Most Important Thing to Bring to a Job Interview | Expert Advice

Most job seekers, when going on a job interview, they’re often confused about what they will bring to the interview.

To be in line, they often ask questions like; What should I bring to an interview? What not to take with me? And how many of each?

Sometimes this question extends to; How should I prepare for a job interview? What should I wear to an interview?

While these questions are quite important, it varies.

However, being up and doing and preparing properly for your interview gives you an edge to securing your prospective job.

You should be fully aware of what to and not to bring to any job interview.

Nothing beats the sensation of being well-prepared—it will make you feel more confident, which will show to the HR manager or supervisor who is asking the questions.

Hence, you need a comprehensive list to ascertain you have everything you need for a positive first impression in the job interview.

You’ll always be prepared using this detailed checklist if you do things this way.

Let’s look at what you should bring and not bring to a job interview and how to prepare for an interview.

How to Prepare for an Interview

The job interview is likely the most crucial step in your job hunt; it’s your greatest chance to convince a hiring manager or recruitment firm that you’re the best candidate.

So, preparing for an interview entails thinking about your objectives and qualifications in relation to the role and company.

To do so, research the organization and read the job description thoroughly to see why you would be a good fit.

The following are the first steps in learning how to prepare for a job interview:

Check Out: Download Financial Analyst Interview Questions & Answers Sample PDF

1. Examining the Job Description

While preparing for any job interview, reviewing the job description should be the first step in the preparation process.

You should utilize the employer’s advertised job description as a guide during your preparation.

The job description lists the qualifications, qualities, and experience the employer seeks in an applicant.

The more you can match yourself with these aspects, the more qualified you will appear to the employer.

The job description may also provide you with ideas for questions to ask the company during the interview.

Read Also: 10 Best Answers To “Why Are You Looking For a New Job?” Question in an Interview

2. Conducting Extensive Study on the Firm

Companies seek to hire people who share the same values as the company’s culture.

Researching the firm before an interview will provide you insight into the company’s future goals and ambitions, and being able to discuss these topics with your future employer will make you appear to be a long-term investment.

The following interview preparation suggestions will help you figure out the aspects of the organization you should look into:

  • Check the company website
  • Look through the company website to research the company hierarchy and find out who the executives are.
  • Check out the company’s culture
  • Look at the websites of companies in the same industry to see who the company’s primary competitors are.

See Also: How To Ask A Stupid Question In An Interview Without Sounding Foolish

3. Ponder on What to Wear

You’re not alone if you’re unsure how to dress for an interview.

Wearing the appropriate attire to an interview will not guarantee you a job, but wearing the incorrect attire will eliminate all possibility of impressing the interviewer.

One rule sticks out above all others: dress professionally.

Wear work apparel that is appropriate for the role while remaining comfortable.

Read Also: 10 Best Answers to “What are you passionate about ?” Question in an Interview

4. Make a Travel Plan

One of the most crucial things to consider when preparing for a job interview is how you will get there.

A plan that fails due to a lack of planning is a plan that fails due to a lack of planning.

If you’re driving to the interview, make sure you have enough gas in your car the night before. You don’t want to eat too much on the way in your suit.

Make sure you arrive on time, or at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Also, make sure you know the address and, if possible, do a test run a few days ahead of time.

Check the traffic reports the morning before the interview and plan a backup route just in case.

5. Practice your Speaking Voice and Body Language

Because how you perform during the interview determines whether you are awarded the job, it is critical to make a good first impression on your hiring manager.

It isn’t just what you do that matters; it is also what you say and how you express it.

During the interview process, it’s critical to make a positive and lasting impression. You can achieve this by speaking with a confident, loud voice and using welcoming, open body language.

What you say at an interview is only a small fraction of the overall message you deliver to a potential employer.

Positive body language is crucial in making a good first impression on hiring supervisors.

While these may come naturally to you, you should practice them with trusted friends or family members or in front of a mirror. Take extra care with your grin, handshake, and stride.

Hence, it’s essential you practice how you speak and your body langauge before going for an interview.

6. Getting Ready for the Questions you’ll be asked

The most crucial aspect of interview preparation is rehearsing how to respond to the questions that may be posed on the day of the interview.

Knowing the most common types of job interview questions gives you an advantage since you can prepare your solutions ahead of time and feel confident in them when the pressure is on.

7. Develop your Own Set of Questions to ask the Employer

Have you ever been stumped as to what to ask during a job interview?

When looking for work, keep in mind that an interview isn’t just for the company to see if you’re a good fit; it’s a two way street.

