16 years of expertise writing resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and providing interview career coaching to help clients land the perfect position.

What to Bring to a Job Interview

job interviewAre you wondering what to bring to a job interview? Aside from copies of your resume, there are some essential things you’ll want to take with you to your next job interview. Coming prepared includes what you bring along with you, in addition to being prepared mentally. Even though you don’t want to come with too much, there are certain essentials.

Be Organized

No interviewer will want to wait for you to rummage through your bag to find the materials you’re looking for, so it’s important to organize and only bring pertinent items. To avoid sifting through your bag, put your items in a small folder that is easily accessible.

Some things that you will need to bring with you:

1. Directions:

It incredibly important that you arrive to your interview on time or, better yet, early. So make sure you know where you’re going. If you haven’t been to the company address before, use GPS or detailed directions to help you get there successfully. And remember to leave yourself plenty of time. You don’t want the added stress of running against the clock—or to commit the terrible mistake of showing up late.

2. Copies of your resume:

You should bring one extra copy of your resume to give to your interviewer and one to use as your own reference. If you aren’t sure how many interviewers will be in the room with you, bring extras just in case.

3. Copies of letters of recommendation and reference sheet:

Bring printed copies of all of your recommendation letters from relevant sources. Also, you should print off and bring your reference sheet to hand to your interviewers. Make sure that the references you select can speak to the required skills of the job and will provide you with a positive reference.

4. Your work portfolio:

It’s always recommended to come to an interview with samples of your past work that can speak to your abilities as a professional in your field. A portfolio is a great way to organize all of the items you need to bring in a neat and stylized package. You can also include copies of your licenses, courses you’ve taken, certifications, and education.

5. Pen and paper:

It’s important to come prepared with your own materials so you will be able to fill out any necessary paperwork. Note the name of your interviewer, times for future interviews, and other pertinent information.

6. A list of questions to ask your interviewers:

At the end of the interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask the interview panel some questions. Without preparing some possible questions ahead of time, it may catch you off guard. Know what you want to ask ahead of time, and you can add any additional questions that may arise during the interview itself.

7. Any other materials your interviewer may have specified.

On the flip side, there are some things you should never bring to your job interview.

Here are some items you will never want to be caught with at your next interview:

1. Friends, family members, or anyone else:

Never attend a job interview with someone else. This never makes a good impression on an interview, but surprisingly happens. You will win the position on your own merits, not with the help of a friend or family member.

2. Gum, candy or food:

Eat before your interview or after it’s over. Never go into your interview with food in hand. Never chew gum, it looks unprofessional and makes it harder to understand you when you speak.

3. Coffee, pop or other type of beverages:

The same rule holds for drinks as well. Leave everything until after your interview is over.

4. Visible tattoos or piercings:

If you have piercings or tattoos, the general rule is to cover them up for your interview. You don’t want to distract the interviewer from your skills and capabilities.

5. Baseball hat:

Do your hair properly and leave the hats at home. You should be wearing professional attire only to your job interview.

Need additional help? Reach out to Candace to learn more!

Photo courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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