So you’ve spent countless hours practising your interview answers, nailing your interview outfit and psyching yourself up … only to turn up to your interview empty-handed. Oops.
Let’s clarify one thing: no matter what job you’re going for, you should never turn up empty-handed. Got it?
Now that we’ve straightened that out, let’s go over what to bring to an interview:
- Copies of your CV
- Portfolio of work
- Notepad and pens
- Questions for interviewer
- Contact details
- High energy
What to bring to an interview in the UK
1. Copies of your CV
Always print out 3 copies of your CV: one for you, and one for each of the interviewers (if there are two). Chances are the interviewers will already have your CV to hand, but it’s good to be prepared, right? Save one copy for yourself so you can follow what the interviewers are referring to.
Make sure you carry a form of ID (in the UK, either a passport or driving licence will do) – you might need this to get into the building. The company may also want to offer you a job on the spot (wouldn’t that be nice?!) and take copies of your ID for HR purposes. In this case, it’s also a good idea to take your national insurance number or your proof of right to work in the UK.
Does your job require a certain qualification? If so, it’s a good idea to carry the original certificates with you as the hiring manager may want to take copies!
4. Portfolio of work
In some industries and professions, like Marketing or Design, it can be really useful to showcase some samples of your work. This is a great opportunity for you to impress the employer with your skills. Even if they don’t ask you to bring samples of your work, use your initiative to bring it along anyway – this will set you apart from the competition.
Imagine turning up with several documents in hand only to drop them all as you’re walking into the interview room. The hiring manager’s first impression of you is going to say clumsy and unorganised, right? Don’t make the experience more difficult for yourself than it needs to be. Place all your paperwork neatly into a folder to keep everything in place. It’s these simple steps that put your mind at ease and make the whole process run more smoothly!
6. Notepad and pens
These items are an absolute essential for any interview but many people make the mistake of thinking you can’t take notes into an interview. This is completely false! Don’t be afraid to take in a notepad and use it. Write down any important questions or details about the job in your notes to refer to later.
7. Questions for interviewer
Before your interview, think of a few questions to ask the employer about the role and company. Write these down in your notepad. If you get stage-fright and can’t remember your questions, you can always refer to them from your notepad!
8. Contact details
Have the employer contact details (names, phone number, address) handy before you set off for your interview. You might need them if you get lost and need to ask for directions, or you may need to tell reception who you’re here to see.
You don’t need to include your references on your CV, but just be prepared to provide them in your interview. This prevents the hiring process from being delayed and shows the employer that you’re organised.
Remember to ensure your references aren’t a relation. The most powerful references are from past employers. But if you don’t have one, use a teacher or lecturer from school, college or university who can vouch for your work ethic!
10. High energy
As important as it is to bring the right items to the interview, nothing is more important or powerful than the energy you bring. So remember to bring confidence, a smile and positivity into that interview room.
Preparation is key!
You want the hiring process to move as quickly as possible, so just remember that anything you don’t take could delay the process. You should always attend an interview with at least a few of these items in your bag. Pack them up the night before so you’ve one less thing to worry about in the morning!
If you’ve got an upcoming interview, make sure you don’t miss our post on how to be successful in an interview!