It’s easy enough to remember what we need when we’re going to a job interview: map, contact numbers, travel pass etc.—but what about the things we should leave at home?
1. Big Jewellery
That knuckle ring or huge, chunky neck chain might by your favourite accessory, but in this context, less is more. Statement jewellery makes your outfit look less professional and also detracts attention away from you as a person.
2. Open Packet of Food/Can of Drink
Yes, believe it or not, job seekers have been known to stroll into the interview room with an open packet of crisps or can of coke on the go.
Do you really think it’ll be ok to just sit there sipping or munching away whilst the interviewer asks you questions and you answer them? It’s not going to happen. A bottle of water may be acceptable for hydration purposes, but not your whole packed lunch.
3. Wet Hair
As important as it is to be on time, this does not mean it’s ok for you to not dry your washed hair before you leave the house. Yes, it may dry on the way there but it’s best not to take the risk. Get up a bit earlier so you can do your hair properly and be on time.
4. Shopping Bags
As efficient as it may be to do the weekly grocery shop while you’re out of the house anyway, leave it until after the interview. Doing it before will mean you have to lug a bunch of full plastic bags with you into the interview room and ‘bag lady/guy’ is not the best look when you’re trying to impress a potential new employer.
Don’t let yourself be put in a position where you have to bring Fido with you because your dog-sitter let you down and you have no one else to look after the little fella while you’re at the interview. Always have a back-up plan as it’s unlikely any animals except humans will even be allowed in the front door of the employer’s building.
6. Bag Clutter
By all means take essentials and perhaps a copy of your CV with you in your handbag or briefcase but clear out any overflowing make-up bags, old newspapers or rubbish before you set out. You don’t want to weigh yourself down and turn up feeling uncomfortable or sore from carrying a load of unnecessary stuff about.
7. Unsuitable Clothing
You may think the outfit you’re wearing is absolutely fine for a job interview, but then when you arrive you realize you’re the only one in the building not wearing a jacket or that no one else is wearing a ‘fun’ multi-coloured tie. Research the company’s dress code before you plan your outfit so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
8. Anything Illegal!
Obviously you shouldn’t have any banned substances, weapons etc. anyway, but just in case you do, here’s a pro tip: don’t take them with you to a job interview under any circumstances. Many big employers now have bag searches and scanners set up for members of the public who enter their headquarters/office buildings. Don’t risk embarrassing yourself, or worse, getting arrested on the spot.
For more top tips on how to handle Interview Day, check out our Interview eBooks.