You’ll find out fast if the position is a good fit for you if you bring good interview questions for managers to the table.

You’ll also show the recruiting manager that you’re interested and prepared, as well as learn whether the manager has any lingering reservations about you.

8. Following up with the Employer

Yes! You got it through the first round of interviews, hopefully remembering some of the helpful job interview advice we provided in the previous sections.

Don’t stop there, though.

The next step is just as vital, if not more so, than the first.

In today’s competitive job market, it’s critical to send a thank-you email after your initial job interview to express your interest in the position and brush up on your second interview skills.

What Should I Bring to my First Job Interview?

When attending an in-person interview, job seekers should not arrive empty-handed.

Experts advise keeping documents and other materials in a tidy, professional handbag, briefcase, or zippered binder.

While it’s important to bring your professional résumé, application, and references, experts advise leaving certain aspects of your life at home.

Your mother, your children, and your dog, no matter how lovely he is, are all objects that should be left at home.

Also, no food or gum are permitted. Brush your teeth or pop a breath mint before the interview to freshen your breath.

Equally, avoid eating anything too rich that may cause your stomach to revolt.

Also, don’t go into the interview with a gallon of coffee in your stomach.

It will be a pity if your growling stomach or frequent restroom breaks overshadow your qualifications during a job interview.

While you the above in mind, here are documents should bring when coming for an interview:

Documents You Should Bring to an Interview

The following are the most critical documents to bring to an interview:

1. A Mind that Has Been Well-Prepared

A well-prepared mind is the most critical thing to bring to an interview. But what exactly does that imply?

First and foremost, you must practice, practice, practice. Request that a friend or family member do mock interviews for you.

Second, do some research on the business. When you go to an interview without even knowing what the company does, it looks bad.

Thirdly, practice common interview questions. You won’t know everything they’ll ask you at your job interview, but there are plenty of questions that most employers ask. Start with those.

Finally, get some sleep. You won’t do well at your interview without a good night’s rest.

To make sure you’re ready, read our full guide on how to prepare for an interview.

2. 5 Copies of Your Resume & Cover Letter

Always be prepared. Just because you already sent them your resume and cover letter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your own copy.

So you might be wondering, why 5 copies?

Just in case. You could be a part of a group interview, say if the HR representative brings in your future supervisor and the team you’ll be working with.

It’s best practice to be able to hand them each a copy of your cover letter and resume so they won’t disrupt your meeting to go print it out.

This holds true whether you’re going to an internship interview or standard job interview.

3. Business Cards

Millennial career coach Anastasia Button says that while your CV should include your contact information and business cards may look outdated, it doesn’t harm to have them with you.

They’re easy to transport, and you never know when someone will ask for one, according to Button. It’s usually a good idea to keep a few extras on hand just in case.

4. Personal Documents

It’s good to go along or carry your driver’s license with you, but regardless of whether you drive or not, you should never leave home without identification.

An indentification card may be required to enter the building (reception may inquire), and it may be required again just before the interview.

5. Portfolio or a Professional Briefcase

When going for an interview, find a basic, professional briefcase or a robust folder/portfolio to carry all of the items you’ll need for the interview.

Artists and photographers, for example, should bring a real portfolio to an interview.

Non-artists, on the other hand, can bring portfolios.

Also, put rating reports, performance appraisals, pleasant emails, items you helped produce, and photos of trophies or accolades in yours.

And don’t just throw everything in at once; the interviewer might notice your disorder when you open your briefcase and deduct points just for that.

6. Work Samples from the Past that are Relevant

Make sure to bring any work you want to show the interviewer that wasn’t included in your resume or cover letter.

An interview is the perfect opportunity to showcase your most impressive work.

You could print it (and make 5 copies), or at the very least have a document where they can check up any previous work you’ve done (i.e., websites).

If that’s too difficult, you may always bring your laptop to show them.

7. A Notepad and a Pen

For a variety of reasons, taking a few notes during your interview can be advantageous.

For one thing, it demonstrates that you’re paying attention to the interviewer and participating in the conversation, as well as ensuring that you don’t forget essential details about the job.

Furthermore, you can use your notes to send the interviewer a personalized thank-you email later on.”

Just make sure you get permission from the interviewer before taking notes, and don’t take so many notes that you lose eye contact.

Also, you can bring extra pens with you in case your favorite runs out of ink.

8. A Professional Appearance

We recommend business casual to business professional for most employment for students and young professionals, including internships.

