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Why should you always be prepared to fill out a job application?

Job Applications are used for a variety of reasons, and most employers requireg a job application, even if you have submitted a resume,  previously. Reason? The application is a legal document attesting to truthfulness of the information contained in the document. Your resume is only an introduction to your qualifications and skills. The interview allows the employer explore what you bring to the table in depth, as well as assess you as an individual.

Job application can be very detailed, so it is a good idea to gather all the information, paperwork and other documents that may be required (DD 214, diplomas, etc), in advance.

Below is a list of information that employers typically want you to provide on job applications. It excludes the ordinary for which you don't need to prepare, such as your contact information. (Job Searching: J. Steven Niznik, 2000)

Social security number (SSN)
Driver's license number and state of issue
Whether or not you've been convicted of a crime by civil or military courts
   Nature of the offense
   Date of conviction
   Location where convicted
   Disposition (sentence, probation, etc.)

Home addresses for the past ten years

Date you're available for work
*If you must give your current employer notice two weeks in advance, write Two weeks notice.  Otherwise, write the date on which you know for sure you can start work.

Military service. Bring your discharge papers, just in case they ask to see them.
Entry and discharge dates
Type of discharge
Occupational specialization
Special training received and dates
Last rank

You might be asked if you're a veteran of a war era