Do you need to bring a resume to a face-to-face interview?

posted in: Job Doc Blog | 0

Q: Recently I interviewed for a job in Cambridge.  I had done my research on the company and felt well-prepared.  When I met with the interviewer, he asked me for a copy of my resume.  It was a tech company.  I didn’t think I needed to bring a copy of my resume.  Is that expected?

Q: Across the globe, technology certainly has influenced the hiring and selection process across.  We source candidates using technology.  We networking using technology.  We share opportunities using technology.  We interview candidates using technology.  We even turn down candidates using technology.  However, there are some steps within the selection process where technology has limits.

Candidates are still evaluated on a variety of factors, where technology makes little difference.  Does a candidate arrive and/or turn on their screen on time?  Is the candidate appropriately dressed?  If a video interview, is there background appropriate?   Is there a firm handshake offered?  Does the candidate maintain eye contact?  These all can contribute to the how a hiring manager assesses a candidate’s capabilities, but in particular how well prepared a candidate may be.

Candidate preparedness can include a range of factors, including bringing several extra hard copies of their resume to a face-to-face interview.  I always recommend that a candidate bring SEVERAL copies of their resume to the onsite interview.  Many hiring managers are overwhelmed with the data thrown at them, from resumes sent via email to resumes sitting in some applicant tracking system.  Make it easy for the hiring manager.  Bring several copies.  By bringing several copies, you are already showing your value.  You are saying “I am prepared and organized.  I can make life easier for you.”  Print your resume on crisp, white or ivory paper.  Avoid any type of colored paper which may feel gimmicky and unprofessional.  Some candidates even offer a file folder so the resume is presented as if it was just printed (vs. presenting it in a crumpled, dog-eared fashion, as if it has been sitting in the bottom of a storage box for weeks).  For video interviews, a share screen option of a resume may be helpful, or a resume shared via chat.

When a candidate is well-prepared, a hiring manager hopefully notices.  It is a way for a candidate to convey their level of interest in a role.  If a candidate is unprepared, often a manager will interpret that behavior as disinterest or sloppiness.  Don’t risk sending this message.

Additionally, for in-person interviews, some candidates also bring their business card, professional references, a note pad and pen.  If appropriate, some candidates may bring work samples.

Finally, what to leave at home when invited to an in-person interview?  Gum, coffee, outlandish outfits, too much perfume and too much jewelry.  Although you should bring it with you, remember to silence or turn off your phone.  The humming, buzzing or vibrating cell phone can be a significant distraction.

Remember to make sure you have email addresses, so thank-you emails can be sent quickly.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.