When planning for a scheduled job interview, do you know what to take with you to impress your prospective employer?
Getting a job interview provides an opportunity to convince an employer to hire you. Looking your best, you plan ahead for all the things you want to say and do, as well as those to avoid. But what should you take along with you?
1. Take a completed job application. This document may have been sent to you with an invitation for the interview. Or you may have filled one out weeks before, which led to the call for an interview. A third option is that you may be handed an application to fill out in the lobby as you wait for your interview appointment. Complete the form in dark ink, writing or printing neatly. Use full names and addresses, leaving nothing blank unless you have no information to add for categories like military service if you have not served in the armed forces.
2. Take a copy of your resume or vita. Even if you sent one beforehand, it is not unusual for an employer to have questions about your background or work history, and you will find it convenient to refer to the copy in your lap rather than guess from memory or ask to see the employer’s copy. Sometimes an advance copy can get mislaid, so an extra can always come in handy.
3. Take your reference letters. As with the vita, you may have sent copies ahead of time, although most job seekers do not. Bring along copies to discuss during the interview if the opportunity should arise during an employer’s questions, for example. You also can offer to leave copies of your references as the interview comes to an end. The interviewer is likely to appreciate your foresight and thoughtfulness. If you don’t have actual letters yet, you can leave a list of three or four professional contacts who have agreed to provide contact references if needed.
4. Take along copies of licensing, certifications, or course completion that will indicate your suitability for the position. Most employers will not ask for proof of these things during an interview, but in case yours should mention them, you will have something ready to show him or her. Plus there may be information on these documents that you can quickly allude to, such as the date a certification was awarded, whether it is an accredited institution, etc.
5. Take with you a driver’s license and other miscellaneous documents that might be needed. Occasionally an employer might ask to see a photo identification, such as a driver’s license. Or if you are applying for a job where driving might be required, proof of a state driver’s license and auto insurance may need to be provided. In addition, if your job will require overseas travel, bring your passport or immunization record, not that you will necessarily need these at the interview, but to show them when the opportunity arises as added proof that you’re on the ball, and thus a good fit for the job.
6. Take along information about the company. This may have been sent to you with the application, or you might have downloaded pages from the Website. Either way, it will help to have notes or details available to show the employer that you are interested in the company and as support any questions you might have.
A slender file is all you will need, but it may be enough to demonstrate your professional competence and ensure a hiring decision in your favor.