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What should you take to a job interview?

12/10/2016

Congratulations, you have a job interview - your CV has done the job and the next stage is for you to meet the hiring team face-to-face! We all know that preparation is key if you want to succeed at this stage: research the company and know the job description, trial run your route and ensure that you dress appropriately. Something that recruiters don’t often talk about so much though is what you need to take with you, so we have put together our list of essentials to make sure you have ready and with you at interview.

A smart folder / bag

This is important, and everything that follows can be contained within it. Pulling out crumpled documents doesn’t set the best first impression, and you don’t want to be juggling your paperwork and phone as you go to shake hands, so it makes sense to have one place to keep all of this paraphernalia. We aren’t talking an oversized statement bag here, or something bright and garish, just a smart and professional-looking tote of appropriate size to keep your documents and essentials in.

CV and supporting documents

We can assume that an interviewer would already have a copy of your CV in advance of the interview yes, but there is no harm in being prepared and taking along extra copies just in case. What happens if their printer has broken or you end up meeting more than one person? Arriving organised will be one tick in your favour.

The same is true with certificates – you might not be asked to show them but if you have them with you to offer as appropriate then this will only work in your favour. Be sensible with this though, if you know that the job requires a certain qualification make sure that you take that certificate along with you, but remember that you don’t need to take every single certificate you have!

Examples of your work is something that might more obviously be relevant for creative professionals, but in all industries you may have client testimonials, sales figures of targets that you can take to demonstrate the impact you have previously made.

Make sure you take a copy of the job description with you as well, as you can then refresh yourself on the role and requirements in advance of the meeting to ensure that they are still fresh in your mind. If you have annotated this with notes on how you meet the criteria, even better!

Pen and Notepad

This is something that can be useful to carry in every aspect of life, but especially so at the interview. It is likely that you will be discussing a lot of details, so being able to jot down any facts and figures can only help you later when reviewing the interview and potentially making a decision.

You can use this to store any pre-prepared questions as well, along with any research you have done in advance on the company. As well as acting as a memory jog this will help demonstrate to the interviewer that you have come prepared and done your research in advance.

We would also advise making sure that your interview details are in there! Don’t just rely on saving the email on your phone, what happens if you have no mobile internet or if your battery gives out on you? By ensuring that you have the address details written down, as well as any names and contact numbers of those you are meeting / the recruiter who has set the interview up, you can be prepared even if your phone lets you down.

If you make sure you have all of this with you when you get to your interview you should be set for whatever they throw at you, and remember that we are always here to support you with any questions or concerns you might have so get in touch if we can help.

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