You can do a lot before your interview to feel confident and prepared. However, an interview will always be nerve-racking. Having certain helpful items with you on the day can help alleviate anxieties and allow you to make the best impression on your potential future employer. See below for our tips on what you should bring with you on the day of your interview:
Copies of your CVs
Having multiple copies of your CV with you on the day of your interview is always a good idea. We recommend four to five copies, so you are completely covered. The hiring manager may want you to leave a few copies of your CV for HR at the end of the interview. Plus you may be interviewed by multiple people on the same day, and if the interview goes really well the hiring manager may want you to speak with another team member or their boss. These people may also want to hold onto a copy of your CV.
This section covers a lot, but we’ve summed it up as the ‘cheat sheet’. Of course, you are not really cheating but rather gathering all the information you need to help you out in one place. You can use this 'cheat sheet' to brush up on your achievements pre-interview or to provide the hiring manager with references and information that they may need.
References- References from your previous managers and supervisors are a good testimony of your abilities, so bringing copies of this list would be beneficial during your interview. You can also include co-workers that you directly worked with in your reference list. If you have just graduated, include professors you worked closely with. If you aren't asked for your references during the interview, you can ask if they are needed at the very end.
Pre-written questions for your interviewer- Being asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions can catch you off guard. Noting down a few questions you would like to ask can come in handy in case your mind goes blank during the moment. You can also have a quick glance over them before your interview to assuage any nerves.
Career profile- You don’t want to rely on reading off your ‘cheat sheet’ verbatim but it may come in handy if you are asked about a specific part of your career history to have details on hand. If you have an updated profile on LinkedIn, you could simply print your profile and manually add the address and phone numbers of each company that you've worked at, to give yourself a concise summary of relevant information about your career.
Even if you are not driving to your job interview, you should bring your driver’s licence (or another form of ID) with you. Depending on where you are interviewing, especially at large companies in cities, you may find that they have a strict security policy and be required to show photo ID proof before entering. Have your driver’s license to hand to prevent any holdbacks or extra stress on the day!
Pens and a notebook
Although having your phone out and about in a professional setting is more acceptable today, you do not want to take the risk of offending your interviewer. Therefore, keep your phone tucked away (and on silent!) in your bag during your interview. Instead, come prepared with a small notebook and some pens so you can jot anything interesting down. Additionally, you may be asked to complete tasks during your interview and having somewhere to jot down your thought process may be helpful. On a personal note, I always come prepared with a couple of pens because it is always the way that your pen will stop working when you need it most!
Bag or briefcase
The goal here is to look prepared and put together for your interview. Go for one smart bag or briefcase that is business appropriate. You want a bag that allows you to organise your documents and belongings easily. Having to rummage through different bags and struggling to find the items you need or the documents you have been asked for may make your interviewer think you are disorganised. This may also add to your nerves and throw you off during your interview. Having a folder for your documents will also help with organisation.