BY CYNTRA BROWN
How we all brand ourselves and stand out among the crowd.
Interview accessories are important to your interview success. And we’re talking about more than a great tie or lucky pair of earrings.
Listed in MY order of importance, are items that can help put you ahead of your competition.
Directions & Contact Info
Regardless of how great technology is you should print directions of where you’re going. It’s also wise to write down the contact info of whom you’re interviewing with, just in case you need to contact them if you’re running late due to unforeseen circumstances.
A Silent Cellphone
Please TURN OFF your phone.
I know this is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. But a ringing cellphone (especially one with a unprofessional ringtone, but even on vibrate) can kill the mood of an interview. Tell your parents you will call them after it’s over. Trust me, the world will still go on if you don’t immediately reply to Bae’s kissy-face emoji.
Having extra copies of your resume is essential, especially if it has been recently updated. Also, there might be extra interviewers in the room, and you’ll want everyone to have a copy to reference.
When you print these resumes, print them on resume paper, or a nicer cardstock that will help you stand out among others who are up for your position.
Notepad & Pen
Always be prepared. You’ll need paper and pen to take notes during the interview. Make sure your notepad IS a notepad and looks presentable; no loose sheets of paper, drawing pads and most certainty NOT your PHONE.
If you’re applying for an internship/job where they prefer work samples, put together a brief portfolio of your BEST work. You should encase your work in a professional binder, and not just jumbled together in your hand or a manila envelope.
- Make sure your first and last piece are your strongest work, just in case your portfolio remains open during the rest of the interview.
- I like when candidates use the portfolio as a leave-behind with the interviewer. I think it’s a nice touch, and a great way for the interview to have time to look over your skills.
You should still use a nice presentation holder, and not those clear sleeves with the colored plastic that you slide over everything (we’re not in elementary school anymore)
Just like that statement necklace or snazzy bowtie is going to help a potential employer remember you, so will a business card. And that card will make more of a statement than any neckwear you’ll swipe your card for.
Have a business card helps the employer remember you, and give them easy access to your information if they need to contact you in the future. It also lets them know you’re serious about the interview, networking, and your current job search.
Give yourself plenty of time if you’re considering having business cards. It might take a while to get them printed and shipped to you.
Also, don’t buy business card paper and glue computer printed designs on top of them (Believe it or not, I’ve seen them). There are too many cost-efficient and speedy options other there that doesn’t require you to cut corners!
You should always come with questions. Whether it’s about the company, the position or the work environment, you should be curious or want more clarity on SOMETHING.
Although the generic “what is your dress code?” a valid question, employers are more impressed when they can tell you’ve took time to research their company and job descriptions, and are genuinely interested in their success.
Consider questions like:
- What skills/qualities would make an ideal candidate?
- What’s the most enjoyable part about your job?
- What does a typical day look like?
- What are the biggest challenges someone in this position would face?
- Will there be training/how will I be trained?
- What are some of the current and future goals for your company?
- What is the office culture like?
Giving yourself a head start with these accessories can help you have the confidence to land the job/internship you’ve always wanted.