Checklist: 14 Items to Bring to Your Job Interview

The job interview is a hectic experience. Interviewing is so important to the job search process that it is easy to be distracted and forget the small details. Below is a checklist to help you ensure that you have everything needed when you enter the job interview.

  1. Copies of your resume. Today, most offices will print out copies of your resume. However, you can never be too sure. With that in mind, always play it on the safe side and bring copies of your resume. Grab a few extras too, just in case someone spills some coffee.

  1. Game face. Job interviews might be an intimidating experience, but they are the best opportunity for you to convince an employer that you are the best candidate for the job. When you go in for an interview leave all of that intimidation at the door. Put your game face on! Go in ready to conquer the interview by showcasing your exceptional abilities to your interviewers.

  1. Elevator pitch. When walking into a job interview you want to have examples of why they should hire you in mind. Don’t rely on vague general items, either. You should have specific examples of past successes, and how they have prepared you to succeed in the position in question. Make sure you can recall these examples quickly and effectively.

  1. A bottle of water. Although it is customary for employers to offer job interviewees a drink, you don’t want to assume that this will be provided. So play it safe and bring a drink with you. A small water bottle is best, allowing you to place it in your bag and grab it if needed. However, beware of coffee. You don’t want to have to juggle carrying a coffee, your bag, and shaking the hand of your interviewer all at the same time.

  1. Bus fare, gas money, etc. It may seem obvious, but when you are nervous and thinking about something as important as a job interview, it can be easy to forget to make sure you have the money needed to take the bus. Additionally, you may forget to make sure that there is enough gas in your car. Be sure to have some cash on you and fill up your tank the night before.

  1. A cell phone. You want to be able to contact your interviewer if something comes up forcing you to be late. If you have trouble finding the company’s office, if your car breaks down, these are just a few of the reasons you may need your phone on the way to your job interview. Don’t forget to grab it.

  1. Questions to ask. Often employers seriously consider the questions you ask when determining if you are the right person for the job. So be sure you have insightful questions to ask before entering the interview. Remember the sole purpose of these questions isn’t only to impress the interviewer. Also, it provides you with an opportunity to figure out if the job, company, and employer are a good fit for you.

  1. Reference information. Often employers will request your references. Make sure you’re prepared for this by collecting your reference information and bringing it to your interview.

  1. Salary expectations. Although you don’t want to walk into your job interview making salary demands, if the question comes up you want to be able to provide a ballpark figure. Spend some time collecting old pay stubs and getting a better idea of how you hope to be compensated.

  1. Knowledge of the company. Be sure you have knowledge of the company, how it operates, who its competitors are, etc. Also, have an idea of how your position will work in the company. The more you can speak intelligently about a company, the more the interviewer will be able to envision you working for them and know that you did your homework.

  1. The name of your interviewer. When you walk into an office, you want to be prepared to tell the receptionist the name of your interviewer. Make sure that you know their name and title.

  1. Directions. If you are provided directions, or instructions on how to get to an office in a building, be sure to print them out. Sure, you may be able to pull them up on your phone, however, if you have no reception then that won’t work. Play it safe, print them out.

  1. Punctuality. Don’t show up whenever you like. Make sure that you are on time and ready for anything the moment you walk in the door. Being a few minutes early never hurts.

  1. Showered, ironed, and sharply dressed. Immediately before your interview take time to shower, iron your clothes, and double-check your appearance. When you go to a job interview, you want to look and feel like a million bucks. Of course you’re going to bring your game face, but make sure the rest of you says the same message.

So there you have it. 14 items you need to bring to your big job interview. Some may seem obvious and some you might have overlooked. Nevertheless, each one can make a huge difference in how confident and prepared you are when entering the interview and proving your worth as well as abilities.