The tools you bring to a job interview reflect the impression you want to leave. Be sure the tools you carry are right for the job you want.
A kindergarten teacher can have portfolio with cute little apples on it. It is not ok for a vice president to carry a portfolio with cute little apples. I don’t care how nice and friendly you want to appear. It just looks goofy.
An advertising or marketing professional can have a more colorful portfolio, maybe something with an attitude.
TA supply chain specialist should carry a more subtle brown or black portfolio reflecting the more serious nature of the job.
An IT person is given a little more leeway than a finance person who should carry more straight laced props.
The writing instrument is another prop that should reflect the position. An executive should have a really nice pen. It doesn’t have to a Montblanc but avoid that golf pencil. A finance person might use a mechanical pencil. A safe bet for everyone is a nice plain ball point pen.
Remember, you are trying to create an impression. Leave the pens from the dentist or the landscape company at home. Skip the pens with the feathers on them or the glow in the dark fairy wand pens. You think I am kidding? I’ve seen it done!
The bottom line is a prepared candidate always brings paper and a writing instrument to a job interview. You want to take notes. In the hustle and bustle of the job interview you might forget something. Taking notes allows you to go back and refresh your memory later when you write thank you notes.
Here are some important documents to bring with you in your portfolio:
- Two or three copies of your resume, printed on nice paper
- The questions you want to ask about the company and the job – typed
- Your typed responses to frequently asked questions so you can prepare immediately prior to the interview. Tuck these sheets in the back so the interviewer cannot see them.