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things your should bring to your interview

5 Things You Should Bring To Your Interview

When you have a job interview, you want to show up prepared. However, you don’t need to bring so much stuff that you’re overwhelmed! Here are the five essential things you should bring to your next interview.

A Great Attitude

We know it’s cheesy, but if you bring only one thing to an interview – let it be a great attitude! Go into it with an open mind, and it can make all the difference. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you, because it can majorly affect how you perform during the interview. Take this opportunity to present your best self!

Copies Of Your Resume

No matter how many people you are meeting with, it’s always a good idea to bring extra copies of your resume. You never know if someone else might spontaneously join you, or if you’ll end up meeting other members of the team. If you submitted a cover letter or portfolio, bring those as well. The more information you can leave your interviewers with, the better!

Pen & Notebook

Whether or not you want to take notes throughout the interview, it’s still a great idea to have a pen and notebook with you. The interviewer may provide you with essential details you want to jot down, like their email address, a timeline for the next steps, or additional information they would like you to send. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard and have to ask to borrow a pen and paper, or even worse, try to remember off the top of your head later!

A List Of Questions

You should come to the interview armed with a few great questions you can ask. (These are some of our favorites!) Be sure to come up with a couple questions that are specific to the company, team, or position. We also encourage you to come up with some during the interview that reference conversations you’ve had throughout. Take the opportunity to show off your excellent listening skills while simultaneously learning more about the position!

References

No, you shouldn’t have your references listed on your resume. You should, however, have them ready and available at your interview. That way, if the hiring manager asks for them on the spot, you’ll have all of their information on hand. (And of course, you will have already informed them that they may be receiving a call, right?)

Looking for more interview prep tips? Check out our interviewing blog section, or partner with one of our recruiters to find your next position!

A Foolproof Guide To Requesting References During Your Job Search

A Foolproof Guide to References

A Foolproof Guide To Requesting References During Your Job Search

In this day and age, it’s pretty much impossible to get through a hiring process without providing references. And believe it or not, your references can play a critical part in whether you land the job. Following these 4 steps will ensure that you nail the reference portion of your job search.

1. Pick

When choosing who to provide as a reference think about your professional relationships. (No, you cannot use a family member or personal friend!) Pick someone you’ve worked with that can speak to your professional accomplishments AND your personal character.

The ideal reference is someone who worked with you when you were performing a job very similar to what you are applying for. Recent references are also preferred. Companies want to hear about what you’ve been doing as of late, not 10 years ago!

2. Request

Requesting references is best done over the phone, or even in person. I know, I know, it’s awkward and who talks on the phone anymore? But keep in mind that it’s important to nurture these relationships as time goes on and a quick phone call or coffee date allows you to catch up on recent accomplishments and goals. If a phone call or in-person meeting doesn’t seem appropriate, a well-crafted email will do.

Here’s my preferred template:

Hi [FIRST NAME],

I hope all is well! I saw that you were recently [promoted, given award, etc.], congratulations!

I’m reaching out because I am under consideration for a [job title] position at [company], and I’d love to list your name as a reference if you’re comfortable. I thought you could speak to my [key requirement] skills and discuss the [related project] we worked on together.

Please let me know if you’d be willing to serve as a reference and if so, your preferred contact information.

Thank you in advance for your time, and let me know how I can return the favor!

All the best,

[YOUR NAME]

(Adapted from The Muse)

3. Prepare

Once you’ve nailed down a few references (usually three), you need to adequately prepare them. Consider any important details; Is this a private job search? How far along are you in the process? Make sure they have a copy of your resume and the job description. Don’t be afraid to employ the “help me, help you” tactic. Ask them to speak to specific projects or skills that are relevant to this position. If you know approximately when/how they will be contacted, be sure to let them know so they can expect it!

4. Follow-Up

This is an important step that many people overlook! Your references dedicated their time and attention to providing a recommendation, so keep them in the loop during the hiring process. If you landed the job, they will definitely want to share in your excitement. And even if you don’t end up getting the position, you will probably need another reference down the road, so it’s essential to nurture that relationship.

P.S. A pro-tip: You do not need to provide or indicate that you can provide references before they are requested (i.e. on your resume), but DO make sure you are prepared to provide them upon request!