Everything you need to bring to a job interview

Hey, everybody, Don Georgevich here with Job Interview Tools. Today, I want to talk to you about what you should bring to a job interview; whether this is your first interview ever or whether this is just your first interview in a while. I want to walk you through a few things to bring and not bring.

So, if you’re interested in knowing more about that, go ahead and let me know by hitting the “Like” button on this video. Subscribe to my channel and ring the bell.

So, let’s dive right in. First thing you should always bring that I like to bring is some water. I like to have water around because I get thirsty, my throat gets dry, especially when I’m in nervous situations like a job interview.

Now, usually, they will offer you some water or something to drink while you’re in the conference room with them during the interview. But sometimes, well, they forget or sometimes they’re just not very hospitable and they just don’t think of it.

And I like to have my own water around because when I’m talking, I’m in the interview, my throat gets dry. And even during these videos, my throat will get dry, I’ll take a break and I’ll have a sip of water that you can’t see me doing. But in the interview, you’re going to want something to whet your throat.

Now, I recommend that you bring water. And this is not a commercial for {indistinct 1:15}, though they should pay me for this. But I recommend water over coffee. Because I think when you’re walking in there with a cup of Starbucks and you’re drinking your coffee, it makes it look like you have this caffeine dependency.

And maybe you do. I mean, I like coffee, too, but I just don’t think that bringing coffee into a job interview sets the right tone. I think bringing in water is just fresher. It’s more pure, it’s more clean; it makes you look a little bit more alive than coffee. Just my opinion. But that’s what I would do. Avoid the coffee; drink the coffee before the interview and then bring the water in.

Next thing to bring is a notepad; but don’t bring a laptop. And I get this; people ask me this all the time. They’re like, “Don, should I bring my notepad or my laptop, my notebook into a job interview?” I’m like, “No. I mean, this is not a meeting where you’re going to be sitting there and taking notes on a keyboard. This is a conversation that you’re having. This is a job interview. You’re in there to show them what you can do for them. Sitting there and typing on your notebook isn’t going to convey that kind of message to them. But you do want to have a notepad; a notepad and a pen and you want to take notes.

And people ask me, like, “What kind of notes should I be taking?” Well, don’t just take notes for the sake of taking notes. What you want to do is write things down. I mean, as you’re having a conversation with the interviewer and as they say things, maybe they’re talking and while they’re talking, a question pops in your head, but you don’t want to interrupt them. So, you write that down, so you can circle back to that.

That’s the whole point of bringing the notepad, so you can take some notes on what they say about the project that you’re going to be working on, the teams you’re going to be working with. Or maybe they talk about salary and benefits. You can write some of those things down and put a little asterisk by them for certain ones that you want to circle back around later. That’s the whole point of bringing a notepad to write with.

Now, another thing with the notepad. When I go into an interview, I’ll have my notepad. In addition to having room to write some things down, I will also have questions that I want to ask them. So, I’ll have certain questions about the position, the type of work that I’ll be doing; whatever it is. It doesn’t really matter. It’s what’s important to you.

And it’s you’re writing down questions for answers that you want to get. And these will just be your little notes to yourself that you ask the employer while they’re going through the interview.

Now, another thing that I like to make sure I have in my notepad are my closing arguments for the interview. Because at the end of the interview, they’re going to come to me and be like, “Hey, Don, do you have any questions for us?” Well, that’s where I’m going to look down at my notepad and I’m going to say, “Well, I do have some questions for you. And here are my questions.”

And that’s another thing; everybody always wants to know what questions should I be asking in the interview. Ask them questions that help you decide if you want to work there. I mean, that’s a completely different video. And I have another video on that topic. But just very quickly, ask them questions that are going to help you decide whether this is a job that you even want to take or not. Simple enough? Alright, let’s move on.

Next thing you want to bring to your interview; extra resumes. Because you might be sitting in a room with four or five people and maybe only two of them have your resumé. And so, the first thing they’re going to say is, “Hey, do you have any extra resumés? You’d be like, “Oh, yeah. Here you go.”

