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How to Prepare for a Job Interview and What to Bring

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Business

Getting a job interview is a difficult task in a job search, and once you’ve got an interview, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But, how do you prepare? What do you bring? What should you keep in the car? The interview process is stressful but these lists will simplify it. All you have to worry about is acing the interview. 

How to Prepare 

Layout of a desk with a notepad
Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash
  • Gather your professional references
  • Create a portfolio
    • Some industries should have a portfolio that represents your work visually. If you are in graphic design, advertising, photography, and other creative-based fields, you should have a portfolio. Even if a job does not require it, share it. Employers want to see that type of initiative. 
  • Questions for the interviewers
    • Although, do not actually bring a list of questions to the interview. Have these memorized but be willing to ask other questions if they come up. General questions to ask can be about expectations or company culture.
  • Practice the common interview questions with a plan of responses
  • Know the name of the interviewer, typically it will be a hiring manager.
  • Understand what type of interview it will be. 
    • If the interview is a phone interview, luckily you do not need to “bring” anything, but still should go in prepared. 
    • If the interview is a group interview, still bring the following items. This indicates organizational skills. 

What to Bring

Two hand shaking
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
  • Professional folder or briefcase
  • Three pens
  • Five copies of your resume
  • Five printed list of references
  • Five extra copies of your cover letter
  • Physical printed portfolio
  • Your business cards 
  • Phone 
    • Bring this incase you need to call someone to get into the building, but ensure it is silenced and not visible to anyone!
  • Photo ID 
    • Bring a driver’s license or government-issued ID because some buildings will have security measures. 
  • The hiring manager and/or interviewers’ contact information such as their work phone number and work email address. 
    • If you end up having an emergency and have to be late, it is proper etiquette to warn them ahead of time. 
  • Fully understand the job description and what all of the tasks entail.
  • Good body language
    • It is great to practice this in the mirror. It will be more difficult the day of because of nerves. 

The last thing to bring is a positive attitude! This will give your potential employer a 

What to Have in The Car

  • Travel directions – 
    • Your first option can be your phone but have a backup. Bring a paper copy of the direction. 
  • Antiperspirant/deodorant
  • Floss
  • Breath mints or gum
    • Make sure to spit out or finish before entering the building for the interview. 
  • Napkins
  • Additional items in case of spills or emergencies: makeup, band-aids, stain stick, phone charger/battery pack, mirror, extra set of clothes, change of shoes, and snacks.

Following the interview, plan on doing a follow-up by sending a thank you note to those who interviewed you. 

For further information on resumes, interviews, internship interview-specific information, and more, read the Scholars blog and listen to The Internship Show.

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.