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12 Things to Bring to a Job Interview

Woman bringing the right things to a job interview and being interviewed by another woman

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You just got invited to a job interview, and you're hoping to make a lasting impression so that you're hired. So now you have to ask yourself, “What do I bring to the interview?”

The day of the interview comes, and you're ready to wow the company. In this article, we'll discuss what to bring to your next job interview so you have a better chance of successfully landing the job.

Let's jump right in.

Several Copies of Your Resume

You'll want to bring several copies of your resume to the interview. You want to bring several copies because you never know how many people will be in the interview and it's possible that they won't have time to print out copies for themselves.

It's possible that those interviewing you won't have time to print out your resume, and you'll come off as well-prepared and respectful of your interviewer's time by bringing copies to share.

A Pen and Notepad

You'll want to bring a pen and notepad with you to the interview so that you can take notes as it makes sense. You may be interviewed by many people and have questions as you go, and a notepad and pen will help you keep your thoughts organized as you take in a lot of information from your interviewers.

Additionally, having a notepad and pen will enable you to write down things like email addresses, phone numbers, and information about the job you're interviewing for.

Having a pen and notepad also shows the hiring manager that you're organized, which is always helpful.

Something To Carry Your Things

A folder, briefcase, or handbag can be used to carry things that you bring to your interview. Since you'll be bringing several items and you may also need somewhere to store anything handed to you, having something neat to store stuff in makes sense.

When choosing what you want to carry your items, keep an eye out for something professional-looking. You don't want to bring something sloppy or messy, as this will give the impression that you are disorganized or unprofessional.

Business Cards

You'll want to bring business cards that include your LinkedIn profile or a professional website that has your information or portfolio so that your interviewer can have easy access to this information.

A business card also shows that you've got a professional background, and you never know if someone might ask you for one. Exchanging business cards on an interview is a good networking tactic, even if you don't get the job you interview for.

Your Portfolio

You'll want to bring your portfolio or have a link available to show your portfolio if you'll have access to a computer. This is particularly useful if you're interviewing in a creative field like fashion, design, or art, or if you're applying for a computer programming job and you want to show off projects you've worked on or are working on.

You can make your own with past work samples from previous employers where possible. Your portfolio should highlight the best of your work and show off your skill in the area that applies most to the job you're interviewing for.

Breath Mints

Using a breath mint or two or mouth wash will freshen up your breath for your interview. However, make sure you swallow your breath mint before the interview starts, as you don't want to be chewing while discussing things in your interview.

Work-related Talking Points

Be prepared to talk about your work-related accomplishments, skills, and interests in an interview. Some of the most common questions you'll be asked are “Tell me about yourself” or “What are some of your strengths.”

These are great questions to answer in advance so that you don't stumble through them during your interview. You'll want to think about the work-related things you want to highlight and prepare your answer in advance so that you know what you're talking about during the interview.

Remember, you're selling yourself on the interview to impress the hiring manager as you want to stick out from all of the other applicants that are interviewing for the same position.

Questions for Your Interviewers

In order to show that you're interested in the company you're interviewing at, it's essential to have some questions prepared. Some questions that you can ask at your interview include:

  • “What is a typical day on the job like?”
  • “What are some of the biggest challenges for people in this position?”
  • “Can you tell me about the culture here?”

These questions will help you better understand what you could be getting yourself into if hired for this position. It also shows that you are interested in the company and that you're not just showing up to get a paycheck.

You can also come up with your own questions depending on the specific job you're interviewing for.

References

You may be asked for references during the interview process, and while you may be able to follow up with this information, it makes sense to come prepared with a few references when you go to the interview, just in case you're asked.

Have your references' names, positions, relationship to you, work phone numbers, and email addresses ready to give to the hiring manager when asked for them. It's also a good idea to use references that can speak for your work ability for the position you're applying for, if possible.

Your ID

Bring your ID to the interview as you may need ID to enter the building, especially if you're being interviewed at a secured premises like a corporate HQ.

Directions and Contact Information

If you don't live or work near the interview location, make sure to get directions ahead of time in case you get lost on your way there. 

It's also a good idea to have contact information for the interviewer if you need it. That way, if anything comes up, you can contact your interviewer immediately so that you don't end up not showing up or showing up late without giving some notice.

A Positive Attitude

Lastly, bring a positive attitude to your interview. It's the most important thing you can have. If you go into your interview with a poor attitude, it could affect how your interview goes and what the hiring manager thinks of you afterward.

If you go into the interview with a positive attitude, a smile on your face, and a willingness to do what it takes for this job to succeed, you'll be much more likely to impress the hiring manager and make a great first impression. This will help you land the role faster and give you an advantage over other applicants who may be just as qualified but not be a good cultural fit.

What Not To Bring to an Interview

Now that we've gone over what to bring to an interview, let's talk about things that you shouldn't bring to an interview.

  • A friend or family member: Go to the interview by yourself, or if you get a ride, have your ride wait for you in the car or come back to get you later.
  • An animal: Avoid bringing animals with you to an interview.
  • Turn your phone on silent. If your phone rings during your interview, it will distract both you and your interviewers from the process and may look like you don't care to give your full attention to the hiring manager.
  • Snacks, gum, etc.: Chewing on snacks and gum will distract both you and the people interviewing you. Eat something before you go in for your interview if you're hungry.
  • A product from a rival company: This can end an interview before it begins. Make sure you do your research and never bring a product from a rivaling company to an interview. This is both distasteful and disrespectful and will likely have you sent away before you even sit down to discuss the job.

Wrapping It Up

In this article, we discussed what to bring to an interview, as well as what to avoid bringing. When you go into an interview, it's important to be prepared for what they may throw at you. So, bring the right things with you and remember your manners to make a good impression on those involved in the interview process.

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