What Should One Bring To An Interview?

What should one bring to an interview? Be sure to bring anything that is requested. The interviewer may ask you to bring your resume, portfolio, or samples of your writing. Robin Thompson, owner of Etiquette...

Robin Thompson, owner of Etiquette Network and the Robin Thompson Charm School, says, "Be sure to bring anything that is requested. The interviewer may ask you to bring your resume, portfolio, or samples of your writing. Make notes for yourself if you have to and put them on the door, on your steering wheel, etc. Just don't forget, because 'Oh! I forgot!' is not a good excuse for an interview."

Bring a notepad or notebook, a good pen, and a portfolio or pad holder. Thompson says you can buy a nice portfolio at any office supply store. The Job Searching section at about.com suggests you use the portfolio or pad holder to hold your resume. The site says you should also put a list of references into the portfolio and reminds you that both the resume and the reference list should be printed on good-quality paper.

Thompson says, "You might also want to bring extra copies of your resume, in case they want to give them to other people." The same is true for your reference list and, if applicable, your writing samples. "Even though they have copying access, it's always great to say, 'I made extra copies, should you need them.'" She concludes, "So--bring your resume, notepad, a nice pen, and then anything else they ask you to bring."

The Job Searching section at about.com also suggests bringing a breath mint, and for women, an extra pair of pantyhose, in case you get a run on the way there. And bring work samples, if they are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Unless you are bringing original artwork, the samples you bring with you should be copies, so you can leave them with your interviewers if they would like to keep them for further review.

Often an employer will ask you to fill out an application form when you come in for an interview, if you haven't already done so. You should bring notes with you on all the information that you might need to fill out the form, including the addresses and phone numbers of your previous employers, the dates that you worked in your previous jobs, and the salaries that you earned.

The Southern Illinois University Career Development Center suggests that if you are going on a lot of interviews, you should prepare an "interview packet" that contains all the items that are discussed above. You can keep it in your car, if you are driving to your interviews, or in some other handy place. That way, you'll always be ready to go, and you won't have to worry at the last minute about forgetting something important.

There are also some items that you should not bring to the interview. Those include gum, cigarettes, candy, coffee, and soda. Don't carry a cell phone or an iPod, at least not where the interviewer can see it.

And don't forget the intangible things you should bring - a good attitude, enthusiasm, and a smile. It's normal to get nervous before and during an interview, but take a few deep breaths if you need to, and focus your mind on the positive, and you'll be off to a good start.

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