When attending a job interview, there are a few items you absolutely must bring to leave the best impression possible. Although most of the items are straightforward, they can be easily forgotten if you’re in a hurry. We recommend making a short checklist to review before you rush out the door! Just remember that all items are equally important, since they all have their own purpose. We’ll discuss more details about why to bring them, and how they help you.

1. Copies of Your Resume

This is probably the most obvious thing to bring along. However, some candidates don’t realize that only bringing one copy is a huge mistake. You may want your own copy to reference, and you also may be interviewing with more than one hiring manager. It’s also possible that the company is conducting multiple rounds of interviews the same day.

It’s incredibly awkward when you sit down for your 3rd interview that day and don’t have a copy of your resume to hand over. We recommend bringing at least 5 copies. That may seem like overkill, but it will make sure you don’t have a resume shortage on your hands. If they state that they will have you go through multiple interviews in one day, it’s okay to ask how many copies of your resume you should bring.

2. Folder or Portfolio

While not as bad as not having a resume at all, having one that is crumpled and dirty isn’t doing you any favors. Bring all of those copies in a folder, or even better, a portfolio. This conveys professionalism to the hiring manager you are interviewing with. It also keeps your resumes nice and crisp, which is that much more impressive. If you can find a good portfolio, it may include most of the essentials listed here, which is incredibly handy. This makes it easier since all you have to do is grab it on your way out the door.

3. Notepad & Pens

Next up is a notepad and pens. We recommend a legal pad since it looks the most professional, and also has the most space. In the interview, you will discuss multiple things you’ll want to remember afterwords. Salary range, job requirements, benefits, etc. will likely be discussed, and having somewhere to write them down is a big help. You don’t want to leave the interview having forgotten any of the important information discussed.

In that same vein, makes sure you bring a couple of pens with you, two is usually enough. Just make sure you test them before you leave home to make sure they write! As stated previously, a good ‘padfolio’ will have all of the essentials- room for your notepad, pen, and resumes. There may even be a spot for your business cards! If you’re going to attend a lot of interviews, it’s a wise investment.

4. Questions

Most interviews end with the interviewer asking the candidate if they have any questions. To be prepared, you should have a few questions in mind that you can ask. It’s entirely possible you will come up with questions based on what is discussed, but having a few prepared ahead of time ensures you have something to ask about. If you’re not sure what type of topics to ask about, we have a blog with a few suggestions to get you started.

5. Yourself

Lastly, you have to bring yourself to the interview! It may seem silly to mention, but make sure you are bringing 100% of yourself, not 50%. Get enough sleep, eat a light meal, and hydrate before your interview. Someone who is tired and hungry will be more likely to have a negative interview experience. Make smart choices before the interview, and make sure you dress professionally as well. Finally, make sure you show up on time! It’s possible all that preparation will be for nothing if you’re late. Some companies won’t even entertain a candidate who is just few minutes late.

That’s it for our interview checklist! That said, these are just the basics. They will get you through most interviews, but certain job interviews may have other requirements. For example, a graphic designer is typically required to bring a portfolio of their previous work. So make sure you carefully read any pre-interview correspondence about what you need to bring! We hope this checklist serves you well and wish you the best of luck with your next interview!