While researching the school for which you will be interviewing and thinking about how you will respond to classic interview questions is an important first step to preparing for your college interview, you will quickly find that other variables will arise for you to consider. One will be your resume: should you bring it along with you or not?

Read on for our advice on how to present your resume to your interviewer if you choose to bring it with you to a college interview.

In Defense of Bringing Your Resume to Interviews

Though no interview will require to bring a resume or penalize you if you do not, we always advise our students to err on the side of caution. Since there is no reason why it would hurt to bring a few copies of your resume with you to an interview we suggest that you do.

It is a good idea to have a few resumes on hand at your interview for several reasons, the most basic being that it could be awkward and disappointing if in the unlikely situation your interviewer asks for your resume, you do not have one to present. Beyond this, it may be useful to your interviewer as he or she is writing on behalf of you for the admissions committee. Additionally, your interviewer will likely ask for your email for the purpose of keeping in touch; presenting your resume can thus kill two birds with one stone.

However, the advice to bring your resume with you on an interview comes with a caveat. Namely, that how you present your resume if you decide to bring it with you is more important than whether or not you choose to bring it at all.

Manners Matter: How to Present Your Resume to Your Interviewer(s)

Through all of this, it is important to keep in mind that bringing your resume to an interview is probably unnecessary and may even seem redundant. Your interviewer will almost certainly take notes throughout your meeting so that he or she can adequately report on your conversation. Similarly, it should go without saying that you and your interviewer can easily exchange emails and won’t need a resume to keep in touch. Most importantly, your interviewer plays a specific and limited role in your application process—namely, to report on your interview to the admissions committee—and he or she will have play no part in the discussions as to whether or not you will be offered admission.

For all of these reasons, you will want to be sure that you do not appear pushy when offering your resume to your interviewer. Your interview is not an opportunity to network with your interviewer, and thus it is best to wait until the end to offer your resume by asking if your interviewer would like it. In fact, the perfect time to offer your interviewer your resume is when he or she asks for your email.

That said, don’t overthink this too much. We have faith that you will offer your resume graciously and with poise. Most likely, your interviewer will appreciate having your resume to jog their memory as they write about you, and you will come across as being organized and responsible for having your resume with you.

Have another college interview-related question? Maybe we’ve answered it in one of our other articles in the interview series. For more guidance on some other aspect of an upcoming interview, check out these blog posts:

Pre-Interview Advice

A Guide to the Interview Itself

Post-Interview Advice

Lily Calcagnini

Lily Calcagnini

Lily is a History and Literature concentrator at Harvard University who is doing her darnedest to write a thesis about all of her favorite things at once: fashion, contemporary culture, art journalism, and Europe. A passionate learner, she cares deeply about helping high school students navigate the process of college admissions, whether it be through private essay tutoring or sharing advice on the CollegeVine blog.
Lily Calcagnini