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What to bring to an interview – beyond the basics

We all know we need to prepare well, but we often ignore what to bring to an interview, here are some must-read tips as to what to bring to an interview.

A job interview is your one chance to shine. It can make or break your chance of getting the job you want. So you prepare some questions and answers, but what else do you need to prepare? When you are prepared, you are more confident. Being prepared also means making it easier on yourself. Here are a few things you could bring yo your interview.

Nine examples of what to bring to an interview

1. Resume

It is very important to have a copy of your resume with you. If the main person interviewing you has your original, bring an extra in case someone else doesn’t have one. You are free to refer to your resume and point things out at any time during the interview. So make sure you always bring your resume as part of what to bring to an interview.

2. Pens

It is a face saver to bring something to write with. You may be asked to fill out some forms or sign something. You’ll never know when you need a pen, and it can be embarrassing to ask for one, as you look badly prepared. Always have a pen or pencil handy.

3. Laptop or netbook

what to bring to an interview

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Bring one of these along, especially if you are giving a presentation. It shows that you are serious about your job interview if you are prepared like this. You can also use it to access information like referee details or your application, so it can help you with interview questions in certain circumstances.

4. Something to read and snacks

It is never a good look to have a grumbling belly in an interview. If you think you might get hungry or thirsty, bring some food and water with you. Try not to bring something messy to eat.

You may also have to wait around if you are not the only person being interviewed. Sitting in a waiting room can be boring and nerve-wracking at the same time. Bring something to read or a gadget so you can occupy your mind.

what to bring to an interview

5. The right bag

This is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what to bring to an interview. But it is important that you have the right bag. A briefcase or laptop may be handy (see number three). A sparkling Dolce and Gabbana cocktail bag is not the right look. Make sure your bag is professional-looking and can hold everything you need.

6. Work samples

If you don’t know what to bring to an interview, make this your number one. Going to an interview without some shining samples of your work is one of the greatest mistakes a candidate can make. For particular jobs, if you don’t bring work samples then you will find it hard to prove your skills.

If you are aiming for a sales job, bring reports that show sales rankings. If it is a copy writing job, bring samples of your best work. If you have applied for an HR job, bring samples of your projects. So make sure you bring work samples, or even photos of projects, as part of what to bring to an interview.

7. Referee contacts

You have complete faith that you are the right fit for the job and will crack the interview quickly. But the other candidates will be thinking exactly the same way. Bring a list of the names and contact details of people you think will portray you in a positive light. Give them to the employer so they are able to check your credentials. One of the first things that will make a good impression is trust. Plus, you do not always have to list referees on your resume so you can do this at the interview. It is like having a card up your sleeve to back up your hand.

8. A belief in yourself

You have a certain skill set and talent that are uniquely yours. You are who you are thanks to your education, previous work experience and your natural personality. Believe in yourself and be confident, because otherwise why are you there?

The interviewers chose you and invited you to an interview. Whether it’s from your resume or word of mouth, they decided to give you a shot. That shot is your chance to tell them how much they need you. Since you want them to want you, stay focused on your strengths for the whole of the interview.

9. An honest attitude

The employer might ask, ‘I see you don’t have some of the skills we need for this position’. Now is the time to be honest about what you can’t bring to the table. Lying or misrepresenting what you don’t have may get you the job, but you’ll probably end up being fired for misrepresentation.

Keep your composure. Let’s say you don’t have experience with PowerPoint or Salesforce. You can find a way to learn the basics before day one of the job and promise you’ll do that. Or you can ask whether they would be willing to train you up.

After this short blip, refocus on your strengths as they are what will get you hired.

Never forget the essentials when you are deciding what to bring to an interview. Have extra copies of your resume, breath fresheners, deodorant or body mist and even a change of clothes. Be prepared for anything. This will help you stay calm and in control no matter what happens on the day.

Being prepared will help you concentrate on what matters most: all of those questions and answers that will be flying around.

These are some examples of what to bring to an interview. Sure you need to have questions prepared, as well as answers to the more common questions. Being confident comes from covering all bases before you leave home 🙂

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What to bring to an interview – beyond the basics
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