What To Bring To A Job Interview (And What NOT To Bring)
- 1 What to bring to a job interview
- 2 What not to bring to a job interview
- 3 The importance of preparing questions for your interviewers
- 4 Put it all together
By Jeff Gillis
Everyone has this friend. You know the one. They are prepared for all situations. Although they only carry a small bag, this bag is full of a seemingly endless number of useful items. Insect repellent, barrettes and yo-yos spring like magic from their bag of treats.
In a job interview, you want to be that friend.
Knowing what to bring to a job interview is an art you need to master. Fortunately, it’s not as mysterious as you might think. Your urban-boyscout friend with the infinite bag of items has, after all, only a small bag. It is not tied to a larger space by alien technology. He’s a planner, not an alien spy.
What to bring to a job interview
Some of the items below are obvious, but maybe to you others are not. The main thing you need to do is recognize that straying too far from this list can be detrimental to your interview success.
So make sure that when you leave your house you have the following with you:
A water bottle is an amazing interview friend.
Concretely, there is nothing worse than a dry mouth when you need to give an important speech.
What causes dry mouth? Stress and nerves.
An important interview isn’t an uncommon time for someone who’s never had a dry mouth to suddenly find themselves smacking their lips and examining the room for a water fountain.
Bonus, taking a sip of water is a great way to save time to formulate your thoughts.
Difficult question? Think. The water. Think. Reply.
You can think a lot more without it looking weird by breaking it with a sip of water.
I hope you are in top shape, ready to perform at your peak in your job interview.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Sniffles can be excused with a tissue in hand. While sneezing into your hands or sleeve is socially acceptable, a handkerchief makes the affair even more worthy. It is also the only suitable way to overcome a runny nose.
If you want to be really old fashioned, consider a handkerchief.
3. Your CV
You may have already sent in your CV, but you are now an Urban Scout and Maintenance Master.
Capture it: you are all ready to go when one of your interviewers realizes they’ve printed the wrong resume!
They just decide to share a copy, when you pull out a crisp and hot resume, smile and immediately show everyone that you are reliable and prepared.
Even if you only have one point of contact and they have your CV in front of them, a casually placed transparent folder with copies of your CV will send the same message.
4. A notebook and a pen
The notebook-pen combo is both a signaling element and an instrumental tool. This is where you can keep any questions you have developed, important facts and figures, Where information given to you during your interview.
Taking notes can help you keep track of a complex issue. It can help you remember the most important characteristics of a job.
It also shows your potential employers that you are organized and prepared.
5. Appropriate clothing
Deciding what to wear for an interview is a very important step.
Unless you’re a coding god applying for start-up jobs in Silicon Valley, wear a tie. Not a bow tie, a tie. Of course, depending on the industry, there is significant leeway here. A bow tie and tweed coat may be acceptable in a design company or progressive workplace. The safest option, however, is an appropriate business suit.
Women have more options, but need to look just as professional. Yes, those shoes that cause blistering are part of the package.
In many cases, failure to meet this traditional standard will cost you considerably. Employers need to know that you take your job search seriously and understand how to behave in a traditional workplace.
Once you’ve proven yourself, you can show off your Star Wars socks. The interview, however, is not the time to do it.
6. Hair and nails tidy
Take the time to rub under your nails. Make sure they are short and tidy, if they are male. If it is a female, make sure they are uniform and well groomed. Polish is optional, but it certainly won’t hurt.
Regardless of your gender, comb your hair. Make sure it won’t be in your eyes or unceremoniously falling over the top of your head in a messy bun. Fashion doesn’t have to be professional. Interviews don’t require cookie-cutter Stepford people, but they do require professionalism and good hygiene.
7. A genuine smile and a positive attitude
This is perhaps the most important thing to bring. Things are happening. Your tights will tear, you’ll leave your notebook on the roof of your car, or spill ketchup on your tailored shirt. Its good.
Almost anything can be forgiven with a genuine smile, a brief apology, and a positive attitude. Even the biggest problem – being late – can be solved with the right attitude. PRO TIP: do not be late.
List of what to bring to your job interview
- The water
- Your CV
- A notebook and a pen
- Appropriate attire
- Tidy hair and nails
- A genuine smile and attitude
- Questions to ask the interviewer
What not to bring to a job interview
Perhaps even more important than knowing what to bring to a job interview, of course, is what NOT to bring to a job interview.
Now you may laugh at some of these items but trust me they were all taken to job interviews by real people and in 99.9% of those cases they left the interview without an offer. job for this exact reason.
So make sure you don’t bring these things to your next job interview:
If you have to bring your phone for your interview, keep it quiet and don’t take it out of your bag until you are gone.
If your interviewer is older, he remembers a time before smartphones became ubiquitous.
Chances are, they think the younger generations have pushed tech addiction to an unhealthy level.
Playing Angry Birds instead of politely chatting with the company receptionist will undoubtedly be a mark against you. Glancing at a text during your company visit will not go unnoticed. Save the selfies with the company’s fish for another day.
The only appropriate time to pull out a phone during your interview is if your interviewer shows pictures of their dog and you want to brag about your gigantic greyhound Lucy.
It should go without saying, but apparently eight percent of young workers surveyed admit to bringing a parent to their job interviews, while three percent said a parent attended!
Do not do that. Even if your mom has known the interviewer from college or is an employee of the same company, don’t do this. There are no extenuating circumstances that make this correct.
If you need a taxi, Mom is allowed to take you to your interview. However, she has to wait in the car. It is never appropriate to bring your mom to a job interview.
The same goes for your father, your aunt, your older sister and the greyhound Lucy.
The importance of preparing questions for your interviewers
It is imperative to prepare several questions to ask the interviewer. It shows that you’ve done your research, proves your interest in the job, and shows that you’ve spent time thinking about how your skills and personality will fit into the company.
For more information on interview questions, see the previous blog post from The Interview Guys. Top 14 questions to ask in an interview.
Put it all together
Hope you now have a good idea of how to become a Destroyer Urban Scout!
There is no magic bag. There is no secret technology.
Like so many things, it’s about knowledge, planning and a commitment to excellence. Now go get that job, you maintenance ninja who carries notebooks, offers handkerchiefs and drinks water!