What To Take To An Interview

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Do I take a briefcase or bag to an interview?
  • Do I take copies of my resume to an interview?
  • What do I need to have with me at an interview?

This cast gives our guidance on what to take to an interview.

In our experience interviewing, we've seen everything. People who appear to have been away from home several weeks judging by the size of the bag they bring. People who 'travel light' and have to borrow a pen and a piece of paper when we give them details of the next step. People who want to show us their artist's portfolio. People who pull a large sheet of paper out of their bag and start drawing the intricacies of their invention.

There's a wide range behavior in interviews. What though, are the right things to take to an interview?

Here's an example of a portfolio.

  [Play in Popup]

Extra Content

What to Take To An Interview -via Metro


Are there any additional/exceptional information that an interviewee should consider when traveling to an interview via METRO in the Washington, DC area?

Interview via Metro - my perspective

To the above question, the only thing I might have in the portfolio, in addition to what was listed, is one page with the directions on how to get where you're going.  Leave everything else in the hotel room, car at the parking lot, or at home.

Full-day interview add

I don't think I heard this in the cast, but if the interview is a full day, I would add a copy of the agenda that you've hopefully gotten beforehand.  I've never been to an interview with a company that was less than half a day (3 or 4 people back to back).  Most of mine have been at least a full day, and I've done interviews that were two and a half days. 

My question for the group is what to bring to an interview meal, for example the night before.  Virtually every interview I've done (and most where I've been the manager) involves traveling to a location and having dinner the night before and possibly breakfast the morning of.  For breakfast, I assume that the portfolio makes sense, since we're probably going directly to the interview venue.  For dinner, I would probably leave the portfolio in my hotel room and just go with a hotel key, a pen, a couple of clean index cards (to write something down if needed) and a credit card (some companies and government organizations have arcane rules that may require the interviewee to pay for their own meal).  Other thoughts? 

What to take to the Interview

In the DC area the interview varies, as a rule of thumb I always carry Portfolio.  

Suggestions for where to buy the portfolio

Where can you buy the portfolio in the picture?

@LSHUFRO - I bought it in

@LSHUFRO - I bought it in Marks & Spencer's about 10 years ago, which probably isn't much use to you.

There's a similar one here: http://www.amazon.com/Regal-Leather-Document-Holder-Black/dp/B00167UK9W/...

or if you're in the UK and money to spend, I like this one: http://www.kikijames.com/KJ1195BLACK.html.

Hope that helps,


Try a department store

 I've seen similar portfolios in various department stores and higher end stationery stores.  Those might be worth a try.  Depends on if you want specifically that design or if you're happy with something very similar but not identical.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk (Please note I'm on UK time)

DiSC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

Love the episode, but...

I think the correct word for this is "padfolio" at least that's how they sell them at Staples.

I just bought one today to go out to do interviews. They are relatively inexpensive, and come with a pad of paper inside.

Anyway, good work guys. I love this episode, and the entire interview series, just amazing info.