go when you enter the building. Be sure to ask if you’ll need a parking pass or for someone at the company to register you as a guest to show that you’re there for an interview. Then print out directions and put them by your purse so you won’t forget to take them with you on the big day, or plug the route into your smart phone ahead of time.
If you need to pay a parking garage or meter, remember to bring cash and some coins with you. If you’re taking public transportation, you don’t want to find out your subway pass is too low and then not have money with you to put on it!
3. A professional-looking tote.
Unless you’re looking to show off your killer sense of fashion at the interview (which might be the case if you’re applying for a fashion job), leave the funky handbags for nights out. You want a bag big enough to fit everything you’re bringing comfortably, and also one that is a solid color. A Longchamp or this Halogen bag work great.
4. Tide To-Go stick.
They’re not very expensive, and they’re small so you can fit them in your purse. If you discover an old stain or accidentally spill something on yourself and don’t have time to change, this will be your saving grace.
5. Business cards.
Offer your business card to your interviewer before you leave and ask for hers as well. If you don’t have business cards you can get them printed for free online at BusinessCardStars.com or Moo.com.
6. Gum and mints.
Fresh breath is a must! Especially if you end up being in close quarters with your interviewer. Just be sure to spit it out before the interview begins.
7. The phone number of your interviewer.
Or a contact person that you can notify if you end up getting lost or running into some other problem on the way to the interview. Program the number into your phone ahead of time.
Whether or not you think the building might have security, it’s a good idea to bring your driver’s license. You also might be asked to fill out a job application that requires your driver’s license number, and some front desks require identification before you’re let into the building.
9. Notebook and pens.
You never know what you might need to write down during an interview. It shows the employer that you’re thoughtful enough to care about what’s being discussed, and that you have the forethought to write down the significant points. Bring 2-3 pens in case one stops working. You don’t what to have to ask your potential employer to borrow a pen.
10. Copies of your resume.
Most likely your employer has already seen it, but it’s important to have 4-5 copies of your resume handy in case they ask for another one or more than one person is interviewing you. Sometimes you’ll be asked to talk about your previous experience, and it’s good to have a copy to look at. Also, if a substantial amount of time has passed between when you first contacted them and your interview time, you may have updated or changed your resume.
It’s common for an interviewer to call references after you’ve had your interview, so providing them with a sheet at your actual interview is important. Make sure that you’ve spoken with everyone on the list and they know they are a reference for you, so they aren’t surprised when your interviewer calls. Be prepared to bring a list of names with email and phone contact info as references, and even a personal recommendation if your employer has asked for one.
Depending on the type of position, you may be asked to produce samples of your work. These could be published clips, artwork samples, design samples, marketing proposals, or spreadsheets you’ve worked on. And even if you already sent the interviewer samples, it’s still a good idea to come prepared with more. If you’ve recently completed a group project or article that is applicable to the interview, include that as well.
13. Flash Drive.
If your work is best looked at on the computer, you could bring a flash drive to give to an employer. Make sure you have included your name on the drive or somewhere on your work so they know it’s yours, and that there is nothing else on the flash drive but your work.
That part at the end of the interview where you’re asked if you have any questions is important! Asking questions shows you paid attention during the interview and also that you have an interest in the job. Check out HC’s article on the best questions to ask during an interview.
The most important thing collegiettes! Go in knowing that you are prepared and that you are the right candidate for the job, and your confidence and professional attitude will shine.