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What to Bring to an Interview

When it comes to job interviews, being well-prepared can significantly increase your chances of success. One crucial aspect of interview preparation is knowing what to bring with you. In this article, we will explore the essential items you should bring to an interview and how they can contribute to a positive impression on potential employers.

Researching the Company and Position

Before attending an interview, it’s crucial to research the company and the specific position you’re applying for. This knowledge will not only help you answer questions more effectively but will also demonstrate your interest and dedication to the role. Familiarize yourself with the company’s mission, values, recent achievements, and any industry trends that may be relevant.

Dressing Professionally

Your appearance plays a significant role in creating a positive first impression. Dressing professionally shows respect for the interview process and indicates that you take the opportunity seriously. Depending on the company’s dress code, choose attire that is appropriate and reflects the level of formality expected.

Documents and Paperwork

Bringing copies of your resume and cover letter is essential. Even if you have submitted these documents online, it’s crucial to have printed copies for reference during the interview. Additionally, consider including a reference list and any letters of recommendation that support your qualifications.

Interview Toolkit

Prepare a small toolkit that includes essential items for the interview. This may include a pen and notepad for taking notes, a portfolio or folder to organize your documents, and a list of questions to ask the interviewer. These tools will help you stay organized and demonstrate your professionalism and engagement during the interview.

Personal Appearance and Grooming

In addition to professional attire, pay attention to your personal grooming. Ensure that you are well-groomed, with clean and well-maintained hair, trimmed nails, and fresh breath. These small details contribute to an overall polished appearance and show that you take care of yourself and pay attention to detail.

Mindset and Confidence

Preparing yourself mentally for the interview is just as important as the physical preparations. Take some time to boost your confidence by reviewing your qualifications and achievements. Visualize a successful interview and imagine yourself confidently answering questions. This positive mindset will help you stay calm and composed during the actual interview.

Practicing Interview Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is by practicing common interview questions. Research the types of questions typically asked in your industry or role and practice your responses. Consider conducting mock interviews with a friend or family member to simulate the actual experience. This practice will help you articulate your thoughts clearly and feel more comfortable during the interview.

Non-Verbal Communication

During an interview, non-verbal cues play a crucial role in conveying your confidence and professionalism. Pay attention to your body language by maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and using appropriate hand gestures. These non-verbal cues show that you are engaged and attentive.

Time Management

Arriving on time is crucial for making a positive impression. Plan your route in advance, considering traffic and potential delays. Aim to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to allow for any unexpected situations. This demonstrates your punctuality and respect for the interviewer’s time.

Etiquette and Professionalism

Maintaining proper etiquette throughout the interview is essential. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and introduce yourself confidently. During the conversation, listen actively and respond respectfully. Avoid interrupting and demonstrate your professionalism by using appropriate language and tone.

Technology and Electronics

While it’s generally best to minimize distractions during an interview, it’s acceptable to bring necessary gadgets such as your smartphone. However, ensure that your phone is silenced and kept out of sight. If you need to bring a laptop or tablet for a presentation or portfolio, make sure they are fully charged and in good working condition.

Snacks and Refreshments

Carrying a water bottle and small snacks can be beneficial, especially if the interview is long or if you have specific dietary needs. However, be mindful of consuming them discreetly and sparingly. The focus should be on the interview itself, not on eating or drinking.

Emergency Preparedness

Prepare for unexpected situations by keeping a list of emergency contact information handy. This can include the interviewer’s contact details, your emergency contact, and important phone numbers. Additionally, have a backup plan in case of travel disruptions or other unforeseen circumstances.

Follow-Up Materials

After the interview, it’s essential to send a thank-you note or email to express your gratitude and reiterate your interest in the position. Prepare these materials in advance, including any additional documents requested during the interview, such as work samples or certifications.


What should I bring to an interview?

You should bring copies of your resume, a notepad and pen for taking notes, a portfolio or folder to organize your documents, and a list of questions to ask the interviewer.

Is it necessary to bring multiple copies of my resume?

Yes, it’s recommended to bring multiple copies of your resume to provide to interviewers or reference during the interview.

Can I bring my phone to the interview?

While it’s generally acceptable to bring your phone, it’s important to keep it silenced and out of sight during the interview. The focus should be on the conversation and not on your device.

Should I bring a portfolio even if it’s not required?

Yes, it’s beneficial to bring a portfolio showcasing your work, especially if it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. Even if it’s not explicitly required, it demonstrates your preparedness and can leave a lasting impression.

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