I like to suggest that you take a folder with you when you go in for a job interview.
For me, it can be as simple as a 59-cent folder (black or dark blue, please) that you pick up at Wal-Mart. Maybe get one with a little folder pocket or two to hold some materials you'll need.
If you have more money, get a fancier one if you want -- just have something presentable to use when you go in for your interview.
In this handy folder will be several items that you should always have with you when you go in for a job interview. These include:
1. Clean copies of your job-specific, “targeted” resume.
Bring enough for several people. You may get to meet more than one interviewer.
2. Separate page for your references with all contact data.
This sheet should full contact data for three to five of your references. Be sure and get their permission first to use them as a reference and let them know you are applying for work.
3. Copies – Letters of Recommendation (if available).
These are always nice to have. Great proof sources.
4. Copies – Awards, Honors, Commendations (if available).
5. Completed Basic Job Application for reference.
Even though you have turned in a resume, most businesses will want you to complete their job application form. Having your basic data pre-gathered will make it easier for you to fill this out when requested.
6. Research on the company where you are interviewing.
You want to know some information about the company BEFORE you go in for an interview. Check out their website, Google them, check LinkedIn and you should be ready.
7. Some questions you want to ask them at the interview.
Check yesterday's blog on some questions you may want to ask them. Remember, at the end of the interview they will ask: "Do you have any questions?" And you want to be prepared.
8. Notepaper and extra pen.
For taking notes and filling out forms if necessary.
9. Directions and time line to get to the interview on time.
Know how to get to their office and understand how long it will take.
10. Your networking business card.
Makes a nice impression when you hand them one of these. (More on this tomorrow.)
Take this folder with you and you'll have everything you need at your fingertips to make a good impression.