As uncertain times become more certain and the economy slowly opens up, in-person job interviews will become more common for communication and public relations professionals. If you’re in the job market or considering a role change soon, you could be asked to attend an in-person job interview sooner rather than later.
When it comes to job interviews, it’s not just what you know that matters, but what you bring too!
As you prepare for upcoming interviews, think about what you’ll actually bring with you. Having your gear ready in advance can help to get you in the right mindset, hopefully boosting the success of your interviews.
8 things that communication professionals should bring to an in-person job interview:
- A notebook and pen: I’ve listed these first on purpose because I think they’re the most important things to bring to an interview. They can signal to the interviewer that you’re engaged and interested. Show the interviewer that you take what they say seriously and jot down keywords as the role or company is discussed. If you’re asked a complex question, jot down a note or two before you answer so that you don’t forget important points or anecdotes, while also demonstrating that you’re considerate and thoughtful.
- Copies of your resume: Even if you’re planning to meet with one person, bring five extra hardcopies of your resume with you. If your interview goes well, the interviewer might ask colleagues, managers or vice-presidents to meet with you. Having resumes handy to show them could work in your favour.
- Your portfolio: A portfolio is traditionally a slim binder that contains copies of your excellent writing samples, presentations, project management tools, media clips and/or graphic design work. Or, consider bringing an iPad or tablet with electronic versions of your work samples saved to it, so the interviewer can swipe through them. Read more about digital portfolios in this Pencil Skirts & Punctuation blog post.
- A copy of the role description: Cue that you’ve studied and maybe even made notes on a copy of the role description to show that you’re eager about the position.
- Notes, research and questions: Show off your knowledge about the interviewer, role and/or company by referring to your notes when you ask questions or have a dialogue. If you’ve done research in advance of your interview, bring the results with you. And, if you create questions to ask during the interview, bring them too. Get some inspiration for questions here.
- A laptop: If you progress to the later stages of the interview process, some hiring managers might ask you to complete an in-person writing test. This could be a news release, summary of a news story, or short communication strategy or plan. Ask in advance to find out if a laptop would be provided or if you need to bring your own.
- A professional outfit: Start with a neutral suit, then add unique pieces to express your personality. Find more tips here.
- Makeup for touch-ups: Always take a moment for a quick glance in the mirror before heading into an office building (or other venue) for an interview. Straighten up outside or in the car, where an interviewer won’t be able to do see you do it! If you wear makeup, bring some essentials with you in case touch-ups are required. Have a brush or comb with you too.
Can you think of any items that I’ve missed? Please share them in the comments.
Image credit: Pexels.com.