7 Essentials to Bring to Any Job Interview

When interviewing for a job, preparation is key. Of course, you meticulously research the company, dress to impress and plan your travel route down to the last detail. However, do you plan what’s in your bag? A part of your job interview preparation should always include choosing carefully what you bring and packing the day before. You don’t want to haphazardly end up throwing anything in sight into your bag and forgetting a key item. Here are seven essentials you must bring to ace any interview.

A Professional Bag

First, whether male or female, choose a bag or briefcase that looks professional. Preferably this bag has enough space for the envelope with the copies of your resume you so thoughtfully plan to bring. You want to choose a bag that is large enough to fit your belongings, where items aren’t sticking out of the top or overflowing. You don’t want to look like you just returned from the grocery store or mall with enough items to fill your fridge or closet. A basic, clean black purse, briefcase or nude colored satchel are always good choices.

Your Resume and Paper Copies of Documents

With the internet and mobile phones, we have become very reliant on using our phones for almost everything. However, it is to your advantage to include in your bag a paper copy of your driving directions or any instructions about what to do once you arrive at your interview. Imagine what occurs if your GPS suddenly malfunctions or you can’t access key information about which elevator to take or whom to inform once you arrive. Save yourself some agony by preparing with a back-up paper copy. Also if you did research on the company and wrote out some notes or practice interview question responses, you may consider printing these out for a quick last-minute glance. You can never fully entrust you will have WiFi access in every location so if you do want that last minute peek, ensure you have a paper copy for no fail access.

Extra Jacket or Outerwear

If you live in a location with chilly weather and are planning to take the subway or public transit to your job interview, you may also want to consider bringing or wearing a jacket that can fit in your bag during the interview. The last thing you want is to seem disheveled carrying a huge, puffy coat in tow. It’s important to consider your needs so you will feel most comfortable but also pay close attention to how you fit everything into your bag.


If you are a woman, you want to consider which lipstick or lip gloss best showcases your charming, friendly smile. After transit to your interview, you may want to touch up your makeup, so adding this item to your bag is a good choice.

Gum or Mints

Have any garlic or onions last night on your pizza? Having a piece of gum or a tin of mints in your bag for minty, fresh breath can never hurt.

A Snack

You want to present the best version of yourself and a hangry you is not the best you. Bring an easily transportable and edible snack (now is not the time for a juicy peach or a bag of Funyuns) to ward off the hunger so you can dedicate 100 percent of your focus to the interview.


You never know when you might need to write something down. Imagine the hiring manager giving you a quick written assessment or asking you to do a calculation. What if you are in a conference room without pens and the hiring manager wants to write something down? You whip out your pen showing forethought and preparedness.

What you wear and how you present yourself are both important in the interview process. While having a winning professional bag won’t necessarily secure you the job, it is a key component to present yourself as a confident and savvy candidate.

And it goes without saying, do not forget your wallet or keys.