What to Take to an Interview in 2023: Essential Items for a Successful Interview

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what to take to an interview

What documents should I bring to an interview, such as my resume and references?


Your resume is a crucial document to bring to an interview. It provides a concise summary of your qualifications, work experience, and education. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and tailored specifically for the job you are applying for. Bring multiple copies of your resume in case there are multiple interviewers or if they ask for additional copies.


It’s important to have a list of professional references available during the interview process. These references should be individuals who can speak positively about your work ethic, skills, and character. Bring a separate document listing the names, titles, contact information (phone number and email address), and relationship to you of each reference.

Other Documents

  • Cover Letter: If you submitted a cover letter with your application, it may be beneficial to bring a copy in case the interviewer wants to refer to it.
  • Transcripts: For recent graduates or individuals with limited work experience, bringing copies of your academic transcripts can demonstrate your educational achievements.
  • Certifications/Licenses: If the position requires specific certifications or licenses, bring copies as proof of qualification.
  • Portfolio: If applicable to the role you are interviewing for (such as in creative fields), bring samples of your previous work or projects that showcase your skills.

Are there any specific materials or samples of my work that I should bring to showcase during the interview?

If you have any tangible examples of your work that can be easily transported, it can be beneficial to bring them along. This could include physical samples if you’re in a creative field, such as artwork or design prototypes. Alternatively, if you have digital work, you can bring a laptop or tablet with your work saved to showcase during the interview.

Additionally, if you have any relevant documents or reports that demonstrate your skills or accomplishments, consider bringing those as well. This could include presentations you’ve given, research papers you’ve written, or project plans you’ve developed. These materials can help support your claims and provide concrete evidence of your abilities.

Should I bring a pen and notepad to take notes during the interview?

Yes, it is always a good idea to bring a pen and notepad to an interview. Taking notes during the interview shows that you are engaged and attentive. It also allows you to jot down important information such as names, job details, or questions that may arise during the conversation. Having a pen and notepad readily available demonstrates preparedness and professionalism.

Is it appropriate to bring a portfolio or examples of my previous projects to demonstrate my skills?

Yes, bringing a portfolio or examples of your previous projects is highly recommended if it is relevant to the position you are applying for. A portfolio can showcase your skills and provide tangible evidence of your capabilities. It allows the interviewer to see firsthand what you have accomplished in previous roles or projects.

Your portfolio can be physical (e.g., printed samples, artwork) or digital (e.g., website link, USB drive). Make sure your portfolio is well-organized and easy for the interviewer to navigate through. During the interview, be prepared to discuss each item in your portfolio and explain how it relates to the job requirements.

Dress Code

  • Formal/Corporate: If interviewing for a professional corporate role (e.g., finance, law), opt for a formal business suit or dress with conservative colors.
  • Business Casual: For industries that have a more relaxed dress code (e.g., marketing, creative fields), you can wear a combination of professional attire such as slacks or a skirt paired with a blouse or blazer.
  • Casual: Some companies may have a casual dress code. In this case, it is still important to dress neatly and professionally. Avoid overly casual clothing like jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers.

It’s always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed for an interview. Research the company culture and dress code beforehand if possible. If in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and choose a more formal outfit.

Are there any additional items, like certifications or licenses, that I should bring as proof of qualifications?

If the job posting specifically mentions certain certifications or licenses as requirements for the position, it is essential to bring copies of those documents as proof of qualification. These could include industry-specific certifications (e.g., PMP certification for project management) or professional licenses (e.g., nursing license).

Having these documents readily available shows that you have met the necessary requirements and are prepared to discuss your qualifications during the interview. It also demonstrates your commitment to professional development and staying up-to-date in your field.

Should I prepare a list of questions for the interviewer? If so, what kind of questions would be appropriate?

Preparing a list of thoughtful questions to ask during the interview is highly recommended. It shows your interest in the position and helps you gather valuable information about the company and role. Consider asking questions about:

  • The company culture and values
  • The team dynamics and structure
  • The specific responsibilities of the role
  • The company’s goals and future plans
  • Opportunities for growth and professional development
  • The interview process or next steps

Avoid asking questions that can easily be answered by researching the company beforehand. Instead, focus on questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the role and allow you to assess whether the company is a good fit for you.

Is it recommended to bring a copy of the job description or any other relevant information about the position/company?

Bringing a copy of the job description can be helpful during an interview. It allows you to refer to specific requirements or responsibilities mentioned in the job posting and ensure that your answers align with what the employer is seeking.

In addition to the job description, it can also be beneficial to bring any other relevant information about the position or company. This could include research you’ve conducted on the company’s recent projects, industry trends, or competitors. Having this information on hand shows that you have taken the time to prepare and are genuinely interested in working for that particular organization.

Should I have a list of professional references readily available in case they are requested during the interview?

Yes, it is advisable to have a list of professional references readily available in case they are requested during or after the interview. Your reference list should include individuals who can speak positively about your work ethic, skills, and character.

Ensure that each reference’s contact information (phone number and email address) is accurate and up-to-date. It’s also helpful to inform your references beforehand that they may be contacted by potential employers so they can be prepared to provide a positive recommendation.

Are there any specific personal identification documents that I need to provide, such as a driver’s license or passport?

In most cases, personal identification documents like a driver’s license or passport are not required during the interview process. However, some companies may ask for proof of identity and eligibility to work in the country as part of their hiring process.

If you are unsure whether these documents will be required, it is best to bring them with you to the interview. This way, if they are requested, you can provide them promptly. It’s always better to be prepared and have the necessary documents on hand than to risk delays in the hiring process.

Types of Personal Identification Documents

When applying for certain services or activities, you may be required to provide specific personal identification documents. The type of document needed can vary depending on the situation and the organization’s requirements. Here are some common types of personal identification documents:

1. Driver’s License

A driver’s license is a commonly accepted form of personal identification in many situations. It typically includes your name, address, date of birth, and a photograph. This document is often required when renting a car, opening a bank account, or verifying your identity at various government offices.

2. Passport

A passport is an official government document that certifies your identity and citizenship. It contains essential information such as your full name, date of birth, nationality, and a unique passport number. Passports are primarily used for international travel but can also serve as proof of identity in other situations.

3. National Identity Card

In some countries, individuals are issued national identity cards by their government. These cards contain personal details like your name, photograph, address, and sometimes biometric information such as fingerprints or iris scans. National identity cards are often used for various official purposes within the country.

Other Possible Identification Documents:

  • Social Security Card: In the United States, a Social Security card is issued to citizens and residents as proof of their Social Security number.
  • Military ID: Military personnel receive identification cards that verify their status and allow access to military facilities.
  • State ID Card: Some states offer non-driver identification cards for individuals who do not have a driver’s license but still need an official form of identification.
  • Birth Certificate: A birth certificate is a legal document that proves your identity and provides details about your birth, such as date, place, and parents’ names.

It’s important to note that the specific documents required may vary depending on the purpose and jurisdiction. Always check with the organization or institution you are dealing with to ensure you have the correct identification documents.

In conclusion, it is essential to prepare and bring the necessary items to an interview in order to make a positive impression and increase the chances of success.

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