Now, if you don’t have any, well then you look unprepared. And you don’t want to look unprepared in a job interview.

Another reason for having extra resumé is let’s say you’ve got your resumé and the copy that they have, that they downloaded maybe two months ago, well, maybe something’s changed on it and it’s different now.

So, a common question an interviewer is going to ask you in an interview is, “Do you have an updated copy of your resumé?”

And if you do, boom, you can give them a fresh copy. And don’t worry about if you made some changes to it. And a lot of people ask me, like, “Well, Don, you know, I made a whole bunch of changes in my resumé. Should I let them have the old copy? Should have let them have the new copy?”

Always give them the new copy; give them the freshest, best, latest copy of your resumé that you have. Alright, let’s move on.

Next one here; portfolio. Should you bring in a portfolio of your work? That depends. It depends on what kind of work that you do. I mean, let’s say you’re a photographer and you’re going in to interview for photography position where you’re shooting magazine ads or whatever.

Yeah, I would say having a portfolio of a lot of the artwork that I have done would be beneficial in the interview.

Now, when I get in there, I’m not just going to say, “Here you go, Mr. Employer. Here’s my artwork.” I’m going to wait and I’m going to bring it up in conversation where they might ask me about the type of work that I do and I’ll tell them. And then they might say, “Hey, Don, do you have any samples of your work?” And I’ll say, “Yes, I do. Let me pull them out for you. I want to make sure you have multiple copies. So, pass them around so people can take a look.”

So, that’s a good example of bringing in a portfolio. Now, for example, my background is actually in information technology. So, it’s working on servers and networking and stuff like that. So, I don’t really have a portfolio of my work because my work is all hands on or it’s intellectual work. So, there’s nothing tangible there that I can show them. I have to convey that through my message when I talk to them so they can visualize what I’m talking about. So, I don’t really have anything visual. So, in my case, portfolio doesn’t really buy me anything.

Now, maybe let’s say you are a financial adviser or an accountant. Maybe you want to bring in a portfolio of some of your work; maybe some Excel spreadsheets that you’ve done, or some graphs where you’ve made some predictions. I don’t know.

So, it really depends; if you have a way to allow people to visualize your work, then bring in a portfolio and show them. If you don’t, don’t worry about it, because most of the time, nobody’s even going to ask, “Can you show us portfolio work?” All right, let’s move on.

Next one here; presentation. A lot of times people will have an idea of how they want to present something to an employer. And they’re like, “Hey, Don, can I bring in a PowerPoint presentation and show them?” I’m like, “Probably not. Usually not.”

I mean, because walking into a job interview and saying, “Hey, I’ve got this great PowerPoint presentation that I want to show you.” It just doesn’t really go over well. You’re not there to give them a boardroom-style presentation and walk them through a bunch of bullet points on a whiteboard or screen or PowerPoint or whatever. That’s just not point.

Now, on the other hand, I’ve heard before where certain interviewers will request the candidate come in and make a presentation.

Now, the point of the presentation is to evaluate their presentation and communication skills. That’s another story. If they ask you to come in with the presentation, then whip up a 5- 10-minute presentation and you do it that way.

Now, another option. Let’s say this is your second or third interview and you already have a good idea of what the employer is looking for. So, you’ve got some great ideas about this. So, maybe you craft up your own PowerPoint that shows them how they can get from point A to point B to point C or how it solves the problem.

So, then when you go back for your third interview and you’re talking to them, you can volunteer and say, “I’ve got a really good idea for you guys about how to solve this problem that you’ve had in your manufacturing processes. Do you mind if I take a few minutes and show it to you?” They’re going to be like, “Yes, please. Please show us that.”

And then you’re like, “Okay, do you mind if I step up to the whiteboard there or do you mind if I plug in my laptop and show you this?” They’ll be like, “Yeah, go ahead.”

