But, you don’t want to show up to an interview empty-handed. Remember, it is always better to be over-prepared than not prepared at all. No matter what you think they will or won’t need, you should still bring the following, just in case:
1) Resume - Yes, the person interviewing you will probably have a copy, but you never know. They may want you to meet with someone else who doesn’t have a copy, or they may have gotten behind that day and didn’t have a chance to print one out. Be sure that your resume is completely free of spelling and grammar errors. Employers tell us this is the number one mistake job applicants make.
2) References - Take a list of at least three professional references with you. Include name, phone number, email address and relationship. Include former supervisors and coworkers. If you don’t have any experience, include people you’ve provided services for like babysitting, lawn care or volunteer work. As great of a reference as she would make, they probably won’t want to hear from your big sister how amazing you are. If at the end of the interview, they haven’t asked you for them, go ahead and offer your list, it will show that you came prepared.
3) Previous work - Depending on the type of position you are interviewing for, bring examples of previous work that relates to the job. Do you have any design experience? Sales sheets? Writing examples? In case they ask about what you have done in other positions, you will be able to pull out an example they can see for themselves. Of course, only bring what you are most proud of, you can overwhelm them if you start to include 3rd grade finger paintings.
4) Folder or briefcase - If you’ve gathered items 1-3, it is probably starting to add up. You don’t need a fancy briefcase to carry everything, a simple folder will work just the same.
5) Paper and pen - Taking notes in an interview can help you look engaged and also help you remember things for your follow-up contact.
6) Questions for them - Writing down questions you have about the position and the company before hand will also take away the awkward silence when asked, “Do you have any questions for me?”
7) Smile – It sounds obvious, but your attitude makes a difference. Bring a positive, upbeat attitude and show them just how valuable you can be.