By Dan Simmons

Being successful in a job interview is a lot like being successful in any endeavor: prepare to be successful and then execute that preparation.  The same goes for an interview.

One aspect of that preparation involves what to bring to the interview.  Both men and women should limit themselves to one hand-held item (briefcase, purse, or portfolio).  Carry the item in your left hand so you’re prepared to shake hands with the right without shuffling.

The best choice is a thin folder or portfolio that holds a legal pad.  It looks professional and gives you something to carry cards, resumes, pens, references, etc., but it is not as cumbersome as a briefcase.  Organize everything in your portfolio before the interview to access needed items quickly.

If a recruiter reformatted your resume, use the one they provided.  Typically, recruiters do not change the content of resumes but may re-format them for aesthetic purposes.

Use the checklist below to make sure you’re prepared with everything you’ll need:

  • Directions and a map (both of which might be contained on your cell phone)
  • Contact information (name and direct line of a person with whom you’re meeting, as well as a main phone number)
  • Notepad
  • Two (2) pens—black or blue ink is best for completing employment applications.
  • Three (3) copies of your resume
  • Breath mints and any minor medication needed
  • Information about the employer for a final review while waiting
  • Examples of your accomplishments include design drawings, project manuals, videotapes, etc.
  • Your complete reference list and letters of recommendation
  • Copies of your last two performance reviews (if possible)
  • A list of well-thought-out questions you plan to ask

This is just an essential checklist.  There may be other items that are relevant to your interview.  Whatever the case, ensure that you’re prepared to take everything you need and execute that preparation during the interview.

That’s the first step toward showing why you’re the top candidate for the job.

Do you need more help preparing for your interview? Contact Dan Simmons today!