You can improve your performance at a job interview if you prepare a job interview folder to carry with you to each interview. Buy a number of file folders or document envelopes and create an “interview dossier” you take to every job interview. Some of the items are the same for each interview; some are customized for a particular employer and position.
Put into the folder:
- Five to ten copies of your resume to take to the interview and leave behind.
- A printed list of your references to leave behind.
- Any letters of reference from employers or professors, with copies to leave behind.
- Your current company literature, job description, and organization chart.
- Your personal compensation history, for referral only.
- Any written performance appraisals you have permission to share.
- Any memos or letters that confirm awards or achievements.
- An official college transcript if you are a recent graduate.
- Your company fact file with your research notes on this company and the cover letter you sent this company.
- The questions you want to ask this prospective employer at the end of the interview.
- An interview answer cheat sheet you can review while waiting for the interview to begin, or can discreetly refer doing during the interview.
- An interview evaluation and comment form that you fill out right after the interview.
- If appropriate and relevant, a portfolio of your writing or other work that demonstrates your knowledge and competence.
- A note reminding yourself how you fit the position description for which you are interviewing.
Put this material into your portfolio or briefcase so that it is easily accessed in the waiting room and in the interview room.