Congratulations – you scored the interview!! You’ve applied, gone through the screening process, gleaned more insight into the position, and now it’s time to go into the office to seal the deal with an in-person interview. As you prepare, you’re suddenly unsure on what interview essentials you’ll need to make you shine!
Fear not, job seeker. We’ve got the top ten interview essentials that should be in your bag (including the bag itself!) to help you flawlessly and confidently ace your interview!
1. Tote/Professional Bag
Of course, you need something to hold all of your things in! Try to find a trendy tote or messenger bag at Zara, H&M, or on Amazon. They can be found relatively inexpensively and used in every situation. They can also be a fun way to showcase your personality.
2. Attire – Dress for Success!
Every interview environment is different, depending on the level, industry, and type of role you’re interviewing for. If your interviewer tells you that the office is a more casual space, feel free to dress more casual – opt for a clean-cut shirt and black jeans. If you’re not sure, keep it more professional – you have nothing to lose by dressing up! Just make sure you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing – this will translate into the conversation!
3. Employment Verification
Especially when working with recruiting firms, you might need to prove your eligibility for employment or fill out paperwork upon arrival to the interview. Make sure you bring the correct items so that a prospective employer can fill out an I9 form on the spot if needed.
Hydration is key! Sipping water while waiting for your interview can help calm nerves and keep you from staring at your phone, and might have other fringe benefits. Bonus points if you use a reusable bottle!
It may seem trivial, but having fresh breath can only help in the interview. Plus, since you’ll be talking a lot, taking a mint beforehand will help you speak for long periods of time. Gum works too – just make sure nothing is still in your mouth before you go into the interview!
6. Resume/Resume Copies
While it seems like a no brainer, always bring the most current copy of your resume into the interview with you – don’t expect your interviewer to have it with them. Bring at least five copies in case you interview with multiple members of the company. Keep them in a folder as well, so they stay neat and crisp.
When you conduct research on the company before the interview, take detailed notes on projects you’re interested in, questions you may have, and ways your experience would apply at the company. Then, bring these notes into the interview with you. It’ll help you remember what you wanted to touch on, but also impress the interviewer because you’ve prepared beforehand.
Prep a few creative questions specifically about the role, the culture, and any other company-related topics. You want to make sure to identify questions that are insightful enough to show that you’ve paid attention, done your homework, and that you’re serious about the specific role you’re pursuing.
9. Notebook + Pen
In addition to your notes, bring a notebook and pen into the interview with you. This way, you can take notes on specific topics you’ve discussed for use in follow-up emails and thank you notes.
10. Tablet or Laptop
Because most everything these days (social media profiles, portfolios, etc.) are housed online, it’s good to have a laptop with you, so you can easily pull up examples of past work as you’re talking. Pro tip: having it already loaded on your browser will definitely set you apart. Just make sure everything’s on silent before you head in – nothing worse than an interrupted interview!
While these top 10 interview essentials will help you prepare, make sure you pack your confidence too! Good luck, we know you’ll nail it!