Thorough preparation is very important if you want to succeed in your job interview. But there are also other ways to make a positive impression on your potential employer. Your appearance is important, but bringing a few essentials to the interview will also give your interviewer a professional first impression of you.
Stephanie Cnops, Principal at staffing specialist Walters People, explains what to bring to your next job interview.
A cheat sheet
Before you go for an interview, do some research about the organisation and the person you will be meeting. Stephanie: "Do you have certain questions about the organisation, their way of working or the position? Write down your questions on a note. At the end of the interview there is usually room to ask questions. This is the time to get out your cheat sheet. And don't worry: there's no need to hide it from your interviewer - it shows that you've prepared well for the interview.
"Your interviewer will probably already have your CV, but it is always a safe bet to bring an extra copy to the interview. After all, you never know when your original interviewer will be unable to attend and will be replaced by a colleague who has not had a chance to look at your CV. In that case, if you can offer a copy of your CV, you are sure to make a good impression," says Stephanie.
Pen and diary
"Another thing you should definitely have in your bag is a pen and a diary. These come in handy when your interviewer wants to schedule a follow-up interview right away. Make a note of the date and time of the next interview and make sure you know the name and job title of your interviewer, so that you can ask for the right person the next time you visit the organisation", advises Stephanie.
The vacancy text
It can also be to your advantage to print out the vacancy text and take it with you. That text is a handy tool when you are not sure about something. During the interview it is best to focus as much as possible on the qualities that make you suitable for the job. The vacancy text can also be an important tool in this respect.
If you have worked on an assignment in your previous job or during your internship that you would like to show and of which you are very proud, you can easily bring a portfolio to the interview. This is certainly advisable for professionals with a creative profession such as graphic designer or copywriter. Make sure that what you show is really worthwhile. Otherwise your portfolio could backfire.
Folder or work bag
It goes without saying that you go into the job interview well groomed. Stephanie: "Take a shower and choose a neat professional outfit. Just to be sure, leave your blue jeans and trainers at home. In some companies they are a no-go. Play it safe by swapping them for more formal shoes and smart trousers. To avoid making a messy impression, it is also best to pack your preparatory work and all the items mentioned above in a professional folder or work bag, not a student backpack."
"You can bring your diplomas, certificates and other important documents to the interview, but this is certainly not a requirement. However, you should only bring them when asked for by your potential employer. By bringing them to the table uninvited, there is a chance that you will come across as too boastful", Stephanie advises.
You do not take this with you
"It goes without saying that you should not bring any food to a job interview, but sweets or chewing gum are not professional either. You can of course bring food before the interview, but chewing gum during the interview is an absolute no-go," says Stephanie.
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