What to Bring to a Job Interview

It is important to be prepared when you show up to a job interview. If you forget to bring something or do not have something that the interviewer asks for, then you are hurting your chances of landing the job.

You might not need all of the things listed here during a job interview, but it is a good idea to bring these things just in case.

1. A Copy of your Resume and References

In case the interviewer does not have it with them or if another person is joining the interview, you should have a few extra copies of your resume with you.

If it is not already attached to your resume, you should also bring a list of references with you. This is a list of people (usually 3 or 4 people) who the interviewer can contact to ask about you. These are usually people who you worked with in the past. They can also be friends or former teachers.

Make sure you have a list of references with their correct contact information. Even if you already sent the interviewer a list of your references, bring a couple of extra copies with you just in case.

2. A Pen and a Notepad

You might not need to take notes during the job interview, but it is best to be prepared. Some people prefer to have a pen and notepad with them during an interview so they can jot down notes or information. This can make you seem more professional and serious.

3. Identification

Make sure you have id with you (a driver’s license, passport, etc.) just in case you need to show id to get into the company’s building. This is often required at large companies that have security.

4. A List of Questions

You should definitely prepare some questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the job interview. You might want to write these questions down on your notepad and bring them with you to the interview. This will give the interviewer the impression that you are well-prepared and organized.

5. A Folder, Briefcase, or Portfolio

Do not go to a job interview holding a stack of unorganized papers. Your appearance is very important and this includes your accessories. You should show up looking organized and neat. Carrying a briefcase, portfolio, or folder is the best way to do this.

We would also advise you to avoid carrying a bookbag. A bookbag does not always look professional, so if you are interviewing for a job at a serious company, then you might want to avoid it. However, if you work in an industry where appearance is not as important, like in computer programming, it might be fine to carry a bookbag.

6. Work Samples

An interviewer will often ask to see examples of your work, so you should be prepared to show them.

If you work in a job in which it is possible to bring samples of your work, then do it. For example, if you work in graphic design, then you should prepare some of your best work and bring it with you.

If you work in a job where this is not possible, then be prepared to talk about your work. For example, if you work in sales, then you should be prepared to talk about your accomplishments and experience in detail.

Vocabulary from the Article

1. to show up: to arrive

  • She showed up 20 minutes late.
  • He showed up to the party with nothing.

2. to hurt one’s chances: to negatively affect the probability of something good happening

  • That action hurt her chances of getting promoted.
  • His poor appearance definitely hurts his chances of getting the job.

3. to land a job: to get a job

  • I really want to land this job.
  • He landed a job quickly.

4. resume: the document submitted when applying for a job and which includes one’s work history, educational background, skills, etc.

  • I sent my resume to three companies this morning.
  • Can you check my resume?

5. to jot down: to write down quickly (as in notes or an idea)

  • I like to jot down notes during our meetings.
  • I jotted down her name so I wouldn’t forget.

6. accomplishments: things that one has achieved

  • He has many impressive accomplishments.
  • Can you tell me about your greatest professional accomplishment?

7. in detail: thoroughly; with a lot of details

  • She explained the situation in detail.
  • He didn’t tell me in detail.