We all have been on job interviews at some point our lives. Job interviews tend to make people feel nervous and uneasy. They worry about what to expect, what to wear, what to say, and what they should they take with them. We have all heard the basics of what to take on a job interview, resumes, a pen, and a note-pad, but I will suggest some uncommon things that can leave a good impression on the interviewer.
1. Recommendations – Take a copy of recommendations that you have received on LinkedIn or have a few of your current or former co-workers write you a letter of recommendation. This is sure to leave a good impression especially if what was written about you coincide with your brand or highlight things that may not have been discussed during the interview.
2. Copy of Employee Reviews – Nothing more shows you in a positive manner than a former or current supervisor giving you glowing ratings and remarks on an employee review. Be sure to review the entire document to make sure that there is nothing there that may show you in a negative manner. If there are some things included that show areas that you need to improve omit these areas, and just show the positive things said about you.
3. Samples of Your Work – If you are in a design field then you will need to have a mini portfolio and “leave behinds” to leave the interviewer with something that they can view after the interview is over. If possible take a tablet to show some of your work. Even if you are not in the design area you should still be prepared to show some samples of your work. For example, if you are responsible for conducting workshops or teaching, you could bring a hard copy of your PowerPoint presentation or sample lesson plans.
4. Awards & Recognition – If you received any company related awards or any recognition related to your field of choice, take a few with you. If what you received is big and bulky maybe take a picture of it and add it to your things to show the interviewer.
5. Excellent Prepared Questions – When the interviewer asks if you have any questions this is a good time to turn the interview in your favor. Have some prepared questions ready and written down before you arrive for the interview. The questions can be related to the job or the company. You can ask questions about what the company is looking for in candidates for the position, problems that the company is experiencing related to the position, and about your interview. For example if you ask the questions “Can you tell me about a former or current employee in this position that has performed the job exceptionally”? or “Do you see anything in me based on the interview that would hinder you from moving forward with me”? It gives you a chance to show why you would be perfect for the position, how you would solve a problem for the organization, and gives you a chance to clear up any thing that may be hindering them from moving forward as well as things to change in the next interview.
Don’t arrive to the interview as if you are packing for a move—carrying too much stuff. Be selective about the things you take with you to the interview and only take the things that will highlight you in the most professional manner. If possible, fit all the supplemental things inside of the portfolio folder that you take with you, and if you are taking a tablet bring the carrying bag. These supplemental items can leave a positive lasting impression on the interviewer and can be the thing that sets you apart from other job seekers. For more career related questions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.