Here are five things you must bring to every job interview:
1. Extra Resumes
Bring a handful of printed resumes with you to the interview.
2. Notepad, pen, padfolio
Tuck your extra resumes into a leather or vegan leather padfolio that includes a place to hold papers, a notepad and a place to hold a pen. Bring your favorite pen with you for good luck. Slip an empty notepad into the padfolio.
3. Well-informed questions
You will develop smart and useful questions to ask the interviewer(s) by researching the company you’re going to interview with. Read their website and the LinkedIn profiles of their leaders — especially the leader who will be your boss if you take the job. Google search the company name to learn about what’s happening in their industry.
Write your questions on the notepad tucked into your padfolio so you can easily refer to them during the interview. It’s okay to take notes while your interviewer is talking, too! Just be sure to lift your head out of your notes often to make eye contact.
4. A Pain Hypothesis
A Pain Hypothesis is an educated guess about the principal reason the company is willing to spend money right now to hire someone. “The former employee left” is not a Pain Hypothesis because it doesn’t get to the real pain behind the job opening.
People quit their jobs everyday, but their companies don’t always replace them. What is the real pain? What would go wrong — and cost the company money — if the right person doesn’t get hired into this job fairly soon?
5. Your Stories
Prepare your stories before the interview. First, remember a story to fit each of these categories, and tell yourself the whole story in your mind, to the end. There’s nothing worse than beginning a story at a job interview and realizing with horror that the story ends in an embarrassing or less-than-seemly fashion.
Here are story prompts to guide you:
- Prepare one story about a time when you saved the day.
- Prepare a story about a time when you learned from a mistake.
- Prepare a story about a time when you had to act without a manager’s guidance.
- Prepare a story about a time when you had to deal with a difficult person.
- Prepare a story about a time when you had to turn on a dime and change plans.
- Prepare a story about a time when you worked on a team.
- Prepare a story about a time when you took the initiative.
Your powerful stories can come from a previous job, but they can also come from school, your place of worship, a volunteering assignment or your life with your friends and family.
By the time you reclaim your stories, your mojo will be sky-high!
Don’t forget to print out directions to the interview location in case you lose your phone connection on the way. Make sure you know the name and contact details for the contact person you’re supposed to ask for when you arrive at the interview.
Have a great time at your interview. We are rooting for you!
All the best