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What to Bring to an Interview


11/11/2011 1:30:39 PM

By Angela Rose, BioSpace.com

You’ve sent out dozens of resumes. You’ve been through several pre-interview screenings over the phone. Now you’ve finally received a request for an in-person interview and your anxiety is through the roof. Will they like you? Will you get the job? Is it a good job? Should you wait for a better job? When all these questions are swirling through your mind, it’s easy to lose focus and head out unprepared. Instead, take a deep breath and spend some time gathering these essentials to bring with you.

1. Bring a fabulous outfit – On your person, of course. It is nearly impossible to overdress for an interview. While a ball gown or coat and tails would be pushing it, you’d certainly make an impression. Dressing well shows you respect the time of the interviewer, the potential position, and yourself. Don’t wear lounge pants, pajama bottoms, sweats, jeans, inappropriate message t-shirts or smelly athletic shoes.

2. Bring directions – Even if you’re gifted with an infallible sense of direction (as most males tend to believe they are), take the time to map out a route to the interview location. Use Google Maps or GPS on your phone. Even better, make a trial run in person to scope out the traffic and parking situations.

3. Bring identification – You shouldn’t be driving or wandering the city without it. You may actually need your driver’s license if the building is secured or you’re asked to fill out the company’s employment application.

4. Bring a notebook and pen – If you need to write down notes about next steps, you don’t want to have to ask your interviewer for a pen and paper. Don’t bring a large bag or full backpack. You want to look organized and not like you lug everything you own around with you.

5. Bring your notes – It’s not uncommon to be nervous before an interview, so write down important details you may otherwise forget such as the interviewer’s name and title. You should also bring questions to ask about the position and the company during the interview. Don’t bring questions about salary or benefits until you’ve actually received a job offer.

6. Bring copies of your resume – Bring at least two. It can be helpful to have one to refer to yourself and another to give to the interviewer if he or she does not have the one you originally submitted.

7. Bring work samples – If you’re applying for a position in a creative field, such as graphic design, you may want to show the interviewer your portfolio if time allows. If you’d rather not haul around hardcopies of your work, consider a digital portfolio stored on your iPad or netbook.

8. Bring your references –It’s common practice to include names, relationships and contact information of three people who can provide a reference regarding your professional skills and three who can provide a reference as to your personal integrity. Don’t bring unqualified references. These include people who do not know you intend to use them as a reference.

9. Bring a winning attitude – Times are tough and everyone knows it. If you’ve been unemployed for awhile, don’t let that affect the attitude you present during the interview. Be cheerful and enthusiastic. Don’t bring negativity, complaints about the economy or your previous employers.

Be confident! If you’re progressing to an in-person interview, the company is very interested in you as a potential employee. Arm yourself with these essentials and you’re more than halfway there.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - November 17, 2011.

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