So, you want to get their permission if you want to show a presenter. Don’t just say, “Hey, I’ve got this presentation. I want to show it to you.”

You ask them for permission, but you lead up to it; you build up to it and say, “Hey, I’ve got an idea for how I can solve one of your problems. Do you mind if I share it with you?” They’ll go, “Yeah.” Bam, whip out your presentation. Alright? So, good? Let’s move on.

Another thing you can bring to a job interview are certificates. So, let’s say that you have some certificates that show that you have completed certain types of coursework or certification programs. I mean, let’s say you have a SalesForce certification program certificate or maybe you have a CPA certificate or maybe, like in the tech world, you have a Microsoft Certified Engineering certificate.

A lot of people asking if it’s okay to bring those. And I say, “Yes, definitely bring them. I used to bring mine, but I’ll be honest with you, nobody ever asked to see my training certificate.

So, I had them just in case they challenged me on certification programs that I said I went through and that I graduated from. So, I had these certificates in my portfolio ready to give them. But I didn’t throw them at them. I waited until they asked and they never asked.

So, you can bring them and have them around and they’ll just help you validate the type of work and a certification program that you’ve already been through.

Another thing you can bring is a copy of your references. Now, usually they’re not going to ask for those in the first interview. They might. But if they’re getting close to making you an offer, they’ll probably ask for them in the second or third round of interviews. And that’s where you want to have a copy of them ready to go.

Now, I don’t suggest offering your references and a lot of people do this at the close of the interview. They’re like, “Well, here you go, Mr. Employer, with a copy of my references.”

Don’t push your references on them. Make them come to you, make them ask. And when they ask, that shows that they are interested in you, that shows that they’re thinking about hiring you, that they might come to a point where they decide to make you an offer and they’ll already have your references laying around so that they can give those people a call who can just say wonderful things about you and just validate everything that you’ve ever done. Alright?

Now, the last thing. You want to bring to your interview is your preparedness. You want to be prepared for the type of questions that they’re going to ask you. They’re usually going to ask you experience-related questions, behavioral questions, “Tell me about a time when you did __________ and how did you do that?”

And you don’t want this to be the first time that you’ve ever thought about answering those questions.

This is how you prepare for your interview. You spent a lot of time before the interview thinking about what kind of questions that they’re going to ask you.

Now, you can get a lot of ideas from the job description. Carefully just go through that job description line by line by line and try to get a good idea of what you think they’re looking for. And then think about the questions that they might ask you based on what they’re looking for.

Now, to help you out with this, I’ve got a great little tool that’s going to do it. It’s called The Complete Interview Answer Guide. This book has over about 130 different questions in it. And they come in all kinds of different forms; I have an audio, I haven’t seen video, and I have them in PDF book and I also have them in this hardcopy. You can get this hard copy book from jobinterviewtools.com. I’ll put a link for that below.

But this book is going to teach you how to answer questions like, “Tell me about yourself”, “Why should I hire you?” “Why do you want to work here?” “What are your weaknesses?” It’s going to cover all those, in detail, that’s going to help you. It’s going to help you get prepared for your interview.

Now, to go one step beyond this book, get yourself a camera (and I’m sure you have a camera) and get in front of it and practice answering those questions. And look at that camera like that it’s the person in the interview. You can even print off a picture of a person, of some business people in suits and put it right by your camera. And look at that camera and answer questions that you anticipate getting.

And this is going to give you an opportunity to polish your answers before you go into the interview. So, it won’t be like the first time. And then you go back and you watch that video and you see what you look like.

And if you’re kind of looking at the camera and you’re going, “Well….”, then you want to get that fixed before you go into the interview. So, you look polished, you look professional, you look, you look like it’s not your first interview ever. Alright, does that make sense?

So, that’s all I have for you today. Good luck on your first interview. And if there’s anything else you need, head on over to jobinterviewtools.com. And I will see you the next video. Bye now.

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