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Do I bring a handbag into an interview ?

(23 Posts)
Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 07:51:19

I would appreciate your help on this ,
I have a job interview on Monday . My last job interview was 8 years ago so I can't even remember it.
I am wearing a navy blazer and trousers. Nude shoes.
Should I bring a handbag with me ?
My work colleagues say no but I am putting it out to the mumsnet jury !
If the answer is yes any suggestions would be gratefully received !

daftdame Sat 25-May-13 07:55:43

Yes. I always have done. You don't want your pockets full of wallet, phone etc. Don't see why a handbag would make you an unsuitable candidate. Unless you hold it up and pull a cat's bum face! grin

WaitingForMe Sat 25-May-13 07:56:32

I always have (what else would I do with my phone, keys...?).

I interviewed a few months ago and one applicant had some notes in her bag that she referred to. I was impressed by the effort she had made.

What's wrong with handbags?

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 07:58:51

Thanks for reply. I would feel naked without a bag. Any colour bag ? Must practice non cat's bum face in mirror !
wink

lellibobs Sat 25-May-13 08:00:29

I interview lots of people. For an external candidate they usually have a handbag. Internal candidates might not. I have never taken someone's handbag into account in the selection procedure!

lellibobs Sat 25-May-13 08:02:15

Good luck by the way!

daftdame Sat 25-May-13 08:03:42

I'm probably old fashioned but I would match it to shoes, or if that looks wrong, jacket.

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 08:05:23

My friend brought 2 lovely bags in for me to choose from and everyone else said oh no you don't want to be bringing a bag in. I was panicking about where to put keys wallet etc. I am bringing a folder with my application form. They suggested just bringing car key in that folder.
Leaving everything else in the car!
Now I haven't got those bags I will have to go bag shopping this afternoon . At least if I don't get the job I will get a new bag. grin

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 08:06:23

Last message has totally outed me.

OneHandFlapping Sat 25-May-13 08:07:01

I have always taken a handbag or a briefcase to interviews (officey type jobs). So do the women I've interviewed recently. The men tend to have messenger type bags.

From my observations the current office fashion in London seems to be a bag large enough to carry an A4 pad and a pair of heels.

And I always go to interviews with a notepad and a list of questions. Who wouldn't? How else do you make sure that the job is right for you? An interview is a two way process.

susiefen Sat 25-May-13 08:13:12

I tend to take a small bag that fits under my arm for keys, purse, passport etc and then carry a smart folder with paperwork, notes, memory stick for presentation if needed etc. By the way, I always take a sheet with brief interview notes, just helps in case you get total brainfreeze! I don't take my usual bag which is quite big - you don;t want to reach in for your notes and pull out a selection of ancient lipsticks, tampons, plasters etc (or is that just my bag?!)
Best of luck!

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 08:21:18

Thanks for the best wishes. Job would be a promotion for me in a bigger hospital than i currently work. So I hope I get it. Feel like a name change coming on.

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 08:22:25

Any suggestions on a bag to buy?
I'm in Ireland.

SundaySimmons Sat 25-May-13 08:22:40

You must take a bag in! Turn phone off beforehand.

As you sit down, reach into bag and take out notebook and pen. This shows you are organised. Obviously empty out all the crap from your bag beforehand so you are not scrabbling around at the bottom of your bag and bring out a pen with a half chewed toffee on the end!

SundaySimmons Sat 25-May-13 08:23:57

Just get a plain looking bag, nothing with pictures of animals or florals. Plain navy to match your blazer.

Don't buy a nude bag to match your shoes or you will look like you work in BHS!

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 08:26:51

Thanks navy sounds good. Must buy notepad too. That's a great suggestion.

ItsYonliMe Sat 25-May-13 08:51:08

Gosh, I've attended many interviews over the years (and usually get the job) and I've never found the need to take notes. I've never heard of anyone doing that before.

MarshaBrady Sat 25-May-13 08:55:11

I have never done the notepad thing.

But when I wear heels I travel on bus etc to interview in ballet flats and swap. Would rather just take in a very small bag but take a larger one to hide flats.

HazleNutt Sat 25-May-13 09:05:31

Yes, I always do. Besides the obvious phone and keys (don't forget to turn the phone off!) you want to show that you have prepared. I always bring copies of different documents, especially if I haven't sent them in before - I have been offered the job on the spot and asked for different paperwork and documents for the HR file, they were quite impressed I had everything.

As susie said, also prepare for the "anything you want to ask us" part of the interview and take the notes - you will be at least a little nervous and might otherwise forget everything you wanted to ask or mention.

I would recommend a briefcase type of bag, small purse and folder are an option, but I've always found them too fiddly - one bigger A4 size bag looks more professional.

susiefen Sat 25-May-13 09:26:57

Just another thought - when it comes to the opportunity to ask questions, try to avoid the obvious. A lot of people ask about training and development, but it tends to feel like they just think they need to ask something. Think about what you really want to know - I have asked things like what do they think the priorities will be for the first 6 months, how will they measure the success of the person in the role etc. As Sunday said, it is a 2 way process and you can come out feeling you know little more about the job than when you went in, which may not matter if it is an obvious promotion, but might be important if you are planning a change of role or organisation.

I now leave my phone in the car if I can - mine once could be heard vibrating slightly in an interview, even though on silent. I had to shove my foot on it under the table!

Seem to have gone off theme a bit, but happy shopping anyway and I hope it goes well smile

Chewbecca Sat 25-May-13 12:09:01

Professional office job here, expectation may be different for a different role but for me the following is totally normal:
If internally I would just take a copy of the job description, my application and a pen, possibly a note pad too, or can scribble on the JD. Plus my blackberry on silent.
For external I would take my regular work bag (which is a modalu pippa), having cleared it out so no junk in there and made sure there's no dust in it. And I'd have the papers and pen all together in one bundle and get them out on arrival.
In my last interview I scribbled down an org chart of my current team as I was explaining it. I also wrote down a note for myself of something about my contract that I said I'd check and get back to them with.
If i'm interviewing and someone came without a pen and something to write on, I'd think that was odd.
Good luck!

polyhymnia Sat 25-May-13 13:46:32

Have been interviewed lots and interviewed others at senior level. Bag absolutely fine as long as you don't fiddle with it !

Lepreporn Sat 25-May-13 13:48:50

Thanks for all the advice. Was going to start another thread in employment re interview tips Looks like I won't have to now.

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