Should I Bring My Resume to an Interview? (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

A strong resume is typically the first stage in applying for a job, but it can also support you during the rest of the hiring process. There are several items that are important for you to bring to an interview, including your resume. Understanding whether to bring your resume to an interview can help you feel more confident and prepared when going in to the meeting. In this article, discuss the answer to the question "Should I bring my resume to an interview?", explore other items you can bring to your job interview, and provide tips to help you prepare.

Answering the question: "Should I bring my resume to an interview?"

When asking "Should I bring my resume to an interview?" the short answer is yes. The organization you're applying to likely has a copy of your resume, and you may have discussed some details over the phone with a recruiting manager. It's also possible that the interviewer may not have a printed copy of your resume, so it's advisable to bring one to make the best impression in any scenario. Carrying copies of your resume printed on high-quality paper is a good decision.

Another helpful tip is to carry one resume for each person you expect to be interviewed by, along with a few more copies in case additional interviewers attend the meeting. Try to bring about five to seven copies of your resume and put them in a separate folder to avoid bending or wrinkles and to make them easily accessible.

Related: What to Put in a Resume

Other items to bring to an interview

Here are some other items you can bring to a job interview to increase your chances of landing the job:

A written list of questions

Most job interviews conclude with a brief part in which you can ask questions about the organization and its work culture. It's a positive sign for an applicant to show interest in a company, and it's an even better indication when you've conducted your own study and prepared relevant questions. Do not be afraid to jot down these questions to bring to your interview. Doing so demonstrates thoughtfulness and preparation.

Related: 11 Essential Things to Bring to a Job Interview

Pen and paper

These are very important items to bring to your interview. While you're asking questions, you don't want to create the idea that you're not paying attention to the information the interviewer provides. By taking notes on a notepad, you can display an interest in the specifics of your prospective job while also ensuring that you don't forget any critical information you discover during the interview.

A briefcase or tote bag

This may be a genuine attaché case, a briefcase, or spacious tote bag. The most important part is to carry a bag to hold the materials you bring to a job interview. A leather bag looks professional, and it's also an excellent way to arrange all the other items you bring to a job interview.

A list of references

If your interview goes well, it may lead to a conditional offer of employment, which is why it's important to bring references to a job interview. One of those requirements may be that all of your referrals are valid. You want to make this step as straightforward as possible, and having your references written and ready to hand out may help. You can also impress your interviewers with your preparedness.

Your portfolio

It is important to bring your portfolio to your job interview if you're applying for a creative job, such as writing or graphic design. For creative positions, your interviewer may require a portfolio of your past work. Your past achievements are more convincing than well-chosen words, so there is great value in presenting samples of your previous work in a job interview. Bring your actual portfolio with you if you have one. If not, email your website's URL prior to the meeting so the interviewer can evaluate your work before or during the interview.

News stories about the company

If the organization you're looking to join is large, local, or has been in operation for several years, there are likely some news notifications about it circulating. If you can locate these and do some research about the firm, you can be more prepared to ask relevant questions during an interview. You're likely to impress the interviewer if you can reference a news story about one of the company's achievements.

A positive attitude

Try to always arrive early for a job interview. Spend the extra time mentally preparing for the interview. Recruiters almost always look for applicants who exhibit optimism and excitement, so how you feel about your prospects may help you during the meeting. Talk calmly and cheerfully during the interview and express your excitement about the possibility of being hired for the role.

Notes from previous contacts

By the time you arrive for your interview, you've most likely already exchanged a few phone calls and emails with your prospective employer. While most of these interactions were likely with members of the company's human resources department, you may have had a few with members of the division you're trying to join.

It's worth the effort to keep track of who you've spoken with and what they've said throughout your previous interactions. You may save these notes on some index cards with the name and department of the organization written on the top and a few important topics from your conversation written below. Keeping these on hand during the interview may assist you when referring to the information you have collected, such as pay, working hours, or details about a specific policy.

Tips for a successful interview

Here are some job interview tips that can assist you in having an effective interview:

Practise for the interview

Study common job interview questions and practise your responses. Strong responses are concise and focus on examples that demonstrate your abilities and bolster your resume. Your responses can highlight the skills that are most valuable to the company and applicable to the role. Make sure you thoroughly review the job description, compile several requirements, and compare them to your experience.

Related: How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

Develop some rapport with the interviewer

Along with demonstrating your knowledge of the company, try to establish rapport with your interviewer. Get to know the interviewer's name and use it throughout the job interview. If you're unsure about the name, review your invite email or call the company to inquire prior to the interview. It's also important to pay close attention to names during introductions.

Research the company, and show what you know

Do some research about the employer and industry to prepare for the interview question, "How much do you know about this company?" If your interviewer doesn't ask this question, try to show your knowledge of the organization on your own. On the company's website, you may learn a great deal about the company's history, mission and core values, employees, workplace culture, and recent accomplishments. If the business has a blog or a social media presence, these may have some valuable information as well.

Prepare ahead of time

Make sure you don't wait until the last minute to select an interview outfit, make additional copies of your resume, or get a notebook and pen. Prepare at least one outfit for the interview in advance so that you may be available for interviews on short notices. Planning everything out ahead of time can help you reduce anxiety and help you focus all your mental energy on the interview itself. Bring your portfolio, extra copies of your resume, and a pen and paper for taking notes.

Remain calm during the interview

Try to be relaxed during the job interview because that shows that you are self-confident. Keep in mind that your body language conveys a lot of information about you, like your responses to the questions. Being properly prepared can help you be more confident during the interview. The following can help you during the interview:

  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer as you respond to questions.

  • Ensure that you pay close attention to questions and listen actively to the whole question the interviewer is asking.

  • Allow the interviewer to finish asking questions before answering them.

Follow up after the interview

Always send a letter of gratitude expressing your continued interest in the job. You may add any information you may have overlooked during your interview. Try to collect business cards from everyone you meet during your interview, if possible. This way, you can have access to their contact information and reach out to them if necessary.

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