You should have planned your interview outfit days ahead of time, but here are a few pointers:

  • It’s advisable to wear solid-colored apparel.
  • There are no designs and only a few logos.
  • Everything should be ironed
  • It’s not too baggy, but it’s also not too tight.
  • Fingernails that are neatly trimmed
  • Hair and beard are well-groomed.
  • Professional shoes and a jacket that match.

Also, don’t go overboard with your jewelry!

9. 5 copies of the References Sheet

Why are references listed among the items to bring to a job interview?

Most times when the interview goes well, the hiring managers may request for refernces on the spot. Hence, you should have a copy of reference list prepared with their contact information.

While you doubt this, what if the interviewers are so taken with you that they ask for references?

Will you fumble and say you’ll send an email?

You’ll offer a better-prepared applicant an opportunity to fill the void if you make them wait. So, be prepared.

They’ll be impressed by your ingenuity, and you’ll be able to close the business sooner.

10. Questions to Ask the Hiring Managers

When thinking about what to bring to an interview, interview questions for the employer may not come to mind right away.

They are, nonetheless, quite significant!

Apart from preparing for the most typical interview questions, you should also prepare a couple of your own to ask them.

Interviews should be two-way streets, with you having the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion, if not all the way through.

The last thing you want to do is not ask any questions at all, as this will make you appear unprepared and unqualified for the position.
Employers want to see that you’re interested, paying attention, and taking initiative, and asking the correct questions will help you do just that.

11. Phone that is Fully Charged (Silenced)

You can use your phone to notify the interviewer of your arrival, navigate using the Google Maps app, or read up on the latest company news throughout your commute.

Bring your phone, but turn it off and stop the ringer before entering the meeting—nothing irritates an interviewer more than an interviewee’s phone ringing!

Also, remember to pack your phone charger and, if you’re really worried, print out a paper copy of your trip directions to be safe.

12. A Smile

It’s time to flaunt your dazzling white teeth!

the advantages of entering with a happy attitude before you cringe: Smiling may sound corny, but employers want to see that you’re eager and enthused about the position.

What Should you not Bring to an Interview?

Choosing what to bring and what not to bring to a job interview is something that many job seekers ignore.

Now you’ve known what to bring to an interview, Let’s look at what not to bring to a job interview:

  • A Negative Attitude
  • Reading Materials
  • Drinks
  • Candy/Gum
  • Hats
  • Friends & Family
  • Pets
  • Competitor’s Products

Job Interview Tips: Dos and Don’ts

It’s time to impress the recruiting manager and other interviewers after conducting your study and preparing your physical and mental self for the interview.

Continue reading for the greatest job interview advice.

Make a good first impression by wearing clean, ironed, and appealing clothing.Arrive late for your interview. If it’s unavoidable on the day, call ahead to let your interviewer know what time you’ll be there.
When you meet your interviewer for the first time, make eye contact and begin with a firm handshake to demonstrate your confidence.Dress in a sloppy or unprofessional manner. Are you stumped as to what to wear? Please review our guidelines.
Sit still with your feet firmly planted on the ground to assist you maintain your posture and avoid fidgeting.Before your interview, light up a cigarette. While it may seem like a good idea to ease your nerves with a quick smoke, the fragrance will be apparent and unpleasant to your interviewer.
Remember the data on your CV, especially the experience that is most relevant to the position you’re interviewing for.Your flaws should be made public. While honesty is usually the best policy, unless specifically requested, there is no need to volunteer your shortcomings.
Make a list of your inquiries. If you think you’ll forget something crucial, bring a notepad.Make a negative assessment of your present or prior job. This could convey the impression that you’re difficult to deal with to your interviewer.
It’s just as vital for the interviewer to sell you on the advantages of working for them as it is for you to wow your future possible employer.
Experts advise that you send a nice thank-you note after a successful job interview. Thank your interviewers for taking the time to tell you about the job and reaffirm your suitability for it.
Job Interview Tips: Dos and Don’ts


Here’s a quick rundown of things you should bring to an interview:

Copies of your résumé, an accomplishments sheet, a references sheet, your portfolio, and business cards should be brought.

Memorize the following: your achievements that are relevant to the job requirements, as well as some questions to ask the interviewers.

Bring these items to make them presentable: Professional attire, floss, breath mints, and deodorant are all recommended.

Travel directions, a folder/briefcase, a pen, a notepad, a photo ID, and a silent phone should all be included.


  • – How to prepare for a job interview
  • – How to Ace a Job Interview: What to Wear, What to Bring and Other Tips
  • – What to Bring to an Interview? 10+ Things to Take for Your Big Meeting
  • – What to Bring to an Interview & Printable Checklist with 12 Crucial Items
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