We all know that Interview preparation is crucial if you want to land your next big career move – but it doesn’t stop once you’ve researched the company and role.
You can massively improve chances of landing the job by equipping yourself with a few things that will aid your preparation and ensure you look the part.
So what exactly do you need to take with you to a job interview in 2016?
We’ve laid out the 8 most crucial items that you need if you want to be well-organised, look professional and nail the interview.
1. Multiple copies of your CV
In this day and age, it’s easy to assume that the interviewer will have your CV to hand once you reach interview stage… After all they must have it on file right?
However you shouldn’t leave the responsibility with them – you are there to impress them, not rely on them to do the work for you,
Turning up with no CV not only makes you look unprepared but can also cause issues if the interviewer doesn’t have a copy.
Printers can break and emails can get lost so there is always a chance that they will not have your CV to hand.
Be pro-active and take multiple printed copies of your CV to the interview.
A candidate who has plenty of CVs to hand out to everyone they meet, will be much more favoured than a candidate who turns up empty handed saying, “Sorry, I thought you had it”.
2. A smart folder or bag
In order to look professional and stay organised, invest in a smart folder or bag to store your CV and other interview essentials.
Turning up with a plastic supermarket bag or producing a crumpled CV from your pocket will not create a great first impression.
A nice smart folder will allow you to store a few copies of your CV along with all your other essentials and still allow you to travel fairly lightly.
If you are going to opt for a bag, make sure it’s not to big and cumbersome – opt for something that’s easy to carry.
3. A pen and notepad
You will probably cover a lot of important details throughout the course of the interview and it will be impossible to remember them all.
Take a pen and pad along with you to the interview just in case there is anything you need to jot down for future reference.
When it comes to making follow up emails and comparing offers, notes can come in very handy indeed.
4. Some pre-prepared questions
You will naturally have some questions about the job you are interviewing for; so ensure you cover them all by writing them down and taking them with you.
As well as helping to jog your memory, it will also make you look like a well-prepared candidate if you can produce them at the right moment.
It’s better to ask questions about positive subjects such as career progression and training opportunities as opposed to questions about tea breaks and holidays, which could make you seem a little too eager to be getting time off.
5. The job description
To ensure that you’ve fully familiarised yourself with the role, make some notes on the job description and take it with you.
Ideally you should make notes on how your experience and skills match the job requirements.
This will help you to really familiarise yourself with the job in the minutes that lead up to the interview.
On the day of the interview, it’s wise to arrive to the area, 30 minutes early and grab a coffee whilst you revise the job details for one last time before heading in.
6. The interview details
Don’t rely on your mobile’s email to view your interview details, because internet access is not always guaranteed.
There’s nothing worse than being stranded in an unfamiliar area, struggling to get phone signal while you’re lost and your interview is fast approaching.
Save the important details to your phone or write them down – especially the address and name of the interviewer.
7. Relevant certificates
If the job you are applying for requires certain qualifications then it’s best to take some proof that you have them.
You won’t always be asked to show them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can take photo-copies if it is not possible to take the originals.
8. Examples of your work
Taking examples of your work can be a great way to prove your worth at interview stage – although it is easier for some industries than others.
If you are in a creative industry such as graphic design then you may have a portfolio of your work to take with you.
Non creative professionals need to think outside the box a little and use things like sales figures, awards and client testimonials.
More Interview Tips…
Plan your journey well in advance – If you are making a substantial journey or travelling somewhere you have never been to before, make sure you know how to get there and how long it will take. Don’t leave it until the day of the interview and then discover the journey is longer than you guessed, or there are severe travel disruptions that will make you late.
Pack the night before – To make sure that you are fully prepared and to give yourself a peaceful night sleep, pack all your things the night before. This ensures that you have time to find anything you may be missing and will give you more free minutes in the morning. If you have the time, it may even be a good idea to make a practice journey so that you know exactly where the front door of the building is.
Practice common interview questions – Every interview will be different, but there are some questions that will always arise in one form or another; such as, “why should we hire you?” or “why do you want this job?”. Be sure you know how you will answer such questions so you can respond with confidence.
Check out our 20 common interview questions and answers for more help.