The Job Interview Survival Kit

You’ve researched the role, you’ve brushed up on your skills, you’ve confirmed the interview date…what’s left to prepare? Take a look at our survival kit below and make sure you’re bringing all the essentials to your next job interview.

Extra copies of your resume.

Your interviewer likely has a printed copy of your resume that you sent through with your application, but it’s standard etiquette to present them with a clean copy on professional resume paper. Make sure to have more than one copy handy in case you’re interviewed by multiple people.



Portfolio or work samples.

It’s one thing to talk about all the professional projects you’ve been apart of, but it’s even better if you can actually show what you’ve done. Your work samples are also great talking points to aid you while you’re discussing your experience.


Breath mints.

Look, you don’t want your interviewer to have to take a step back as soon as you introduce yourself! Try to stay away from gum, though. You may forget to spit it out before the interview, and then you’ll just end up distracting others with your chewing.


Clean, professional attire.

This one is a given. Even if you’re interviewing somewhere that’s known for its casual environment, professional attire is a must on interview day! Think of things like a suit and tie, a pantsuit, or a dress and blazer.




A comb is essential for those last-minute touch ups right before you head through the door. You want to look as clean and put together as possible, so tame those flyaways from your drive over!


Water bottle. 

Nothing is worse than a long one-on-one conversation when you’re completely parched! Just try not to sip your water at distracting times, and save it for when you have a brief break or pause in the interview.



A clean, professional-looking notebook is important. You’ll definitely want to jot down any notes you have during the interview and record any important names you’ll want to remember later (Remember—you’ll need to write your interviewers thank you notes after!).




This goes hand-in-hand with the notebook. Asking for a pen because you forgot yours isn’t exactly the best first impression, is it?



Your interviewer isn’t the only one doing their research—you are too! Remember to have questions on hand that will help you gain a better understanding of whether this role is right for you.

Got any more questions about your next interview? Drop them in the comments below!


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  1. Carolyn Clatchey says:


    I am the grandmother of an incoming Freshman. You interview survival kit is really very good. I have worked in HR my whole career (40 years). One suggestion would be to add another step and that is to become familiar with the company by going on their website and read all about them so you can form intelligent questions to ask. Our HR Dept. asks that question to each applicant. It is a plus for the applicant if they have visited our website.

    Good Luck

  2. Jennifer E. says:

    Great advice! My teacher also suggested if you need a moment to compose your answer, that water bottle is a useful tool. Cough, say excuse me, and take a drink while you organize your thoughts. It buys you a few seconds instead of sitting there saying, “That’s a very good question,” etc.

  3. Pauline says:

    If I have not worked for several years, because of taking care of the investment, attending college, and taking care of elder parent. How do I or should I reflect all of the above in my resume and explain on interview. Does age matter in getting a job? Please advice. Thank you.

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