Finding a job can be so difficult. It’s so competitive, and you have to be confident, qualified and experienced to land your dream role.
But there’s so much more involved than that. Someone can be over the top qualified, but if their interview goes badly, then they’re not going to land the role.
Interviews are far more important than you realize. They’re not only to see what qualifications and skills you have, they’re also a way of seeing whether you fit well in the company environment,
too. If you can ace the interview and mesh well with the interviewer, then you’re off to a great start.
So, how do you prepare for an interview, what should you bring, and what should you leave at home? Find out here in our simple guide.
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How To Prepare For An Interview
Preparing for an interview can feel overwhelming and stressful. You may not know what to say, what to do and what not to do. Well, we’re here to help you.
The best way to prepare for an interview is to prepare some answers for the most common questions you’ll be asked.
You will most likely be asked what your strengths are, what the most challenging thing that you’ve overcome is, how you deal with pressure, and a time where you had to work in a team to reach a goal.
You may also be asked to demonstrate how well you can research, meet deadlines and prepare documents or presentations.
You also need to come up with selling points that convey why you are the best candidate for the role. In addition to this, you are going to need to research the company you hope to work for after successfully completing the interview.
This is to show that you’ve done your background research and that you are interested and passionate about the business and what they do.
Finally, you should prepare some questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview to show your interest in the role, and always take documents and a portfolio with you. So, what exactly do you need to bring to an interview?
What To Bring To An Interview
In order to impress the interviewer, there are a few things that you should take with you to an interview to show that you are prepared and organized.
One of the most important things that you will need to take with you are copies of your resume. Keep them in a folder so that they do not crease, and offer one to your interviewer,
even if you have already sent one online or beforehand. This can help them look through your skills and qualifications whilst you speak.
You will also need to take a list of references, even if the interviewer does not ask for them, as this looks professional and shows that you are prepared.
References should be people who can speak about your professional abilities, worth ethic and achievements.
They may be previous employers, mentors, professors, community leaders or those who have run volunteer groups that you’ve been a part of. A reference should not be a friend or a family member.
Pen & Paper
In addition to your resume and references, you will need to bring a pen and paper so that you can take notes. This can show how dedicated you are and how focused you are on the meeting.
You can then follow up with a detailed email after the interview, or prepare questions for the end of the interview if there is anything you wanted to bring up.
You can also bring a piece of paper with your prepared questions on so that you don’t forget or go blank when they ask you if you have any questions.
Depending on what kind of interview you are going to, you may need to take a portfolio with you, neatly packed in a smart bag or briefcase.
This acn hold together all of your professional work and examples of your talent and skills. This is particularly important if you have been a part of a lot of projects, or if you have Photoshop skills, graphic design skills, a writer’s portfolio or other work of a similar nature.
This can give the interviewer all of the information they need and evidence and examples of your abilities. In addition, if presented well and in an organized, neat manner, you can really impress an interviewer.
What Not To Bring To An Interview
So, now you know what to bring to an interview, let’s go over quickly what you should not bring to an interview. One of the most important things is to remember to bring a positive mental attitude.
Bringing a bad attitude into an interview room is a sure fire way of not getting the job. You will also want to avoid bringing any food, drinks, or reading materials as this can make it seem like you’re just passing the time, you’re bored or you don’t want to be there.
We cannot stress this enough, but do not take candy, or chew gum while you are in an interview as this looks very unprofessional.
You should also avoid bringing a smartphone, or just keep it switched off in your pocket, and do not use it or answer it at all during the interview process, and you need your entire focus and attention on demonstrating that you are right for the role.
Finally, do not bring family or friends with you for moral support, as that is not professional or permitted in a workplace.
You need to show that you have the confidence and the skills to work as an independent individual, without the need for family to come and back you up.
To summarize, going to interviews can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming, and you may not be sure what to do.
Interviews are all about presenting yourself as the prime candidate for the role, so always ensure that you are ready, confident, prepared and have everything you need to show the interviewer what you’ve got and the skills, qualifications and experience that will take you far in life.