Getting word that you have an interview is an exciting thing … so much so that you might just lose your head a bit. What you need to do is be prepared, so that if an interview comes up at a moment’s notice, all you have to do is grab your “interview go bag” and it’ll have everything that you need to make a great impression and get that job.
(Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo)
What to Pack in Advance:
1. Multiple Copies of Your Resume
Most of our job applications happen online and you don’t want a sad recycled copy paper resume being the only thing in front of your prospective employer during your face-to-face. Actually purchase some of that watermarked resume paper and have at least five nice copies of your resume in a nice binder. Why five? Well, you have one for the person you’re meeting with, one for you to look at, and oh, hey, they’re going to pull in so-and-so from HR and your boss’ boss to chat with you, too. Now you have resumes to go around!
2. Pen and Paper
Make sure you have something to write with and take notes on. It can be small and pocket-sized, or a legal pad and a nice pen. But you shouldn’t just go to an interview and smile and nod at everyone in the room. Taking notes shows that you’re listening to the conversation and treating it with all seriousness. It also allows you to write down follow-up questions as they pop into your head, instead of interrupting someone while they talk.
You can keep a portfolio binder in your go bag as well. You’ll need to print out the best examples of your past work, even if you’re not a writer or a graphic designer. If you’re proud of a client you’ve worked with, you can print out a copy of their website homepage, or news articles about the successes you’ve achieved together. Anything physical can help put a touchstone on your work experience for your interviewer. What’s better than a story? A picture book.
4. Basic Grooming Emergency Kit
Just like for a date, you can benefit from some preparedness before your interview. Make a small kit with gum, travel stain remover, tissues, lip balm, and for us long hairs, an extra hair thing or two in case of ponytail blowouts. A few minutes of getting things together could save you from some ’80s movie-level drama later on.
And Don’t Forget…
When you get that interview call add a few last-minute but vital items for your bag. You’ll need details on your interview date and time (you do NOT want to get those mixed up in your day-of panic) as well as a printout of directions to the building. If your cell is dead or can’t get service you don’t want to be wandering around looking for what seems to be the right place.
Tell Us What You Think
What do you always pack for an interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.