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Simple Truths About Getting to the Interview and What to Take With You

Tips From The Pros

Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled interview. Be certain you know the best travel route there, parking, and the time it takes to arrive well before your appointment. This will give you a chance to settle down, groom a final time, and familiarize yourself with the interview site.

Edward Turilli, M.A., CPRW

AccuWriter Resume Service

Obtain name, title, and pronunciation for all interviewers and put on an index card to bring along. Create [an] interview version of your resume (labeled as such) that has information for the job application not on the normal resume: past employers’ full addresses and phone numbers, former supervisors’ names, actual job start and end dates, and start and end salaries. Also, add full address, to and from dates, GPA, and number of courses (or quality points) for any degrees. Pack for the interview (briefcase or folder): extras resumes, references, pens, job posting, note pad, tissues, mints, erasers/Wite Out [correction fluid], application information, certificates of training, licenses, or certifications, and any other items you were asked to bring.

Freddie Cheek, M.S. Ed., CCM, CPRW, CWDP, CARW

Cheek & Associates, LLC

Prepare and have available a list of questions to ask or specific points you can check off as answered during the interview. If salary and benefit packages are going to be addressed, have the necessary documentation prepared as tools for negotiating. Finally and possibly the most important but often overlooked item, is your list of names, titles and area of work for those you will be in contact with and all those who will be sitting in on the interview.

Kris Plantrich, CPRW, CEIP

ResumeWonders Writing and Career Coaching Services

Creating a professional portfolio to take to an interview can set you apart from the competition. A portfolio offers concrete proof of the skills you will be discussing. And, if you typically get nervous, a portfolio gives you something to hold in your hands and takes the focus, at least temporarily, away from your face. A simple professional portfolio is a 1-inch 3-ring binder in a conservative color like black or navy, filled with plastic sheet protectors. Each sheet protector contains a document that shows an example of your skills. Start with your resume, your reference list, and letters of recommendation. After you have the basics, create a section specific to your field of work. For example, if you're a teacher, include your best lesson plans; if you're a bookkeeper, include sample QuickBooks pages; if you're a house painter, include photos of completed jobs. Use your portfolio as a tool throughout the interview. For example, if the interviewer asks you about your ability to write memos, you might show sample memos you have written for current or past employers.

Heather Carson, GCDF, CPRW, JCTC

Second Start

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Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview TipsSimple Truths About Getting to the Interview and What to Take With You - Location, Location, Location, Having What It Takes/taking What You Need, Tips From The Pros