What to Bring to a Job Interview

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What should you bring to a job interview? It's important to go on a job interview prepared with everything you need organized and ready to go. On the flip side, there are some things that you shouldn't walk into an interview with.

Here's information on what - and what not - to bring to a job interview.

What to Bring to an Interview

  • Directions. If you're not sure where you're going, bring directions and any instructions the hiring manager may have given you. If you have an email confirmation of the appointment bring that, too.
  • Identification. If the building has security, you may be asked to show identification. You may also need it to complete a job application, so bring your Driver's License or another form of identification with you to the interview.
  • Notepad and Pen. It's easier to have your own pen than to borrow one if you have to fill out paperwork. Also bring a notepad so you can jot down names and company information.
  • Names of Contacts. Write down the name of the person you're interviewing with on your notepad. It can be easy to forget a name, and you don't want to be embarrassed. Also bring the name of the person who arranged the interviewer, if it's a different person.
  • List of Questions to Ask. Have a list of questions to ask the interviewer. If need be, you can skim it quickly when you're asked if you have questions.
  • Extra Copies of Your Resume. Bring several copies of your resume to give out upon request. Your resume will also give you the details like dates of employment you need if you have to fill out a paper job application.
  • Reference List. Bring a printed list of references to give to the hiring manager. Include at least three professional references and their contact information, who can attest to your ability to perform the job you are applying for, on your list.
  • Work Samples. Depending on the type of job you're interviewing for you may need to bring samples of your work. If they don't lend themselves to print, consider bringing your iPad or laptop.
  • A Portfolio. A portfolio is a great way to package all the items you're bringing with you to the interview in a neat and orderly fashion. That way, you're organized, and everything you need will be readily accessible.

What Not to Bring to a Job Interview

What you shouldn't bring to a job interview is important, too. I've heard, believe it or not, of applicants for internships and entry level jobs bringing their mom or dad to the interview. Don't do it. It's not only awkward to have a third party in the room, it's not professional. In fact, it will probably cost you a job offer. You need to be able to interview on your own merits and the company wants to interview you, not your parent.

It's also important not to walk into an interview chewing gum, carrying a cup of coffee or texting on your phone. The only things you should bring with you are yourself and your credentials for the job.

  • Gum or candy
  • Coffee, soda or water
  • Phone
  • A hat or cap
  • Too many rings - if you have lots of piercings leave some of your rings at home (one pair of earrings, is a good rule)
  • Cover tattoos
  • Your parent(s), friends or anyone else

Know What to Expect

In addition to knowing what to bring, and what not to bring, it's also a good idea to get a refresher on what may take place during the interview process.

Here's an overview of how job interviews work.

Suggested Reading: Job Interview Questions and Answers | 25 Things Never to Say During a Job Interview (and Why)