10 Things You Should Always Bring to an Interview (And 2 to Leave at Home)

Ever wonder what you should bring with you to an interview? You want to make sure you don’t show up empty handed, but on the other hand you don’t want to go overboard.  While every situation varies, these 10 items are great to have on hand in pretty much any interview situation.


  1. Directions and the contact information of the person you are meeting.  Remember, you don’t want to be late!
  2. Identification and money to pay for parking.  Some buildings require photo id to enter or when creating a visitor’s pass.  You don’t want to be caught off guard without it.
  3. Several copies of your resume.  You never know how many people you may meet during your interview.  It is best to have several extra copies so each person can have their own to review.
  4. Professional reference sheet.  If they ask for your references, you won’t slow the interview process down by having to email them once you get home.
  5. Professional looking notebook or pad of paper to take notes in.
  6. 2-3 pens.  Best to have a backup on hand if your pen runs out.  You never want to have to ask for a pen to take your notes with.  It shows you are unprepared for the interview.
  7. Portfolio or examples of your work.
  8. List of questions to ask during your interview.  They should be thoughtful, detailed questions about the company, the position, etc.
  9. Only bring one bag or briefcase with you.  Ladies, don’t bring several large bags into your interview. You don’t need everything you carry around on a daily basis.  It’s best to bring only the essentials in a professional looking tote bag or purse.
  10. The only beverage you should bring is a bottle of water, but make sure to keep it in your bag.  You should never bring your coffee, smoothie, or your lunch to your interview.


And those 2 things to leave at home?  Your parents.  Yes, I said your parents, and anyone else for that matter.  Despite the trend towards bringing your parents to interviews made famous by Google, it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the interviewer having extra people in the room.  It could even cost you the job offer.  Remember, the company wants to hear what you have to say, not your parents.

Check out our updated checklist.