Interviews can be daunting. One conversation could possibly change your career path. Providing that the candidate is relaxed, prepared, and qualified for the position, there should be no problem at all. However, I have recently experienced being the interviewer, and I have realized what looks best when candidates are seeking a position.
Here are nine things to bring to a job interview to make sure all goes as planned:
1. A Portfolio
Portfolio’s conveniently come with a pad of paper. It is a professional way to carry you notebook and pocket folder. Keep it in front of you during the interview so you can take notes or refer to your resume if need be.
Prepare yourself by researching the company beforehand. It is best to try and get the inside scoop by surfing the web or talking to someone who works at the company. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the company's employee's on LinkedIn or ask mutual friends for an introduction.
Prepare ideas to share that you would implant if/when you get the job. Employers will think you are going above and beyond, which is impressive. Take time to think about how you are going to stand out from your competitors and brainstorm ideas to prove you’re worth hiring.
4. A Ready Prepared Speech of Job History
If your potential employer is asking about your employment history, it is a good idea to practice what you say beforehand – keep it brief and relevant. Don’t forget to let them know what skills you learned or any parts of your previous experiences you’ve enjoyed most. Talk about triumphs and don’t be afraid to mention your failures.
5. Prepare Answers for Common Interview Questions
Reciting ready-made answers is not the idea here. However, practicing and thinking through common interview questions will increase your response time. Your quick and accurate response will come across impressive.
Hint! Be natural and don't stick to a script. It's ok to venture into other topics. Employers like getting to know you as a person and not just as a potential co-worker.
6. Examples of Past Successes
Be able to recall specific past experiences that the interviewers will find interesting. Examples of influencing the bottom line or top line would be especially impressive.
7. A Bag
Walking in with an armful of stuff looks disorganized which is certainly not message you want to send. Also, make sure your phone is silent and tucked away.
8. A Drink of Water
Bring along a bottle of water. You don’t want to be parched and thinking about it while trying to make a great impression. Eliminate anything (like having to use the restroom) that may cause your mind to stray from the conversation.
9. Shoes You Can Walk in
Although heels can make you feel confident, it’s important to be able to walk in them. The last thing you want is to be waddling like Bambi on ice.
Always, Maddi B.
Photo courtesy of Jil Luise