So you’re a fresh graduate stepping into the workforce for the very first time and you’ve managed to bag yourself an interview — congratulations! You are ready to take on the world, one job interview at a time!
While interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, it’s all about being prepared — the more prepared you are, the more flawless the execution!
To help you better prepare yourself, we’ve curated a list of 7 items you should bring to your very first job interview.
#1. Official academic transcripts and certificates
Whether you’re going for your very first or twelfth interview, companies may want to have a look at your official academic transcripts, certificates and supporting documents (e.g. awards, co-curricular certificates). This is to ensure that you have the relevant qualifications for the job you are applying to.
Documents you should bring along include:
- Official SPM results and transcript
- Official pre-university transcript and certificate
- Official university transcript
- Official degree certification
Additionally, your co-curricular certificates and awards may also help you secure the job — it reinforces some of the skills you have reiterated to your interviewer, such as leadership and being a team-player.
#2. Your resume
Even though you would have already enclosed a copy of your resume during your job application, it pays to bring 1-2 copies to the interview.
Depending on the company you are interviewing with, you may go through the interview process with more than one person. Not every interviewer will have a copy of your resume on hand, so it doesn’t hurt to have spare copies for your interviewers’ convenience.
#3. Your portfolio
If you graduated from the creative fields such as design, advertising, journalism, architecture or video production, you may be required to showcase some of your abilities and talents to your potential employers.
While it’s true that you lack professional work experience, university assignments and projects can also serve as testament to your budding skills. So bring along samples of your work that you can present to your interviewers.
You should also offer to send your full portfolio via email or cloud (e.g. Google Drive or Dropbox) immediately after the interview. Alternatively, you could print out your work and present it in a folder during the interview or save your best work onto a pendrive (especially if you have large files) and offer it to your interviewers on the spot.
#4. Your identification card (IC)
Double check if you have this with you before you leave the house. Although you should be carrying your IC with you at all times, there is still a possibility leaving this behind if you decide to take a different bag to your interview.
You will need your IC as you may be required to register at the building lobby or provide proof of identity. You don’t want to fail an interview just because you never made it through the front door!
#5. Passport-sized photos
There are some instances where the company is already keen on hiring you (yes, it’s possible!), and the interview process is only a formality. So you may want to carry several copies of your passport-sized photos in case you are offered the job on the spot and require it for HR purposes.
Usually the company will let you know if this is needed — but it doesn’t hurt to bring them along anyway.
#6. A notebook and a pen
Going into an interview prepared with these items may impress your interviewer.
While you may only need the pen to fill out employee detail forms, having a notebook and a pen ready in front of you during the interview shows that you are prepared to take notes should the need arise. This shows that you are detail-oriented and that you are really interested in the job.
#7. Breath mints or gum
Your hygiene is just as important as your physical outlook. What good is there if you’re dressed to the nines but your breath smells like literal death?
Chew on a stick of gum or pop in a breath mint 10 minutes before your interview, but remember to properly dispose of it before meeting your interviewer!
And there you have it — everything you need to bring to your very first job interview! Bear in mind that you are one amongst thousands of candidates applying for vacancies in this very competitive market, so you’ll need to have what it takes to stand out from the rest. To ensure this, you can also stay prepared by being aware of the most common job interview questions and how you can best answer them.
We wish you all the best in your job hunt!