That moment you’ve been waiting for is here. You’re getting ready to walk into your first interview (of many) and you’re so excited! You’ve got the suit, you’ve got the experience, and now you want to make sure you bring the right stuff along. To help with that, I went ahead and compiled a list of the different things I packed in my purse for the interview. Granted, you probably don’t want to bring all of the same stuff, or you might want to add something different, but this should be a good list of what you could bring.
- Purse: I shouldn’t have to explain this one too much. If you’re a girl, you should bring a purse. Its just helpful to have something to hold all the stuff and you’re going to want to bring stuff. Now, I have champagne taste on a beer budget (if you don’t know what that means, I like things I can’t afford), and I’ve learned some tips over the years on how to get the most bang for my bucks. Firstly, check out Rue La La. It has different boutiques that open and you get great items for a discounted price. The boutiques are rotating and there’s a limited amount of items of each, but its definitely worth checking out. I got this Kate Spade purse for something like $75 off (it was a while ago). Secondly, I know how awesome that hot pink purse looks and how great you’ll look with it. But stop, take a minute, and think about how much use you’ll ACTUALLY get out of it. Stick with the classic, neutral colors now until you’re a PA and make enough money to spurge even now and again. Finally, take care of your stuff. I’ve had this black bag for over 4 years and it looks great because I’m careful with it. The more you take care of things, the better they look and the longer they can have your back for.
- Portfolio: I cannot stress this one enough. Guys, you need to bring it as well. It is so vital for the interview. It looks super professional, it allows you to bring a notepad and take notes during the interview (A MUST), gives you a spot to hold your resume, and it is the perfect something to hold so you don’t fiddle with your hands. There’s a bunch of different options you can go with, I’m cheap so I went with just a plain black one. But most Universities have their own at the bookstore and it does look really smart to have one of those. Check out places like Target, Walmart, and office supply stores. You want something simple without zippers and tons of extra stuff
- Pad of Paper: You’re going to want to take notes. Most schools will give you a folder with the schedule and some other papers, but its nice to have just simple lined paper. You want to write down any thoughts you have during the interview. I did a running list of pro/con and it was great when I was looking back later to decide which program I wanted to go to
- Your Resume: Some schools will come out and ask you to bring this. Make sure you bring it if they ask. But I found it nice just to carry a couple of copies with me in case someone did ask for it (I had an interviewer switch at the last moment and the new lady asked me for my resume). Some schools will also ask for a headshot of you. The schools I interviewed at just took a picture of the interviewees during the session
- Pen and Highlighter: These two items are something you should always carry with you. You don’t want to be the awkward person who has to ask for a pen to write your name on the sign in sheet (this was me during my Northeastern interview). Some schools will give you a pen, but don’t count on it. And you definitely want something to take notes with. Plus, its great to have a highlighter on hand to mark up your specific schedule- most schools separate you into groups and you want to make sure you’re with the right group.
- Wallet: Another no brainer. You need your ID. And its always helpful to have money on you.
- Water: Its a LONG day, and you’re going a LOT of talking. Make sure you stay hydrated. You don’t want to be looking for a water fountain throughout the day. Its better just to be prepared
- Granola Bar: Same idea, its a long day and you don’t want to get hangry during the interview. Most schools will serve you some sort of refreshments, but if you’re like me and picky/allergic to everything, its easier to bring your own.
- Chocolate: Okay so this was my favorite thing at the interview. I’m a big believer in the idea that chocolate can make you happy, and when you’re happy you do better. So I always brought something small to eat just before my actual interview and I do think it helps. I still do it in school when we have a test.
- Mints: on that note, you don’t want smelly breath. So bring some mints with you, NOT gum. Gum is very unprofessional and you seriously don’t want to accidentally forget and be chewing it during the interview. Mints are much safer.
- Hand Sanitizer: Germs. Food. Ugh
- Band Aids: I don’t care how comfortable you think your shoes are, your feet are going to hurt during the interview. Just save yourself the hassle and bring bandaids just in case. Plus if someone else needs them, you’ll look so awesome for being on top of it and having them
- Tide to Go Pen: You never know what may happen, and lets be honest, something always happens to spill on you when you’re wearing a nice outfit.
- Face Wipes: I don’t enjoy wearing make up (foundation). I think I get even sweatier with it on and it just stresses me out for some reason. So, I always bring face wipes on the go so I can clean off my face at lunch and reapply. Philosophy is my FAVORITE brand of cleanser because I really think it works and my face doesn’t get crazy dried out from it
- Make Up: Powder, foundation, whatever you put on. Bring some with you so you can touch up on the go and make sure you look as flawless at the end of the day as you did at the start of it.
- Good Luck Note: Positive thinking leads to positive results. So, as a good luck charm my mom would always write me a sweet note about how awesome I was going to do and put it in my bag. When I saw it, it would make me smile and remind me how much I did deserve to be there.
Hopefully you found these tips on what to bring a little helpful! Obviously if there is something you really think you need, bring it. These are just the things I found helpful over my 7 different interviews, and what I wish I had known to bring at the very first one.
As always, feel free to contact me!