Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

Documents to Take to an Interview

I’d have to believe that every job seeker knows he/she should take a copy of his/her resume, a list of references, and something to write with/on to an interview. However, I’d suggest that there are 6 other documents you should also take.

  1. Your Business Card – Offer one at either the start or end of the interview. Not only is it a professional thing to do, it is also an unobtrusive way to get the interviewer’s business card which likely has his/her phone number and email address for you to use for follow-up purposes. Besides, if one is not offered back to you, that can be a revealing non-act.
  2.  The Job Description – This confirms for the interviewer that you are focused on the interviewer’s job (not using a “shot-gun” approach to your job search). It also will refresh in your mind what the job is about. It is also a convenient place to write your questions about the job.
  3. A List of Your Questions – You need to ask questions, too. You need to make sure you understand the job (and your potential boss) and whether you really want it. Come with a list. Don’t ad lib. If you do, your hesitation when asked will give the impression that you are either not a well-prepared person and/or you are apathetic. 
  4. Your T-Letter – (This presumes you are interviewing for a job you found posted somewhere. If you don’t know what a T-Letter is, see my post on “The Document that is More Important than Your Resume.) The interview is primarily for the interviewer to determine if you are “qualified” for the job. Well, you already told them in your T-Letter when you originally sent in your resume. Bring your T-Letter to the interview to remind yourself why you are “qualified” and to help you verbalize why.
  5. Examples of Your Work – (Sometimes called a “Portfolio”. Even a prop is effective.) Being able to verbally communicate your capabilities, skills, and experience is important, but so is providing a “show and tell.” Additionally, it’s not uncommon for a job seeker to feel anxiety during an interview, merely talking about him/herself. One way to overcome that anxiety it is to talk about materials / objects. That way, you’re explaining your work, not explaining yourself and you’ll likely come across more confident and knowledgeable.
  6. Your Last Pay Statement – After an offer is extended, negotiated, and an agreement reached, it is common that the offer is contingent upon a background check, contacting references, and/or confirmation of your past compensation. If your past compensation is an issue, pull out your last pay statement to confirm it and get that contingency removed. (Do not pull it out, until after an offer has been made and an agreement has been reached on future compensation.)

I hope you find this list helpful.


March 24, 2010 - Posted by | Interviewing

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting this list, Jim. I’d add that reading (and memorizing!) the info in your book about answering application and interview questions is great prep. I completed an application recently for a position that came via my network. The app included questions about my prior salaries. I pulled out your book, found the answer, and entered one of the options. Thanks!

    Comment by Sherri Henkin | March 25, 2010 | Reply

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