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What You Should Bring to a Job Interview

by Alina Berdichevsky
Posted: November 16, 2015

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Job interviews already have a huge element of the unknown so it’s important that you feel prepared and in control of as much you can when the important day arrives.

Sure, you do plenty of prep prior to the interview, but what about your tool kit on the actual day? Here is exactly what to bring to a job interview to show you are serious about getting that job.

Written directions and a full tank of petrol

Being late is one of the key reasons you’ll miss out on your dream role before you even arrive. Despite your best intentions, your GPS can fail you, your phone can die (and all the navigation with it) and even your own personal bearings can get askew. That’s why it’s important that you come with written or printed out directions for back up. Also, try do a trial journey to the location several days prior and load up a full tank or cab fare. In the likely event you’re traveling on public transport, triple check the train or bus schedule (get the earlier route than you need!) and your commute to the all important interview will be a breeze.

A written file of all relevant contacts

Simply trying to remember who you’re meeting on the day is not enough. Neither is it OK to urgently be scrolling through your phone for appropriate email correspondence at reception, trying to locate the contact of who you’ll be talking to. Rather, hand write all names in your notepad and commit them to memory so at the interview, they roll off the tongue. Not only is it useful to know who you’re addressing (especially in a big organisation), it will be rather impressive if you address everyone immediately by their correct name. Help yourself be seen as an established member of the organisation and remember that names are the first step to building relationships.

Working pens and a note pad

Taking a few notes is vital during a job interview, as it allows you to reference key points of discussion as well as show you’re listening. Find a nice balance between writing and being attentive as you don't want to get so lost in your notes that you completely forget to engage with your interviewers. Just have it handy to jot down any important details or points of discussion, but stay engaged in the conversation. And of course, have a few working pens.

Questions for your interviewers

In every interview, you have a chance to ask your own questions, so take advantage of this opportunity to showcase your research into the company, as well as enthusiasm and insight into the role. Smart questions will always impress hiring managers and give you a fair chance of deducing whether this role is a good fit for you. However, we wouldn't recommend coming up with these on the spot. Rather, you can ask how the role will evolve in the next few years, how you see the position contributing best to the company and what you can further clarify to help hiring you be an easy decision.

Several copies of your cover letter and resume

Despite the popularity of digital resumes, not everyone you meet with will have access to a screen or a device. Hard copies of your CV allow for easy access as well as show thoughtfulness and preparedness for your behalf. Have at least 5 copies on you in your portfolio at any time and produce them with effortless ease if anyone extra joins in the discussion. Also if you are in the creative industry, bring your portfolio or laptop to showcase your work on the appropriate medium. i.e. if you’re working for a digital agency, leave the hard copies at home.

However, if you’re falling short on any of these things, don't despair. “These days, you can travel light to an interview”, says career coach and director of Inspired Careers Kylie Butler. “Simply have a soft copy of your CV handy on your smart phone or iPad that you can resend if for some reason the interviewer has misplaced your CV. It's good to also have a small notepad or your iPad handy in case you'd like to take brief notes. Other than that bring a smile, confidence and your A game”.


Alina Berdichevsky

Alina a writer, communications consultant, brand lover, cultural excavator and an expert on strategic achievement. Alina has delivered strategic content and digital solutions for a variety of organisations across numerous sectors including fashion, business, luxury and not-for-profit.

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