Executive Resumes & Career Transition Strategies Blog

Reflections of an Executive Resume Writer
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What Should I Bring to the Executive-Level Job Interview?

keyboard and handshakehs3All of your hard work and persistence, a dynamite executive resume, and a successful phone screening have won you that coveted in-person interview with your target company.

The next question becomes: What do I bring to the interview? The last thing you want to do is be flailing around the morning of the interview, tossing things into your handbag or briefcase.

You’ll obviously want to have your executive resume with you, so that you can refer to it and in case your interviewer(s) do not already have a copy. But there are a number of other items you will want to consider bringing along with you. I’ve compiled a checklist below.

 

MUST-HAVE THINGS TO BRING TO THE INTERVIEW:

  • Your executive resume… at least 8-10 copies in case of panel interview, including one for you to refer to
  • and 3-5 copies of: your executive bio (if you have one) the cover letter you submitted your references

NICE TO HAVE:

A portfolio with any you may have of the following:

  • letters of recommendation
  • articles you’ve written
  • internal/external press clippings
  • awards you’ve received
  • letters of appreciation from bosses, clients, colleagues, etc.
  • customer satisfaction surveys
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • white papers
  • project summaries or list
  • other examples of your work

Note: If any or all of these things are not practical to print, consider bringing your iPad or a small laptop with them queued up and ready to display.

OVER-THE-TOP NICE:
A strategic plan you’ve prepared for the first 90 days on the job, based on what you perceive and they have stated are action areas.

PLEASE NOTE: It is important not to drop all of the documentation you bring on the interviewer(s) at once. Just have them at the ready until asked for or if the time seems appropriate.

FOR YOUR OWN REFERENCE OR USE (if applicable):

  • Name, title of the person you are to ask for upon arrival for the interview
  • A copy of any application you already filled out
    or
  • A fact sheet for filling out HR paperwork. This document should list the names, addresses, telephone numbers and work dates for each job you’ve held. Also dates of your degrees, certifications, etc. For simplicity, you could just jot these down on your existing resume.
  • A list of questions you would like to ask your interviewers–You will be expected to have some questions for them.
  • Copy of the job description
  • Something small to eat (like a protein bar), in case of extended interview wait time or time between interviews
  • Bottled water
  • Cough drops, tissues, hand sanitizer, breath mints
  • Notepad and at least two pens (Examples of info to jot down: names of all interviewers, and if possible their email addresses so you can send thank-you notes afterward; additional questions you have; new info they provide about the role, benefits, etc.)

Place all of the above items into a folder with closure or a small briefcase/messenger bag/business tote. For women: Unless you are going to use just a folder, it looks most professional to be carrying only one item. If you are bringing a briefcase or tote, make sure your handbag can fit inside of it. If you must carry it separately, make sure the handbag is a small one.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:

It’s a good idea to be in the reception area about 10 to a maximum of 15 minutes before the scheduled time. If you’re there earlier than that, wait elsewhere until that time (the building lobby, a coffee shop), so as not to throw a curveball into anyone’s schedule, creating stress.

And don’t forget to turn off or mute your cell phone!

FOR AFTER THE INTERVIEW:   (in case you are offered the job on the spot or asked to complete an application)

  • social security card
  • driver’s license and/or passport

PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL:
Bring a SMILE and positive attitude, confidence, and visible passion for what you do!

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