While doing background research, practicing interview questions and staying up to date on an industry’s current events, are all great ways to prepare for an interview, grads also need to look the part as well to effectively showcase their professional skills. These items will help them put their best foot forward:
Grads can never go wrong with a classic suit, a pressed white dress shirt, shined shoes and simple accessories when it’s time for the in-person interview. Unsure of the office dress code? Err on the side of caution and always dress more business professional than business casual.
It might be hard to part with after lugging it around campus for four years, but young professionals need to shed the backpack and pick up a professional briefcase or bag to show they’re ready for the working world. Whether it’s a cross body or messenger bag, leather or canvas, it should be structured and easy for grads to access the contents quickly.
Applications and resume submissions tend to be electronic these days, but it’s always a good idea for candidates to bring at least two or three paper copies of their resume to the interview. To ensure the pages don’t get bent and sloppy-looking protect them in a portfolio or folder.
It may seem obvious, but many grads don’t think to bring note-taking supplies into the interview, and asking the interviewer for a sheet of paper and a pen will likely fail to impress. Instead, bring a small, neat notebook along with an easily-accessible pen to jot down details and any questions that may arise.
Nerves can get the most of any candidate heading into an interview, and a little pre-planning can help them stave off a major disaster. Creating a kit with Band-aids for blisters, a sewing kit for emergency repairs or button fixes, and a portable stain removing pen can allow grads to relax and focus on the task at hand—getting the job!
If grads feel that they must bring their phone into the interview in case of emergency or need it for navigation to find the address, make sure to turn it off before even entering the building—not on silent, turn it off. Employers often have their fellow employees observing a potential candidate’s behavior in the elevator, in the lobby, etc. and grads want to make sure they’re putting their best foot forward at all times.
From having the right wardrobe options to presenting their resume in a professional format, here are six things every grad should have in their job interview preparation kit.