The Interview Bag
I've now been working for 8+ months and graduated about a year ago - crazy. But, it wasn't always this way.
Last summer, I applied to 200+ jobs and interviewed at plenty. (Job hunting is really hard - don't get discouraged.)
I enjoy interviewing to an extent, but I never enjoyed dressing for these conversations. This definitely sounds petty, but I just don't feel confident - or like me at all - in a suit. I feel formal, overdressed and hot (a product of interviewing in 90+ degree weather). Plus, the industry I wanted to enter was so casual! Half the time, my interviewers were in jeans, T-shirts, and accessorized with tattoo sleeves, while I sat in a pant suit and pumps feeling awkward.
As much as I struggled with dressing like this day in and day out, I did love inserting some semblance of personality into my drab suit. I liked to change it up with some fun shoes, a statement necklace, or a fun bag.
My bag became my go-to as I traveled hours at a time with it, by my side.
So, after much practice, here are my "must-haves" in your interview bag.
- The bag itself. The bag always added a pop of color to my outfits. Plus, it was the first (and only) designer bag I bought with the money I earned from working! It gave me confidence...and made me feel like Elle Woods, who is unabashedly my fictional role model. Thanks, Kate Spade.
- My calendar: I love Erin Condren. Her planners are amazing. They keep me incredibly (and neurotically) organized. It was a great way to keep track of interview dates, times, locations, and the huge notes section was perfect for taking any notes and writing down any follow-up questions. Plus, yet again, it showed some personality if I ever whipped it out during an interview.
- Headphones: I always turned on my favorite pump-up song as I walked to a company's building. It was a definite confidence boost right when I needed it. Songs of choice: Uptown Funk, I Don't Want This Night to End, Perfect Day, and Talking Body!
- Oral-B Flossers to Go: Honestly, I often snacked on my way to interviews, so it was nice to floss my teeth on the go. Plus, they smelled like mint!
- Pencil: to go with my planner. You never know when you might write things down! Plus, this one is cute and patterned. Shows personality! Yet again, thanks Kate Spade.
- Lipstick: Lipstick makes me feel grown up. Call me childish for saying that, but it does! I always had a few different shades on hand depending on what outfit I was wearing. Two of my favorites: Manic from Urban Decay & Satin Light Taupe from Make Up For Ever.
- Water: Stay hydrated.
- Resume folder: Even if you've sent in a resume, always bring extra copies with you. I've been asked countless times for a paper copy!
Some extra things to bring: a protein bar (if you're traveling...I recommend Quest Bars), oil removing sheets, and business cards if you have them!