Whether You Know How to Pack a Bag
While it's always good to have work samples on hand to illustrate a point, "when you take out your portfolio right away, you're hijacking the interview, and it sends a strong signal that you're going to be a management problem down the road," says Martin Yate, author of Knock 'Em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for First-Time Job Seekers. Save it for later in the interview, when you're answering a question that can be best explained using the visuals. Beyond that, copies of your resume, pens and a notepad are critical to have on hand—though they come with a caveat as well. Take notes only if there's something you'll need to follow up on, or if the interviewer has to answer a call mid-conversation—that way you can remind him where you left off, Yate recommends. Otherwise, keep the pen out of your hands (especially if you're prone to absent-mindedly clicking, chewing or twirling it).