So you’ve earned the opportunity to interview for an M&E position, and you’re inching closer to landing the job. Congratulations!
But how do you know what to bring to a job interview? You’ve likely prepared so many materials during your job search that it’s hard to know what to take and what to leave behind.
Fortunately, this guide goes over everything you need.
Let’s dive in!
1. Copies of your M&E resume and cover letter #
We know what you’re thinking: You’ve submitted your monitoring and evaluation resume multiple times at this point. Why bring extra copies?
It’s true that interviewers and hiring managers already have your resume. Most will have it in front of them as they interview you. But you may encounter situations where you need extras.
For example, the interviewer might ask you about specific details in the resume. Unless you have this document fully memorized, it pays to have a copy for yourself to reference.
Another example is meeting others on the team. During the interview, you might get an introduction to high-level executives, managers, and other important people who might have a say in getting hired. In that case, it might be handy to have resumes to hand out!
Read Also: Monitoring And Evaluation Specialist Resume
2. Your references #
Your interviewer may or may not ask for a reference list. Contrary to popular belief, making this request is not an indication of your chances of getting a job offer. It all depends on how the hiring manager operates.
Some make it a requirement and will give you plenty of notice to include a source of references on your list of what to bring to the interview. Others won’t ask for one at any point, and some will only request it at the end of your interview. You never know when you’ll get asked for references, so you should always bring this list to the interview to be safe.
A reference list includes the names and contact information of people who can vouch for your skills and qualifications. That could include former colleagues, old managers, community leaders, etc. Don’t put family and friends. Most hiring managers will not contact them, anyways.
It’s common courtesy to ask people if it’s alright to include them before crafting your list. Hiring managers may call these individuals to learn more about you and your past. It’s a form of due diligence.
Compile a list of people who can give you glowing reviews. Provide their names, organizations, departments, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses on your reference list. It’s also a good idea to write a small blurb about how you know them and why they’re on the list.
Then, make sure you take a few copies to the interview. You’ll have it ready when or if the interviewer asks to see it!
3. Your portfolio or creative samples, if the job position calls for it #
Depending on the kind of job you’re after in the monitoring and evaluation industry, it might be valuable to bring a portfolio of your past work. This can be a folder, binder or even a website shown on your tablet. Your portfolio should be organized in a way that makes it easy to reference during your interview. The contents of your portfolio will depend on your profession, but there should be quality examples of your work and accomplishments.
4. Your phone #
Don’t forget to bring your phone!
Smartphones have become such an indispensable part of modern living that most of us shudder at the thought of going without one for a full day. Don’t worry: This isn’t the early 2000s, and interviewers don’t expect you to be phone-free. However, they do expect you to have proper phone etiquette.
That means your device should be on silent the entire time. Turn off notifications and alarms to ensure your device won’t make a peep during your interview. It’s also wise to keep it in your bag or pocket. An out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach is best.
So why bring your phone to a job interview at all?
Not only is it a vital lifeline, but it may hold many critical documents. Many tech-savvy individuals like to keep their phones connected to cloud storage, where they can quickly bring up documents as requested. Not only that, but you can use it for last-minute directions to the interview location if you hit a snag on the way!
5. Questions for your interviewers #
Nothing impresses hiring managers more than an applicant who has a list of meaningful questions to ask. In fact, many interviews end with an opportunity for you to ask questions. It’s your time to learn more about the organization, clarify confusing details, inquire about your day-to-day, and more.
Asking questions is an excellent way to show your enthusiasm. It also indicates that you’re serious about the job and have done your research.
Before heading into your interview, sit down and develop a list of questions. Write them down and refer back to the list frequently as you practice for your interview. Your list will likely evolve as you learn more about the company but always keep an updated copy nearby to study.
Related: Best Questions To Ask At The End Of An Interview
6. A notebook and pen to take notes #
You may be used to taking notes on your laptop or phone, but in interviews, it definitely looks better if you have paper and a pen handy to jot down notes like people to contact, addresses or anything else mentioned in the interview that you want to remember later. Being prepared with your own supplies to capture important information that your interviewer provides you with is a surefire way to make you look proactive and thoughtful.
7. Identify Card #
It’s not quite as common nowadays, but you never know if you’ll be asked for identification, so it’s worth bringing anyway. When in doubt, ask the person who set up your interview in advance — better safe than sorry!
8. Business card #
As a job seeker, business cards are great for networking and interviewing. Your business card should include your name, job title, email, phone number and any other contact information you think is important. Give your card to your interviewer, or anyone else you talk to about the job.
9. A Professional-Looking Bag #
It is much more professional and polished to have one bag in which everything is stored instead of having to juggle so many things at the same time. Whether it be a big bag or a small one, it can be purchased or borrowed from someone you trust. In the same vein, if you use a backpack, it should be clean and not “well-used” (as in frayed, torn, or falling apart) at all.
When thinking about what to bring to an interview, a lot of things come to mind, but the eight above are the most essential. While they might seem simple, it’s important not to forget them — they really might make a difference on the day of your interview.