What To Bring To an Interview (10 Must-Have Items)

Preparing for a job interview can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You want to make sure you present yourself in the best possible light and leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager. One key aspect of interview preparation is knowing what to bring with you. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive checklist of the essential items to bring to your next job interview.

As an authority on interview preparation, Matchbuilt understands the pain points job seekers face. We recognize that first impressions matter, and being well-prepared can significantly enhance your chances of securing a job offer. With our expertise in the hiring process and deep understanding of company culture, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and tools to make a positive impact from the moment you step into the interview room.

What should I bring to an interview?

You should bring copies of your resume, a list of questions, a reference list, samples of your work, important contact details (phone number, email address), and any other items specified in the job description.

Our checklist covers everything from the basics, such as copies of your resume and a list of questions, to the more intricate details that often get overlooked. We’ll guide you through the best ways to approach in-person, virtual, and phone interviews, ensuring you’re fully prepared regardless of the format. We’ll also provide insights on showcasing a positive attitude, utilizing body language effectively, and employing the STAR method to answer behavioral questions.

By following our checklist, you’ll be armed with the most important things you need to succeed on the big day. We’ll help you avoid last-minute stress by reminding you to double-check your interview location on Google Maps, and we’ll even address the often-forgotten practice of conducting mock interviews with a trusted friend or family member.

Remember, being well-prepared is not just a good idea; it’s the key to making a great impression and landing your next job. Below, we’ll delve into the specifics of our comprehensive checklist, ensuring you have everything you need to excel in your next job interview.

job seeker bringing resume to job interview

What Should You Bring to an Interview?

1. Multiple Copies of Your Resume

Never assume that the interviewer will have a copy of your resume. Bring several copies printed on high-quality paper to distribute to the interviewer and other panel members. This demonstrates your professionalism and allows everyone to follow along during the discussion.

2. A Notepad and Pen

Taking notes during the interview shows your attentiveness and helps you remember important details. Use a professional-looking notepad and a pen with black or blue ink. Jot down any crucial information, such as the interviewer’s name or specific job requirements, to refer back to later.

3. References and Recommendation Letters

Bring a list of professional references, including their contact information. Consider bringing copies to support your qualifications if you have written recommendation letters. Having readily available references shows you’re well-prepared and have strong professional relationships.

4. A Portfolio or Work Sample

If you work in a field that involves visual or tangible outputs, such as design or writing, consider bringing a portfolio or work samples. These provide concrete evidence of your skills and achievements, giving the interviewer a better understanding of your abilities.

5. Identification and Necessary Documents

Carry a valid form of identification, such as your driver’s license or passport, to verify your identity if needed. Additionally, bring any documents requested by the employer, such as your academic transcripts, certifications, or licenses. Organize these documents in a professional folder or envelope.

job seeker bringing resume to an interview

6. Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Demonstrate your enthusiasm and preparedness by asking insightful questions about the company, the role, and the team. Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer, showing your genuine interest in the position and your desire to learn more.

7. A List of Personal Accomplishments

Prepare a list of personal accomplishments and success stories relevant to the position. These examples can help you illustrate your skills and experiences when responding to behavioral or situational questions. Be ready to share how you’ve overcome challenges and achieved positive outcomes.

8. A Positive Attitude and Confidence

While not an item per se, your attitude and confidence play a significant role in interviews. Bring a positive mindset and project confidence through your body language and responses. Show the interviewer that you believe in your abilities and are genuinely excited about the opportunity.

9. Directions and Contact Information

If applicable, ensure you have the interview location’s address, including the floor or suite number. Plan your route in advance, considering traffic and potential delays. Carry the interviewer’s contact information in case of emergencies or unexpected changes.

10. Breath Mints and Personal Grooming Items

Maintaining good personal hygiene is crucial during an interview. Carry breath mints or freshening strips to ensure your breath stays fresh. Additionally, bring a comb or brush to tidy up your appearance before entering the interview.

female job seeker with resume and portfolio for interview

Interview Preparation FAQs: What Should I Bring?

What documents should I bring to an interview?

Bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and any relevant supporting documents or certifications.

Is it necessary to bring multiple copies of my resume?

Yes, bringing multiple copies of your resume to share with interviewers or if there are multiple rounds is recommended.

Should I bring a list of questions to ask during the interview?

Preparing a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company or the role is a good idea.

Can I bring samples of my work or portfolio?

Absolutely, bringing samples of your work or a portfolio can help showcase your skills and experience.

Is it important to have a reference list with me?

Having a reference list is beneficial, but you may provide it later upon request unless specifically mentioned in the job application.

Should I bring my phone number and email address to share with the interviewer?

Yes, it's important to provide your contact information, including your phone number and email address, in case the interviewer needs to reach you.

Are there any specific items mentioned in the job description that I should bring?

If the job description mentions any specific items, such as writing samples or certifications, it's advisable to bring them if relevant.

Can I bring a notepad and pen for taking notes during the interview?

Absolutely, bringing a notepad and pen is encouraged for jotting down important information or questions during the interview.

Is it acceptable to bring a copy of my cover letter?

While it's not necessary to bring a copy of your cover letter, it can be helpful if you want to reference specific points or achievements mentioned in it.

Should I bring any supporting documents or certifications relevant to the position?

Yes, if you have any supporting documents or certifications that are relevant to the position, it's advisable to bring them to demonstrate your qualifications.

what should you bring to a job interview

The Ultimate Interview Essentials: What You Need to Bring for Success

As we reach the end of this blog post, we hope you now understand what to bring to your next job interview. By following our comprehensive checklist and incorporating our shared best practices, you’ll be well-prepared to make a lasting and positive impression on the hiring manager.

Remember, whether it’s an in-person or virtual interview, the last thing you want is to be caught off guard or feel unprepared. Ensuring you have essential items such as copies of your resume, a list of questions, and samples of your work can go a long way in showcasing your qualifications and professionalism.

Additionally, having important contact details readily available, such as your phone number and email address, will ensure effective communication and follow-up at the end of the interview. A handy reference list is always a good idea, as it demonstrates your preparedness and eagerness to provide further information.

By thoroughly reviewing the job description and familiarizing yourself with the most common interview questions, you can confidently articulate your skills and experiences. Being well-prepared is the best way to tackle any interview, as it gives you the confidence to navigate the interview day smoothly.

We encourage you to utilize our checklist and incorporate these tips into your interview preparation. Gathering the following items, including a copy of your resume and samples of your work, can make a great difference in presenting yourself as a strong candidate. Remember, a well-prepared job search goes a long way toward securing your next job offer. Good luck with your first interview, and may you excel in your job search!

If you’re looking for more information about interview preparation, check out our posts on landing more interviews, the best time to interview, and the ultimate interview prep checklist.

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