10 Things You Should Never Bring To Interview


An interview is the chance to make that important first impression on a company's representative, so you should be well-prepared. You've probably did a research on the company, chose the perfect interview outfit, and grabbed the handbag with a hard copy of your resume… By the way, what else do you bring with you to an interview? For instance, can you bring notes to a job interview?

However superficial this question may sound, it's more important than it seems. Moreover, there is uncustomary little information out there on what one should never bring for an interview.  I'm absolutely sure you know of the necessity to arrive early, to control your body language, and to bring your professionally written resume on paper. However, bringing on the wrong things can destroy your professional image faster than you think. You can always ask the HR manager: "Can I bring notes to an interview?", it is OK, however, there are undesirable things.

So, let's have a look at what shouldn't be with you as you enter the organization for a job interview. This article covers key points. If you have a job interview coming, be sure to consider bringing notes, having a few extra copies of your resume, a positive attitude, and a cover letter, of course. It should cover all the important details. It is a good practice of taking notes, asking intelligent questions, and maintaining eye contact. Keep in mind that your task is to be different from other applicants and prove your ability to fit the company culture! You need to be genuinely interested to get the right job!

What Not to Bring to an Interview Even if You Want to

Your mom (your best friend, your boyfriend, etc.)

It's great that you and the other person are so close and they are willing to support you before such an important event. However, the employer doesn't share this view. If you come for an interview with a family member, they will doubt if you are an adult person who is ready to work and take on the responsibility. So, everyone will win if your dear ones wish you good luck on the phone or via text. Even if you are applying for a job in a creative industry, brining your mom to a job interview is still excessively creative.

Your cat or accessory dog

Any interview guide or career coach won't tell you that it's fine to show up for an interview with an animal – no matter how cute or small it is. Both your appearance and your conduct in a professional setting should remain professional. Let alone the fact that it looks unprofessional, the recruiter might not be an animal lover, and will at once dismiss your candidacy even before the interview actually started. If you can't leave the pet at home alone, ask your friend or neighbor to look after it. Do not bring to a job your pets! Never!

Any electronic devices that aren't in silent mode

Of course, you'll have some gadgets with you – at least, your smartphone. However, make sure to switch them off in advance. An interview is important enough for you to pay all your attention to a recruiter. Even if you don't attend to the phone, the sound of a notification or an incoming text can make an impression that you can't prioritize and can evoke the question if you will be focused enough when they actually hire you. It does not mean you need to come to an interview empty handed, but at least you need to turn them off. Most interviewers will not appreciate noise and will give preference to other candidates.

A cup of coffee or snacks to share with a hiring manager

Maybe, you get hungry when you're nervous. Or maybe, you're just a coffee addict and feel comfortable when carrying a big cup of Starbucks everywhere you go. However, that doesn't work with interviews. If you are starving, it's better to have a snack at the café nearby. And, ditch the idea of bringing a beverage with you – not only an interviewer might think it's rude, but also you won't feel comfortable where to put it and what to do with an empty cup.  You can have a beverage if the recruiter offers you, though. Eating during a job interview, even if it is a small snack, is never a good idea!

An issue of Glamour or Twilight

Demonstrating any other printed materials except for your resume and references list isn't necessary. And, when it comes to gossip magazines and teenage books, it's totally not acceptable as it doesn't help you build your professional image in the eyes of the interviewer. Even if you read stuff of this kind, keep it at home, recommends Careers.com. You can have multiple copies of your resume but do not hand more than one to an interviewer, unless you are asked for extra.

The shopping bags

The problem here isn't the bags themselves but the message they're conveying. When you come for an interview after the shopping, it makes you look like you've got lots of other activities to complete, and attending an interview is just one of them – thus, you don't care much about it. It is assumed, on the other hand, that the interview is your key focus of the day, so you should be dressed and mentally prepared for it. Speaking about the interview preparation, have you thought of the questions you'd like to ask your interviewer? The last thing during interviewing process is to show the idea that you came to the interview right before or after shopping.

A product of the rival company

If you're going for an interview with Apple, you should not have any Android device with you. The same goes for the companies of any industry. One of your interview tasks is to show that you fit well into both the company's corporate culture and the team you'll be working with. So, look and act as if you were already working with this company, not their competitors.

A chewing gum

Taking care of your teeth is great. Chewing gum during the interview is not acceptable. You're going to keep the conversation for an hour or even longer, so make sure you'll feel comfortable and won't look like a teenager in the eyes of the person who is considering hiring you.

Your private information

Although the recruiter may ask you some private questions, you are not required to answer them. Moreover, there are certain questions (i.e. about your religious and political affiliation, ethnicity, marital status, and age) you should never answer to avoid discrimination. Employers are not allowed to ask this as it is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. So, keep the private facts to yourself if you do not wish to be discriminated against.

Anything that doesn't contribute to your professional image

A number of items which is possible to take with you for an interview is so big that it's just impossible to mention everything. Remember the main rule: before you grab something with you, ask yourself: does this help me look like a goal-oriented professional? And if the answer is “no”, leave it at home. At the interview you've got only one chance to make a good impression, so don't waste it. For example, if you have a printed document with the answers to the most common interview questions, it would immediately show a lack of confidence! You need to prepare before the big day! The worst thing is to start reading directly from the paper.

A Few Notes about In Person Interview

If you were invited for an interview, it means that your resume is already good enough. But what if you are receiving less feedback than you'd like to? Then, consider hiring a professional to redo your resume.  Our expert writers can identify problems with your resume and edit it to make it more effective and generate more recruiters' attention to your candidate.

During the interview, it is okay to have a water bottle, copies of your resume, cover letter. It is okay to ask how many people are going to interview you for the position. It is absolutely necessary to write a thank you letter. Do not forget to ask about the next steps. The most important thing is to be positive and confident enough in you qualifications and the ability to cope with the job!

Have you received a job offer? Don't hurry up to accept it! Ask these eleven questions to find out if the job is a truly good fit for you and will eventually contribute to your career in the long run.

Our experienced writers can create a powerful resume suitable for each position. However, you may also request a specific resume depending on the job you are applying for, thus it will be tailored individually for your profession:

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