No matter how tailor made a role may seem for your specific skills and experience, or how confident you may be in your abilities, showcasing that prowess in the confines of an interview can be an anxiety inducing process.
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how great you would be at the job if you can’t communicate that to your potential employer. You’ve presumably spent your academic career preparing for a role like this. What you should be doing in the days before your interview is preparing for the interview itself.
“It doesn’t matter how great you would be…if you can’t communicate that to your potential employer.”
Including the following items in your interview arsenal can make the most of the few minutes you have to make a killer first impression and get your foot in the door.
1. Notepad & Pen
I actually read this tip about how to exude an air of efficiency and productivity while in the office, and the concept easily translates to interviews as well. Pull it out as soon as you walk into the room and set the tone for the rest of the interview.
2. Resume Copies
Because obviously. You’d be surprised how often this is forgotten though. Take the time to print out multiple copies of your resume in case you end up in a panel interview as opposed to the one on one. Don’t just assume they will have printed out your resume ahead of your arrival.
If you’re hitting the pavement downtown or braving the public transportation to get to an interview, than comfortable shoes are going to be your best friend, especially if a delay has you running late. Just throw a pair of pumps in your satchel to change into before walking in.
4. Compact Mirror
You may not have an opportunity to duck into a bathroom to do a last minute check before your interview. A compact mirror can help you tame fly aways and touch up lipstick to be at your best when you walk into the room.
5. iPad or Tablet
If you have any previous projects or accomplishments that can be showcased with visual media, do it! It’ll set you apart from a probably endless parade of suits and paper, and wake your interviewers up enough to take notice of your now proven abilities.
6. Business Cards
I actually think you should have a business card everywhere you go. The supermarket, the gym – never be caught without an opportunity to leave a tangible presence with everyone you meet!
7. A Little Research
Do some research on the company and include it on a cheat sheet. Add a few questions, so that when you get the usually conclusive “So did you have any questions for us?”, you can stand out with a prepared response. “Actually, I did have a few questions about the company/role that I was hoping we could discuss. Would you mind?” Showcasing a concerted effort to learn more about the company or the position can definitely help you stand out among the masses.
Being well-prepared shows, and can help you focus on what matters in that moment: communicating your aptitude and rising above the fold. And when you’re well prepared, that confidence will almost certainly be seen in your performance.