The best philosophy when prepping for an interview is to expect the unexpected, err on the side of caution, and bring more than what you think you might need. Here’s what you need to bring with you:

    1. A positive attitude. Enter the room with 100 points, as if you have the job. Each time you give a brilliant answer you get to keep points, every time you blow an answer, you lose points.

    2. Confidence. You were chosen from dozens of applicants, they want to hire you, give them every reason to do so.

    3. Great posture. Walk and sit tall. Be aware of what you are doing with your hands.

    4. A big smile and a firm handshake. Look the interviewees right in the eyes.

    5. Clean, appropriate clothing. Make sure your clothes are seasonally appropriate, fit properly, are pressed, clean and nothing jingles or smells. Shined shoes are a must for men. Leave the 4 inch heels at home ladies unless the environment dictates otherwise. For most industries, cover all tattoos and most piercings.

    6. One printed copy of your resume for each person interviewing you plus three extra. There might be a panel interview or senior people who couldn’t attend who may need to have your information.

    7. A print out of your three minute presentation and your SAR (Situation, Action-taken, Results) stories written out in short. There is nothing wrong with sneaking a peak at your notes. It is a sign of preparedness to have and use your notes. Everyone is nervous, including the interviewer(s).

    8. Note pad and a nice pen. Take notes by hand. DO NOT type notes into a BB or ipad. Use your discretion in what you write down. Usually note taking is not required. Make sure you record the names of the interviewees so you can send a thank you letter or email after the fact.

    9. Do not bring a cell phone. (Turn it off!)

    10. An attractive carrying case or a folder with a flap and closed sides. Make an immediate impression with a professional folder or briefcase with easy access to your papers.

    11. Research notes on the company to read again before you go into the interview.

    12. An article about the company or their annual report. You may want to make mention of something you read about the company lately and casually showing the article as you talk is impressive. Be sure to have an opinion about what you have read.

    13. A list of questions you have prepared that will help you make a decision about the job.

    14. Reference sheet. Your reference sheet should have the contact information of at least two business references and one character reference.

    15. Business cards. Hand your cards out before the interview starts. These cards should be your own personal cards, not one from the company you may be working for at present.

Pack everything you plan to take the night before so you don’t have to rely on getting organized when you are nervous or stressed the day of the interview. Best of luck!


Colleen Clarke, Career Specialist & Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking How to Build Relationships That Count, How to Get a Job and Keep It

Co-author of The Power of Mentorship; The Mastermind Group