What's In My Bag for a Job Interview?

We’ve all seen celebrity "What's In My Bag?" segments. Our favorite famous faces pull out expensive lipsticks or green juices and gab about what products they can’t live without. Career Group Companies decided to spin this phenomenon into our new piece: "What's In My Bag for a Job Interview?". We've compiled a list of things you should definitely bring to your next interview to feel prepared and confident. Hint: there’s no green juice on this list, but you’ll still feel like a rock star after nailing your interview.

Grab your favorite bag or briefcase and start packing it with these must-have items before the big day and rest assure that you’ll be well-prepared.

Water Bottle

Make sure you’re hydrated before walking in! In addition to ensuring you aren’t thirsty before the interview starts, taking small sips of water can also help calm your nerves. While sipping water whilst waiting in the lobby is acceptable, it’s best you stash the bottle away in your bag before heading into the actual interview. In general, keep your hands free of your phone, keys, or any beverages in order or to look professional and put together.

Dry Mouth Mints

Since you're about to do a lot of talking, have a pack of anti-dry mouth mints in your bag. Dry mouth can make it difficult to speak during an interview, especially for long periods of time. Combine this with interview jitters and it can cause an uncomfortable situation. Luckily, these special mints are here to rescue you! These aren’t just regular mints, but instead are actually formulated for, you guessed it, dry mouth (not the most fun thing to talk about, but hey, it happens!). You can find these at most convenience stores in the health/medicine section. You’ll also have fresh breath, which is always a plus! Again, make sure you take care of this before, not during, the interview.

Copies of Your Resume

It’s always a good idea to have extra copies of your resume on hand, even if you already sent it in to your interviewer. You also shouldn’t rely on your interviewer to print their own copy. Additionally, you never know if there will be more people joining the interview who haven't seen it yet. Make sure the copies are clean, neat, and crisp. Try putting them in a folder to keep them looking their best.


If you have a physical portfolio, make sure you have it with you so you can show off all of your hard work. If you have a digital version, it may be a good idea to bring in a laptop or tablet so you can pull it out during the interview. Tip: Have the portfolio pre-loaded on the screen so you don’t waste time searching for it. You will look super prepared!

A Notebook and Pen

Always come prepared with something to write on and something to write with. Jot down some notes beforehand about the company to show that you did you research, along with any questions you may have.


If you don’t know what the parking situation at your interview is going to be, make sure you have some cash and coins on hand in case you need them for a meter, parking garage or lot. While most places take credit card these days, play it safe and have back up. Side note: Give yourself extra time if this is the case, especially in big cities. You don’t want to be late because of a parking hiccup.

Remember to prep your bag the night before the interview to avoid a last-minute scramble. This will also allow you to get a good night’s rest, without worrying about what you need to have prepared. Organization is key when it comes to the job hunt, so keep this check list handy and allow yourself to breathe easy!

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Founded in 1981 by Susan Levine, Career Group Companies was created to set a higher standard for recruiting. For over four decades, we’ve partnered with our valued candidates and clients to cultivate perfect career matches for administrative, creative, fashion, events, and executive professionals at top companies nationwide.

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