Job hunting can be particularly difficult for executives. These are generally longer-term positions than others, and by the time you find yourself on the market for a new job, it may have been years since you last interviewed. Being a little rusty is to be expected, but as an executive, the stakes are even higher once you land an interview.

Make sure you know what to bring to your interview by first reviewing this refresher course we’ve put together.

Related: 6 Common Executive Interview Types

What to Bring


Bring at least five copies of your resume to both initial and secondary interviews. Executive interviews are often conducted by a panel, and you’ll need enough copies for everyone. If it’s been a while since your last job search, you should take a few minutes to update and refresh your resume before hitting print.

Portfolio or Work Samples

Nearly every industry requires you to produce samples of your past work or projects. Bring only examples of your best work, preferrable including one from your most recent position. Be prepared to discuss these projects in your interview.


If not included on your resume, you should also bring a list of references. Include three to five professional references and two to four personal references. Note all references’ relationship to you, and be sure to include accurate, up-to-date contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses.


You should always bring necessary hiring documentation with you in the event that you are offered the position immediately. This includes your social security card, driver’s license or ID, birth certificate or Passport, as well as a voided check for direct deposit.

Thoughtful Questions

Nearly all interviews end with the hiring manager asking the candidate whether they have any questions, and the worst answer possible is, “No.” By the time you get to the interview you should have already researched the company enough to have at least one question for the interviewer, but it’s better to have at least four. This shows the hiring manager that not only are you are capable of doing your homework, but that you’re eager to be more involved with the company.

What NOT to Bring

Cell Phones

Not many things are as unprofessional as a cell phone making noise during an executive interview. Cell phones, pagers, beepers, PDAs, and all other electronic devices should be left in your car during the interview. If you do bring your device into the building with you, it should be silenced completely and put away. While waiting for the interview to begin, stay off of your phone. Use this time to review your answers to common interview questions or observe other employees coming and going.

Generic Questions

Just as asking insightful questions shows a future employer that you have a desire to learn more about the company, asking poorly planned questions that could have been answered by a quick look at the website shows a hiring manager that you don’t take the position seriously.

Related: 5 Mistakes You Are Making on Your Executive Resume That’s Keeping You From Your Dream Job

Bad Attitude

Hiring managers tell horror stories of candidates who exhibited unprofessionalism by asking about compensation or benefits right away, going into too much detail about a previous position that ended on bad terms, or asking about the company’s plan in case of financial ruin. While some of these questions may be addressed farther down the road, it shows poor judgement and a bad attitude to bring them up in the initial interview. You are there to convince the company that they need you, and the above behaviors generally tend to do the opposite.

For more help preparing for your executive interview, give JBN & Associates a call at 480-344-2822. We have more than 100 years of combined experience in helping executives through our executive placement program.

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