After passing a phone screen and being asked to come in for an interview, job seekers often wonder what they should bring with them. You can believe good preparation will make you comfortable and increase your chance of being hired.
Here we’ll provide a list of items you should bring to a job interview.
Table of Contents
- 1. Copies of Your Resume
- 2. Identification
- 3. Pen and Notepad
- 4. Professional References
- 5. Breath Mints
- 6. Organize Your Things into a Bag
- 7. A Portfolio or Samples of Your Work
- 8. Talking Points
- 9. Business Cards
- 10. Bring Your Answers That Will Make You Stand Out
- 11. Questions for the Interviewer
- 12. Other Concerns
- Final Thought
1. Copies of Your Resume
It is recommended to bring extra copies of your resume to a job interview. You will likely be meeting with multiple interviewers, and you may need to give each one a copy of your resume.
Even if you don’t end up giving copies to everyone, it’s always good to have a few extras on hand as you never know when someone might ask for one, just in case.
Put your resume in a separate folder or portfolio so they don’t get damaged or wrinkled in your bag.
Ask the employer in advance to learn about the building’s security requirements as you might need to present photo ID to enter. The security guard might inquire about the business you are going to, the person you are meeting with, and the floor they are on. You’ll want to have this information ready so you can get through security quickly and avoid any delays.
3. Pen and Notepad
You will want to bring a pen and notepad to write down notes during the interview. This shows that you’re interested in the position and that you’re taking the interview process seriously.
4. Professional References
References are people you’re working together or worked together with before. These people can attest to your professional skills and abilities.
Although you likely already included your references on your resume, it’s a good idea to bring a list of references with you to the interview. Your potential employer may want to contact your references after the interview, and having them readily available will make the process easier.
Most employers will ask for at least three references, so it’s a good idea to have them ready. Make sure you have their current contact information, including their email address and phone number.
Having this information readily available will make it easier for the interviewer to contact your references if they choose to do so.
5. Breath Mints
You want to make a good impression during your job interview, and that starts with your appearance and hygiene. Make sure you brush your teeth and use mouthwash before the interview.
And if you know you’re going to be nervous, it’s a good idea to bring some breath mints or gum with you to help freshen your breath.
6. Organize Your Things into a Bag
As soon as you have everything you’ll need for the interview, decide how to carry and arrange it. A briefcase, tote bag, or backpack are all suitable choices. It should be large enough to hold everything while still being manageable to carry.
And make sure you have everything organized in your bag before you leave for the interview. You don’t want to be fumbling through your things during the interview, trying to find what you need.
7. A Portfolio or Samples of Your Work
Your past work experience is one of the best ways to show potential employers what you’re capable of. If you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring them with you to the interview.
This is especially important if you’re in a creative field, such as graphic design, web design, or writing. But even if you’re not in a creative field, a portfolio can still be helpful. For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, bring along a sample of your best sales pitch or a report highlighting your successes.
If you don’t have any physical samples of your work, you can always bring along a laptop or tablet to show them digital samples.
8. Talking Points
You should also bring a list of talking points to help you remember what you want to say during the interview. This can include key points about your experience, skills, and qualifications that match the job requirements. Review the job ad and make a list of 3-5 topics you want to be sure to hit during the interview. This will help keep you focused and prevent any awkward pauses.
9. Business Cards
Business cards are not required for a job interview, but they can be helpful. You’ll impress the interviewers if you present them with your business cards. They’re also proofs of your previous position or current job title.
10. Bring Your Answers That Will Make You Stand Out
Before the interview, think what are the common questions that the interviewer will ask you. You should prewrite the answers to those questions.
Some examples of common interview questions are:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in this position?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Give me an example of a time when you faced a challenge at work and how you handled it.
- What are your salary expectations?
Preparing for these questions will help you feel more confident and less nervous during the interview. Plus, if you have good answers to these questions, it will make you more likely to stand out from the other candidates.
We think this is the most important thing you should bring to the interview.
11. Questions for the Interviewer
Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company, the team, the role, or anything else that’s on your mind. This will show that you’re truly interested in the opportunity and demonstrate your research skills. It will also give you a chance to learn more about the company and see if it’s truly the right fit for you.
After the interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. This is your chance to learn more about the position and company, and to show that you’re truly interested in the job.
Some good questions to ask are:
- Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of this position?
- What are the most important qualities in this role?
- What challenges does this department/company face, and how does this position help to address them?
- Can you tell me about the team I would be working with?
- What is the company culture like?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
Asking questions shows that you’re engaged and interested in the role. It also allows you to learn more about the position and company, which can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
12. Other Concerns
In addition to the items listed above, there are a few things you can do to make sure you stand out in an interview.
Dressing for success is always important, but it’s especially important for an interview. Make sure you’re dressed professionally and that your clothing is clean and pressed.
You should also arrive at the interview 10–15 minutes early. This shows that you’re reliable and punctual, two qualities most employers value.
Meanwhile, be polite and courteous to everyone you meet during the interview process.
You only have one chance to make a good impression in an interview, so it’s important to be prepared. In addition to knowing your resume inside and out, you should also bring a few items with you to the interview.
This includes your identification, pen and notepad, samples of your work, your references, breath mints, talking points, business cards, a bag to contain your items, answers prepared for the interview, and questions for the interviewer. By being prepared and bringing these items with you, you’ll be more likely to impress the interviewer and land the job.