When preparing for an interview, you consider what to wear, do your research about the company, and practice responding to common interview questions, but that’s not where your prep should end. Make sure you have everything you need to bring to the interview, too. We’ve outlined what to bring to an interview and created a helpful checklist that you can download below!
There are two things you absolutely must bring to an interview, one thing that you definitely should bring, and two others that are helpful depending on the field you’re in.
Copies of Your Resume
This is the single most important thing to bring with you to an interview. Never assume the hiring manager or recruiter has a copy of your resume, and always bring a few extra, just in case.
Generally, you’ll be asked for your resume at the beginning of your interview. Start off on the right foot by being prepared and having copies ready. If you know how many people you’re meeting with during your interview, bring enough resumes for everyone, plus two or three extras. This way, if additional people are called in to meet with you, you’ll show your potential new employer that you’re a well-prepared professional.
If you have a few extra dollars to spare, print your resume on professional paper. Kinko’s, FedEx, UPS, and many mail stores have printing services available for a few cents a copy. Choose a high-quality resume paper and print a handful of copies. Keep them in a folder so they don’t get damaged.
Padfolios are essentially folders that hold a notepad, loose papers, business cards, and a pen. They’re fairly common in the professional world and are a great accessory to bring with you to an interview.
Use the notepad to jot down a few questions for your interviewer so that you don’t forget them in the moment. Take a look at the job description prior to your interview and make a note of key areas where your experience will help you excel. It’s perfectly acceptable to have prepared notes beforehand; interviews make people nervous, and the last thing you want to do is forget to share something important with the hiring manager.
If you can’t find a padfolio that suits your tastes, swap it out for a notebook or journal. A simple, leather bound or moleskin notebook is an appropriate option.
A padfolio allows you to carry copies of your resume and questions for the interviewer, as well as having a place to take down notes about the position during your meeting.
This one is pretty basic! Make sure you bring a pen with you so you can write down important things that come up in your interview.
Make notes about specific projects that are mentioned, as well as key responsibilities of the role and any other skills the interviewer mentions that would be needed to be successful in the position. You can also ask about what type of software programs the office uses and research them afterward if they’re unfamiliar.
Portfolio of Work
If you’re in marketing, design, or any other creative profession, you should be keeping a collection of your best work. Maintaining your portfolio while you’re currently employed will help you when you begin to start searching for new opportunities.
In an interview, you’re trying to show the company that you’d be the best person for the job – what better way to prove that than to show them your work.
You can keep a collection of your projects, printed, in a binder or folder. However you decide to present your stuff, make sure it’s easy for the interviewer to look at – don’t just hand them a stack of papers and expect them to make sense of it.
In the case that you’re interviewing for a position that requires a professional license or certification, make sure to bring your originals with you.
Create a folder or binder with your licenses, certifications, test scores, and any other professional development paperwork you have. Much like a portfolio that showcases your work, this binder should be a one-stop shop for all your professional accomplishments.
Employers are looking for organized, well-prepared employees. Rather than just telling them you’re that person, show them!
An in-person interview puts you one step closer to landing the job, so make sure you put your best foot forward! If you’re interested in other tips regarding interviews, check out our helpful interview collection here.
Remember to always bring extra copies of your resume. Best of luck!