5 Things to Always Bring to Interviews

what to wear to office holiday party bring to interviewsWhat should you bring to interviews? We’ve rounded up stylish interview totes in the past with a few suggestions for what to pack them with, but I don’t think we’ve ever talked about our explicit list of the 5 things you cannot forget to bring…

  1. Your paper resume.  If there are any new accomplishments since you started corresponding with the company, make sure you give it to everyone with whom you interview — it’s a great excuse to bring up your new accomplishments.  Even if there is nothing new, bring it and offer it to everyone you interview; it makes you look prepared and like an open book. Keep your resume in…
  2. Folder.  If you’re handing out your resume it shouldn’t be folded or crinkled at all.
  3. & 4. A pen and notepad.  You never know what the interviewer is going to throw at you — he or she may want to rattle off a list of job duties, or projects/subjects you’ll need up to speed immediately, etc.  They may mention a great book that you don’t want to forget.  Instead of reaching for your phone — which can be misinterpreted as “time for me to check my emails/text messages/Instagram,” grab a notepad instead.  You’ll also get bonus points for looking prepared.
  1. Walkable shoes.  Especially during an interview, you never, ever want it to appear that your fashion choices limit your mobility or actions.  If you can’t keep up walking down the hallway with someone… or you need to change your shoes to walk two blocks to a restaurant for lunch with an interviewer… or you’re in such pain that you need to kick your shoes off under a conference table… you lose points with all of that. (Check out our guide to comfortable heels if you’re on the hunt for a good pair for interviews.)

Ladies, what do you always bring with you to interviews?  Would you change anything on the list?  How do you handle writing samples and other accomplishments (i.e., do you bring a brag book or the like?) 

Psst: we’ve talked in the past about how to keep your resume updated, and what to wear on interviews.  

Pictured: Shutterstocks4svisuals.


what to bring to job interviews


  1. Anonymous :

    Breath mints. Lint roller. Tampon.

  2. Anonymous :

    A tip -your cell phone needs to be on complete silence… not even a vibrate when you get a text or email… that can still be heard and you will be distracted. Amen to the breath mints. By the way if you are in a pinch to get something out of your teeth…try a hair…. it serves as temporary dental floss. I would bring some change in case I need to a feed a meter to park nearby.

    • Yes, I agree you should carry dentel Floss. When I was in law school, I went on an interview, a guy made me eat barbequ, and I got that greazy meat stuck in my teeth. If I did NOT have floss, I would have had that smelley meat in my mouth all day. I used the floss, and POOF, it was gone. I did NOT get the job. FOOEY b/c it was in DC and I would have stayed instead of goeing back to NY to serves supeenies! DOUBEL FOOEY b/c all the men just stared at my tuchus on that job.

    • Meg Murry :

      Or even better than silence – completely off just before you walk in the building, and wear a watch so you aren’t tempted to look at your phone. Too many people play with their phones when bored/nervous/waiting, and it’s better to have it off to not have that temptation.

  3. A copy of your cover letter to hand out. A copy of your references or previous jobs and addresses in case they make you put that in a form. Your glasses if they’re not on your face.

    Your smile!

  4. Something sweet to eat if you might have long back to back interviews.
    I like raisins because they have no smell, I can chew few at a time and the light ones don’t risk leaving something green in my teeth. This helps when you have been interviewing all day and need a bit of sugar.
    I also bring a little book to read, especially if I might wait in a hallway.. it saves from awkwardly staring at your shoes.

    • Anonymous :

      I am sorry Houda, but I strongly disagree about bringing a book. To me that sends the symbol I’m bored enough to read. I also tell students not to check their phones especially Facebook. Once had an employer tell me that she didn’t hire someone because they kept checking Facebook between interviews… she said could she trust the student not to check facebook all day long at their desk. I would instead take this opportunity to make notes about the people I have met, think of additional questions, etc.

  5. Anonymous :

    Chapstick! There is nothing worse than having extremely chapped lips and having to talk to people for 3 hours…

  6. Extra pair of nylons. If it’s a super-day or multiple interviews, I like to stick a granola bar in my purse so I can nosh in the bathroom if it’s a multiple-hours thing and I need to be perky and asking for a snack stop would be weird. (I am fully aware that eating in the bathroom is weird too, but sometimes they just take you from office to office with no chance to breathe.)

  7. This might sound obvious, but bring your ID! When I was in law school, I had an interview for an externship with a federal magistrate judge. Having only been in state court, where no ID is required, I left my wallet in my car and only carried my portfolio. This showed my bad planning when I couldn’t get into the federal courthouse without my identification! I felt like an idiot and now I always bring my ID to things like that just in case, even if I don’t carry a bag or wallet in.

    And no, that judge did not offer me the job. But I did get to extern for a Federal District Court judge that semester anyway… Which was an amazing experience. (and yes I brought my ID to that interview!)

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