Should You Bring A Handbag To An Interview?

Interviews are nerve-racking for everyone. From what to wear to what to say, there are so many things to consider in preparation for that big interview. As you prepare your wardrobe, you might be wondering whether or not you should bring a handbag with you to the interview.

Young glamour woman wearing polka dot shirt and jeans posing with pink handbag during job interview, Should You Bring A Handbag To An Interview?

It’s always a wonderful idea to bring a handbag with you to an interview. A handbag not only completes an outfit, but it also gives you room to keep essentials on hand. The size of the handbag is up to you. Just consider the optics of it because you want to give off a professional look.

If you still have some lingering questions about interview etiquette, especially as it pertains to handbags, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll discuss the topic at length. Just keep reading!

What Bag Should I Bring To An Interview?

You should bring a handbag or stylish tote bag with you to an interview. If possible, try to avoid carrying your everyday purse with you (unless it’s a designer bag). Never bring more than one bag into the interview, either.

The bag should be simple and professional. Select a bag that will help complement your outfit and help you stay organized. Stay away from evening-style clutches and bags, gym bags, cross-body bags, and wristlets.

Pick out a classic handbag or tote bag to carry with you. Ensure that you have enough room in it to carry all of your interview essentials. You don’t want the contents bulging or spilling out after all. Solid, neutral colors match any outfit and look clean-cut. 

Timeless Handbag

Nine West Handbag

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Roomy Tote Bag

Leather Tote Bag

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As you prepare for your interview, use your best judgment to determine what the best bag will be to bring with you. It’s recommended to err on the side of a more conservative outfit and look when you interview. Know the company and its culture. 

Can I Bring A Backpack To An Interview?

It isn’t advisable to bring a backpack to an interview. While you might be the most organized person in the world, a big backpack will make it look like you haul a lot of clutter with you everywhere you go, and this isn’t the impression you want to give to an employer.

Plus, you don’t want to have to rummage through a big backpack to get a pen, notepad, or anything else you need. When it comes to interviewing successfully, half the battle is looking sharp, organized, and put together. 

If you typically carry a backpack around with you, we recommend that you leave it in the car. However, if you’d rather have a larger bag rather than a smaller handbag, there are some formal-looking backpacks available. Just stay away from the average school-type backpack.

Vegan Leather Backpack

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What Is The Best Color To Wear For An Interview?

It’s best to avoid wearing bright colors and distracting patterns for an interview. Neutral colors like black, gray, brown, and white are great, timeless options. These colors are safe, but you can still dress them up to look elegant and thought-out. If you want something other than earthy neutrals, colors such as blush pink, dark green, rusty red, and burgundy are acceptable, too. 

You can embellish your outfit with subtle jewelry, your handbag, and shoes. Jewelry is a wonderful way to sneak in some color to the outfit. Just don’t allow any piece to be overpowering or distracting.

Can I Wear My Hair Down For An Interview?

Wearing your hair down for an interview is a-okay. There are a few things to consider if you go this route. First, you should ask yourself if it’s going to be distracting for yourself. Do you tend to play with your hair when you’re nervous? Do you frequently push it around when it’s down? If so, you may want to consider putting it in an updo or a partial updo.

Second, if you wear your hair down, make sure it looks maintained and well-kept. Keep the wispy hairs under control and possibly pinned back. Don’t let your hair give the impression that you just rolled out of bed and tried flattening your hair down. 

Third, go for a partial updo that allows your hair to fall around your face, framing it. 

Even with all this taken into consideration, make sure your look expresses who you are as a person! Let your personality shine. 

Is It OK To Bring A Notepad Into An Interview?

It isn’t just OK to bring a notepad into an interview—it’s highly encouraged. Bringing a notepad into an interview is an easy way to instantly earn favor with the employer. By bringing a notepad with you to your interview, you’re showing the interviewer that you’re a professional who’s attentive and detail-oriented.

And aside from optics, regardless of the type of job you’re interviewing for, it’s a good idea to have a way to jot down important information during the interview. You can also write down important questions that you want to ask your interviewer, and this is a great way to ensure that you won’t forget it.

The notepad doesn’t have to be large and unsightly—a small one will do. You can even find one that will tuck nicely into the handbag that you brought with you.

Moleskine Classic Notebook

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In Closing

We hope this guide has helped you feel more prepared for your interview. If you follow the simple tips outlined here, you’ll be well on your way to landing that dream job. Best of luck—you’ll do great! Before you go, be sure to check out these other great style guides:

Where To Buy Handbags [Top 30 Online Stores]

Should A Bride Have A Handbag?

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