Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What's In My Bag? Job interview


I went for an interview on Monday. After a lot of preparation and agonising over what to wear, the whole thing took less than half an hour, was very friendly and helpful, and I left with an offer of work experience in the summer. It got me thinking how much we over-prepare for things which we really can't anticipate fully. I'm very glad I prepared thoroughly, but in the event I barely needed any of it. Nevertheless, I found blog posts about what people wore and took with them to interviews extremely helpful in making me feel like I was ready, so I wanted to share the basics of what I had with me, even if not all of them were necessary.

Vintage handbag - An old purchase from Oxford's Ballroom Emporium. If you're after something with a similar look, I can recommend Oxbridge satchels who have a pretty little cream satchel, or this John Rocha clutch which is quite small but has a handy shoulder strap.

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami - One must always have something sensational to read on the train, though this Japanese novel is less sensational, and more conversational. It is a quiet but deeply engaging book, which gives you a little flavour of modern Japanese life alongside a slow-burning love story. It was a good short read to have with me whenever I needed to calm my nerves, as I could lose myself in a chapter for a while.

Pink exercise book - Part of a set from Tesco. I used this to write down all my preparatory notes, anticipating potential questions and making notes on the company. It was doubly useful, as by the time I got the train back I had finished reading the novel, so I turned to the notebook to jot down a few of my impressions of the day; London is always full of moments worth recording.

Orla Kiely document file - I bought this from Waterstones but it is available here and if you like the pattern there are other items on the Orla Kiely website, (just search "pear"). This obviously didn't fit in my hadbag so I carried it separately. Inside I had a couple of examples of my work and an updated CV, all of which were kept nice and flat. There's enough room in this one to slip a notebook and pen too, so it's useful for carrying around any stationery.

Gold accessories - I wore a blue suit with a chiffon white and gold shirt and these gold accessories. The purse is from Accessorize, though I'm fairly certain I got it second hand. They no longer stock this style, but do have a couple of gold purses like this one in at the moment, and here's a similar one from another brand. The shoes are from H&M, and are still available now if you like the look of them. A word of warning though - try out new shoes several days before an interview! I made the mistake of testing these the day before, and they rubbed my feet to pieces. I managed, but it was painful!

Eat Natural bar - Never a good idea to be too hungry. As well as supplementing my appetite with this, I stopped at a Benugo half an hour before the interview to have a peppermint tea (soothing, but also less likely to make my breath smell bad!) and check over my notes.

Cosmetics - I kept these to a minimum, and also put on minimal makeup when heading out. It was a hot and muggy day, so I just did the basics, then used these to freshen up: And Other Stories Moroccan Tea body spray, Miss Sporty So Clear powder and Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. I'm no beauty expert but these are all products I can heartily recommend if you, like me, have sensitive skin and don't like to wear anything too heavy.

1 comment:

William Shaw said...

Lovely stuff - I always find dressing for job interviews a bit of a nightmare - I generally pick the most sober-looking suit I can find. Nice to get a reminder that being calm and collected is as important as being well-dressed.