When you’re walking into a job interview, you don’t want to wing it. Preparation leads to confidence, so knowing what to expect can help you to meet expectations when the stakes are high. It’s natural to be nervous. Prep work is the antidote: having the materials you need can help you to push through the nerves, talk about your experience and share your story with confidence. But remember: the most important thing to bring into a job interview doesn’t fit in your backpack.
“Stay Curious”: The famous words of Steve Jobs are what you have to bring into the job interview, if you’re serious about moving forward in your career. Curiosity is the key: what will you discover about the people, process and culture of the organization? Consider the job interview as a two-way street: they are interviewing you but also you are interviewing them. Enter the interview conversation as a detective—what are the relationships around your potential position? But don’t turn your curiosity inward: “I wonder if they will like me?” “Do they think I have an accent?” “How am I going to explain those six months at Lululemon to the CMO?” This kind of introspective curiosity goes by another name: self-consciousness. Better to leave that uneasy self-awareness at the door when you walk into the interview room. Put your attention on your interviewer and find out how you can be of service to the company. Here are some other things to bring when it’s time to talk about your next career move: