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What should I bring with me to an interview?

I am a Senior in college right now. I am assuming, I am going to have a few different interviews after I graduate. What are some things I should I physically bring with me as I meet prospective employers? Any advice is appreciated! #interviews #job-search

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Ben!

I have a nice padded portfolio that I carry to interviews. It zips closed, and has a couple of pockets and a notepad. The pockets are large enough to hold my phone, ID, car keys, and a comb. You don't want anything in your pockets that would bulge out and detract from the smooth image you are trying to project. And, even if you have never had a pen leak onto a shirt, you don't want to risk that either!

You should have 3-5 copies of your resume, and, on a separate page, your references. Your phone should be OFF. Triple check this! Most phones vibrate way too loud! I used to say leave it in the car, but, it contains a wealth of information you could possibly need. Have at least two pens - and not the 29 cent ones! Don't have a key ring with lots of keys that is guaranteed to make too much noise. If you have business cards, have some with you. It's not a bad investment for $20.

And, looking at your previous questions, I see an interest in marketing/advertising. If you have developed a marketing /advertising portfolio showcasing your work, bring it!

Everything should project the professional image you are trying to portray - pens, portfolio, business cards, resume paper, etc. You could also consider some sort of unique item rather than a business card. I don't currently have a good idea, but, since you are pursuing marketing/advertising, you will be judged by how you market yourself! (for some reason, I am thinking of a trivet people can set their drinks on at their desk. Crazy, I know. But it would contain your logo and contact info)

I think those are the key points. Best of luck!

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Joyce’s Answer

Hi Ben,

Kim's answer is very comprehensive so I just want to emphasize on a couple of things that she had mentioned from personal experience:

1. Notepad - I'd make sure to bring a notepad to either jot down something you'd like to mention (i.e., something about the company you had heard, etc.) or possible questions for the interviewer so that you don't blank during the interview since you'll most likely be really nervous. You can also use the notepad to write down what you've learned about the interviewer/company, so that you can include the details in your follow up/thank you email to the interviewer afterwards.

2. Business cards - I didn't have business cards when I was in college, and I don't think many other students did. That said, if you can make some and bring those to interviews, it will definitely set you apart from the other candidates. Since you are interested in marketing/advertising, if you can put in a little more effort to make business cards with some design or personal flare, that'd be even better. In addition, just the act of exchanging business cards will probably make you more memorable from the interviewer's perspective.

Best of luck!