Having a successful job interview is contingent upon multiple factors. And while many variables are out of your control, one thing you can control is what you bring to your interview. Having some essential items on hand should make the process go smoother and help set you apart from the rest of the interviewees. Here are some specific items you’ll definitely want to bring.

The Right Attire

Nailing an interview starts with looking great. It may sound superficial, but the hiring manager will immediately judge you based on your appearance the moment you walk in the door. Dressing professionally is the key to making a great first impression and getting started on the right foot.

Men will typically want to wear a button down shirt, slacks or khakis and dress shoes. Women should wear a blouse and black dress pants or a skirt. For more information on choosing the ideal interview attire, check out this resource from The Balance.

Resume Copies

Although we’re living in a digital age where most employers will access your resume electronically, it’s still a good idea to bring a few copies of your resume along to your interview. This accomplishes two things.

First, you can reference it and point out details to the hiring manager. Second, you can leave copies with the hiring manager or other relevant individuals when you’re done. According to career management expert, Amanda Augustine,

“You’ll need one for you to reference while you talk, and one copy for each interviewer, just in case they aren’t prepared.”


There’s a good chance the hiring manager will want to learn more about your experience and see examples of your work. Bringing along your portfolio is wise because this is the perfect medium for showcasing your talent and giving the interviewer a feel for what you bring to the table. Just make sure it looks professional and you’re ready to discuss any relevant questions the interviewer may throw at you.

A Notepad and Pen

Write down important details from your interview you can reflect on later. Bringing along a notepad and pen is the perfect way to jot down these details so you can connect the dots at a later time. An added plus is this shows the hiring manager you take the interview seriously, which can help you make a positive impression.

By creating a checklist of items to bring to your interview, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. This should minimize any potential curveballs and put you in the best possible position for success.

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