in Careers Advice, Interviews

Top 5 Things to Take to a Job Interview

Top 5 things to take to an interview with you

We hear lots of feedback as recruiters as to items that our candidates take in with them to interviews and here are the top 5 to add value to any job applications you might make.

1)    Your CV.

So many people turn up to interview only to find that the employer has lost their CV or needs to print out a copy or copies for the interview panel. You can score considerable brownie points by having a copy of your CV at hand ready to give to the interviewer rather than them needing to go and source one, whether that is to print it off their computer or contact the recruiter to request a copy. Just make sure that your CV has the same facts on it as the CV they are likely to have themselves. We have had instances of candidates turning up for job interviews with a CV containing different dates to those  they had indicated to the employer in the first place.

2)    Evidence.

This can come in a whole variety of shapes and sizes, but in a nutshell the more evidence you have of your suitability to do a job the more chance you are going to have in getting the job. So for example, in our line of business a conveyancing solicitor who is able to provide evidence of say business development work they have undertaken in the previous 5 years, the better. If a family solicitor has evidence showing their performance in billing over the last 10 years and this demonstrates high levels of billing and consistent levels then this is going to stand them in good stead when it comes to salary negotiation if a job offer is made. Likewise, if you are applying for a sales position or marketing then evidence of your business development experience in the form of the business plan or similar will be extremely useful.

3)    A smart business-like bag to carry anything in.

We get a lot of people attending interviews who have not thought this through very carefully and pitch up to the interview with a CV, pens and bottle of water in a Poundstretcher carrier bag. This does not go down well with employers.

4)    A mobile phone switched off

Again we have had instances where candidates have been rejected because the firm felt they were rude because they had forgotten to switch off their phone and the ringtone had gone off in the middle of the interview. Not only that, but some of the ringtones have led to rejections because the firms have been slightly surprised at the type of music that has been played when the phone has gone off.

5)  References

Either these or testimonials – if you have anything in writing from clients or colleagues it can be worth taking along a copy to hand over in person at the interview (let the interviewers keep a copy). This always goes down really well with employers.

Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – contact him via

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at