Whether CEO’s or first line Marketing Managers, we humans have a tendency to believe and retain more through what we see than what we hear. So the next time somebody says that you don’t need to have any documentation for a live interview for a job you really want – don’t believe them. Of course, you need to be sensitive to the issue of confidentiality of proprietary information, and perhaps not refer to a particular document for that reason, or at least black out names, brands and companies.
The reality is that candidates who can support the stories they tell in an interview (STAR question replies) with visual evidence that relates to the topic being evaluated are the candidates that get remembered a week or two later when decisions are made about who to hire. Don’t over-do it (a Marketing Director doesn’t need a Brag Book . . ), but consider what you would want to see if you were the interviewer, and that should help you determine what is appropriate to bring along with you to the interview.
There will be situations where you are interviewing with someone who knows you well and the flagrant use of supporting material would be viewed as overkill, but for the most part it makes perfect sense to support your commentary with some hard copy or video evidence that you really are good at your job. For the most part hiring managers believe candidates when they describe the experiences they’ve had (duties and responsibilities), but can be much more suspicious about accomplishments – and that’s where show-and-tell can be a real benefit for the candidate – and for the interviewer who is eager to get as much information as possible to determine if the candidate is a true “A Player.”