Preparation is critical in the approach to employment - yet being prepared doesn't end with conducting pre-interview research or penning informed questions to ask the hiring manager.
After you've applied a great opportunity, successfully passed an initial phone screen and finally made it to the first round interview stage, your first impression can make or break your candidacy.
And a hiring manager will notice if you're arriving to the interview empty handed -- even before you shake hands.
When preparing for your interview, these are the items you need to bring along with you and your A game.
It’s easy to assume the hiring manager will have a copy of your resume on hand, but presumptions are never a safe bet. So, always bring along multiple copies of your CV. You may be meeting with more than one person at the company or a printer may have broken. Having the foresight to bring multiple copies of your resume demonstrates your ability to be prepared for a variety of possibilities.
A pen and notepad
It’s likely that important facts and figures will be discussed during your meeting. When sending your post-interview follow up email, having these notes on hand will help you remember an interview tid-bit to include or aid in deciding between competing offers. You can also use the same notepad that you've written your informed questions in, so you don't forget them.
An over-the-shoulder holder or folder
Always bring a bag or folder with you. Pulling your resume from your pockets doesn’t give the best professional impression. So, organize your papers in something that’s small enough to hold under your arm but large enough to hold all the essentials.
The job description
Bringing the job requirements to the interview gives the opportunity to re-familiarize yourself with the role right before you go in. A fresh perspective, coupled with being in the physical location, can reignite the initial passion for what got you excited about applying for the position.
Did the role you're applying for require certain certifications or qualifications? Bring them along with you, or if you can’t bring the original, bring a copy. You may not be asked to present them, but keeping them on hand demonstrates a proactive nature.
If you’re in the creative industry, a portfolio is a must-have; this can be a hard copy portfolio or a link to an online site. However, if you’re in a non-creative industry, you may have client testimonials or revenue figures you want to highlight.
Being prepared should always be part of your employment plan. Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next great opportunity?
Soft skills employers want in the new work world