Interviewing for a new job can be extremely intimidating experience unless you bring the correct tools for the job! Do you know what you need to take?
The key to a successful interview is to come off calm, confident and collected. You want to make yourself stand out, yet you also want to show the hiring manager that you're not just flying by the seat of your pants. Being adequately prepared with the right tools will help you stay organised and make a great first impression.
Imagine you're an interviewer. One candidate comes in with an overstuffed, disorganised briefcase, and the other comes in with a neat portfolio in a custom binder. If you were the one conducting the interview, which candidate would you choose? Exactly. You'd go with the portfolio because that person put their professional foot forward.
When it's your turn to interview, you want to be the most prepared candidate, and that means having all the right tools with you. Here are 5 great presentation products that will help you land your dream job.
1. Hardcopy Handouts
Many of today's job applications are submitted online. You probably also emailed your work samples to the hiring manager. Of course, they reviewed those things—if they didn't like your work, they wouldn't have called you in the first place. But there's a difference between seeing something onscreen and seeing it in person.
Bringing hard copies of your resume and work samples will make you look prepared for your interview, especially if the hiring manager didn't have time to print off copies for themselves or if the interview room isn't equipped with a computer.
As an added bonus, handing out hard copies of your samples and resume will put a tangible reminder of you right on the interviewer's desk. It's easy to slip out of mind when you've only submitted electronic files because the interviewer has to actively seek out those files to view them. But a hard copy sitting on their desk will be visible at all times, so they have only to glance down and see the awesome resume you've built.
If you really want to go the extra mile, consider laminating your hand-outs so they'll be protected in the event of coffee spills or other natural office disasters.
2. File Folders
You wouldn't dream of showing up to a job interview in wrinkled a suit. Just like you keep your interview outfit pressed and looking great, it's important to make sure any papers you bring to the interview are neat and wrinkle free.
Of course, that's easier said than done when you're in a hurry to get to the interview, or when you're so nervous that you've got a Vulcan death grip on the papers in your hands.
A file folder can go a long way toward saving your documents from travel or stress. And it has other advantages. Carrying one folder looks much more professional than carrying a handful of loose pages. You can even colour coordinate the folder to the hiring company's brand colours if you want a really put together appearance.
Or, instead of matching the company's style right away, you can brand your folder with a personal logo to reflect your identity, like these here. Branded file folders go a long way toward making a positive impression because they maintain a professional appearance while also giving the hiring company a taste of who you are.
If you've been in the workforce for a long time (or you're just really prolific at your job) you've probably built up a pretty big portfolio by now. It can be tough keeping track of individual pieces, let alone remembering what order you wanted to present them in.
Binders are a great way to organise your portfolio. The binder rings help pages stay safe and in order, which is important if you need to be able to find samples quickly during the interview.
They also make it easy to arrange pieces in a logical order. Maybe you want to show the progression of your work from earliest to latest, or maybe you think it would be best to put the most relevant pieces in front and include the others as extras at the back of your portfolio. Binders make it possible to do all that. You can use colour coded or labelled tabs to separate various sections or time periods of your work.
Some binders even come with pockets, which are great if you want to include an extra copy of your resume without making it part of the actual portfolio. Pockets are also a perfect spot to print a smaller version of your personal logo or to complement a larger design on the front cover.
4. Online Presentation Tools
Another great way to present samples of your work or let an interviewer get to know you is to create an online presentation. Tools like Prezi, Canva, or Slides let you design a presentation that you can access from anywhere. This way you don't have to worry about lugging around a laptop or forgetting a flash drive.
These online tools are also highly customizable and even have some cool features that you may not find on a standard PowerPoint. For example, Prezi has unique zoom capabilities that let you emphasise a particular point.
You can enhance your presentation by picking a tool that's designed specifically for your industry or meant to convey a certain type of information. Some tools specialise in creating charts; some are meant for sales and marketing, and so on. There are dozens of presentation tools out there, so take your time to find the one that's right for you.
5. Pocket Projector
What could be cooler than an online presentation? Well, you could project your presentation from your own device using a pocket projector. This tiny device hooks up to your phone, tablet, or computer and projects your presentation onto a nearby wall.
Most pocket projectors are very light, weighing one pound or less, so they're easy to transport to and from your interview. They're also quick to set up and capable of running off a USB drive or SD card. That's a huge perk because you can just jump into your presentation instead of making the hiring manager wait for you to connect to a laptop.
These devices are really handy if multiple people are conducting your interview. Rather than viewing a laptop or portfolio with just one person, you can project your resources onto the wall so everyone can see at the same time.
You'll want to choose a palmtop projector or a pico projector based on your presentation. Palmtops tend to be a little larger than picos (think just a bit bigger than your cell phone), but they're also brighter and tend to have more connection options. You'll want to look at several types of projectors before you decide which type will work best for your needs.
The candidate who gets hired isn't necessarily the one whose resume has the most qualifications. It's the one who presents themselves the best. Hard copy handouts, branded file folders or binders, online presentations, and pocket projectors are all fantastic ways to make sure you're putting your best foot forward during the interview. When you use the right tools, you'll come across looking poised and professional. And who knows—you just may land your dream job.
Have you ever used any of these tools in a job interview? Would you consider using them now? Let us know...