So you’ve thought of some questions, researched the company, polished your shoes and are feeling prepared. But do you really have everything you need for your next job interview? We don’t like to be pessimistic, but it is worth being ready for anything. To ensure you can face interview day with only a few nerves, here’s our list of 9 essentials to take with you when going for a job interview.
1. Phone Make sure that you switch it off before the interview starts but don’t leave home without it. Although you may have carefully planned your journey with plenty of time to spare, there may be delays on the train or a traffic jam. An interviewer is much more likely to be understanding if you can warn them that you will be arriving late. Smart phones also have maps and GPS uploaded onto them, which could help you to locate the address.
2. Interview instructions Having a printout of the instructions and time of the interview can be reassuring, as you can double-check the address on your way there. Most people get nervous before interviews, so in case your mind goes blank when you walk into reception you’ll also have the name of the interviewer right in front of you.
3. Wet wipes There was a reason that your mother carried these around for your entire childhood. They can deal with a multitude of marks, from spilt coffee to scuffed shoes to newspaper ink on your fingers.
4. Mirror For that final check before you enter the building. Check that you don’t have any food on your teeth and that your hair looks neat and tidy. You want to look your best and don’t want the interviewer to get distracted.
5. Spare tights or tie A smart look can really help you to feel confident. If you notice a stain on your tie or get a ladder in your tights, then having replacements handy will stop you from turning up to your interview feeling flustered.
6. Copy of your CV, covering letter and the job description We’d recommend taking several copies. Although most interviewers will bring their own copy, having a few spares may be useful. It’s also great to have a copy in front of you to refer to, in case they have any specific questions about your experience or education. Make sure they are neat copies, and store them in an A4 folder that prevents them from getting dog-eared. Whilst you’re waiting in reception have a read through the job specification. It will help focus you and remind you of the questions you should ask during the interview.
7. Bottle of water You should hopefully be the person doing most of the talking during an interview, so the last thing you want is to have a dry throat. It’s also been shown that being dehydrated can cause anxiety and sipping water can calm nerves. Try not to drink too much though, because needing the bathroom half-way through your interview is definitely stress-inducing.
8. Umbrella The sun may be out as you leave home and the weatherman could have assured you that there was no chance of rain today, but the risk of turning up looking like a drowned rat isn’t worth it.
9. Money Whether it’s spare change for the car park or being able to pay for your own coffee when the interview turns out to be in a café round the corner from the office, it’s important to have some money on you. It also means if you’ve forgotten anything else on our list, you can buy it on the way.
There’s so much to remember when you are preparing for interview, but on the day itself this suitable-for-all-situations pack will mean that you can deal with any last-minute niggles on the go. The first step to starting a new career is finding a job that you’d love to do. Have a look at our latest opportunities including internships and graduate schemes. We look forward to being impressed by your interview preparation.