By Ruoro Kairu
I was chatting with a colleague recently. We were talking about interview etiquette. Then, she shared the experience of her first interview.
“I was fresh out of school. I had been applying for jobs every day. At the time, I was volunteering at an events company. I wanted to build my skills and to network with clients.
Then, one evening, I saw an email inviting me to an interview. The following day, I woke up late; I had to rush to the interview.
When I got there, I realized I had forgotten my CV. I couldn’t find a place to print. So I walked into the interview room barehanded.
The interview was only three minutes long. I walked out knowing I hadn’t gotten the job. And I surely didn’t get the position.”
What should you carry to an interview?
I spoke to a recruiting manager and an interview coach here at Corporate Staffing Services. Here is a list of what you should carry, and what you definitely shouldn’t.
What to carry.
1. Several copies of your CV
It goes without saying, if you’re attending an interview you need to have your CV with you.
“Many professionals will just walk into the interview room. When you ask them for their CV, they tell you they had already sent it while applying for the job.” Ms. Ida – Recruitment Officer.
Regardless of sending your CV when applying for the job, you should carry around three copies of your CV. If the interviewer had communicated how many people will be at the interview, carry a copy for each.
Unless in the case of a panel interview, the interviewers are rarely more than three.
2. A folder containing your documents
Carry all the important documents with you.
During an interview, you’re almost certain you’ll be asked to produce your certificates and other credentials. Have these documents with you.
Additionally, they should be arranged –that you can easily get to them upon request.
Today, you also need an Identification Card to get into most buildings. Have your ID with you.
3. Writing material
At an interview, you might be required to take down a few notes. For example, if you’re meeting an interview panel, they might ask you consecutive questions before you’re given a chance to answer. In such a case, you should note down the questions, lest you forget.
However, do not get distracted writing that you forget to listen or be attentive. Only note down the important details.
Pro tip: Carry a few pens in case one doesn’t work, or you the interviewer needs one.
What not to carry
1. Food, drinks, chewing gum…
I once sat in through an interview; the professional was chewing a piece of gum during the interview. At one point, he must have realized it was making the interviewer uncomfortable. He took it out and held it in their hand.
If you’re chewing, get rid of it before walking into the office premises. If you need a drink, settle for water. The same goes for food; if you must, go with a snack.
2. A laptop, your phone, a tablet…
A job seeker once asked, ‘can I take notes on my phone during the interview?’
Obviously, this is a no!
When the interviewer is addressing you and you’re looking at your phone –whether you’re taking notes or not, gives the impression you’re not attentive.
Instead, carry a notebook or a writing pad and a pen.
The exception to this is if you’ll need the laptop during the interview. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and need to showcase your work or you need to design something during the interview, then it’s okay.
Have you been to several interviews without getting the job? Contact us to schedule an interview coaching & preparation session. Give us a call at 0718-610023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org