One thing you can do to stand out right away in an interview is to show up prepared. Most people show up to interviews empty-handed. You will appear planful, considerate, and responsible by showing up to an interview with the following things.
A Copy of Your Resume
Most people don’t think to bring their resume because they assume the interviewer already has a copy of it. However, it shows proactivity and thoughtfulness on your part by bringing a couple of extra copies of your resume to the interview. Although the interviewer may have a digital copy, it’s good to have a physical copy to review in person. Also, there may be more than one interviewer in the room, and often times only the primary interviewer has reviewed your resume beforehand. Plus, after you leave, they will have something to remember you by. This will help you stand out among the competition!
A Portfolio of Your Work
Anyone can say that they are good at something, but if you bring your portfolio, the interviewer(s) will have evidence of your great work. If you are a writer, bring recent examples of your best work. If you are a graphic designer, bring some examples of your best designs. If you are in sales, bring the last few months of sales performance. If you are a data analyst, bring a flash drive with some excel worksheets you’ve put together. Work samples will really help you stand out and show off the quality of your work.
A Professional Notepad & Pen
Always show up to a resume ready to take notes. Jot down questions you thought of during the interview. Write down important information that the interviewer shares with you about the position and about the company. This shows that you are an attentive listener, and that you are taking the interview seriously. It’s important to bring a leather notepad or any notepad that looks professional. Leave your Lisa Frank notepad at home.
A List of Questions
Think of questions to ask the interviewer before and during the interview. Ask questions about benefits, company policies, what areas the team has for improvement, etc. Asking questions shows that you have done your research and that you are very serious about the position. It also helps you make sure that it’s a good fit on both sides!
Remember, every detail counts during the interview process! Don’t show up to an interview empty-handed!