What handbag do you take to job interviews?

  1. I have heard it said that you shouldn't take an "expensive" (not sure what this means, I think it's subjective) handbag to a job interview. The idea, as it was communicated to me, is that you don't want to show up at a job looking like you already have tons of money, because then you might get lowballed on salary. :confused1: Is this good advice, do you think?

    Also, I have heard that you should be careful bringing purses that are too funky or trendy to a job interview, because the idea is that you are supposed to look more professional and conservative than usual in a job interview. This I definitely agree with.

    So, what sort of handbag and/or briefcase do you carry to a first job interview? I am sure answers will depend on profession. Interested to see everyone's answers, especially those of you in more conservative professions like law, business, etc.

    For what it's worth, I usually follow the advice above (just in case!) and put everything in a somewhat conservative briefcase when I interview and don't carry a purse at all. But I sometimes wear "expensive" shoes. (as long as they are professional and not flashy) Of course, there are almost always girls at all the offices I work at and interview at who carry fabulous purses, so I am not sure why this legend of "no fancy purses at job interviews" is out there, or if it is true.

    So, I would be interested to hear whether anyone bringing a nice purse to a job interview had a GOOD experience too -- I am sure there is more than one fellow purse freak out there who is making hiring considerations who might remember the girl with the fabulous bag. :okay:

    (sorry if there is already a thread like this out there, but I looked and didn't see one but couldn't search way back.)
  2. I'd assume they meant "flashy", not expensive. I mean, like you said, it's subjective, plus how would the interviewer know how much your purse cost, unless he/she were familiar with handbags? Any sleek, professional looking bag that doesn't have too much bling on it would be fine. Trendiness is also subjective...if the interviewer doesn't follow purse trends they probably wouldn't care or notice what you're carrying anyway.
  3. I agree you don't want to bring a loud purse in terms of color, etc but then again it also depends on the position your applying for. Depending the field they might expect you to be a little fashionable. If your going to the corporate world I would agree to keep it low key. I've brought my Louis Vuitton bag on an interview a while bag and I don't think it made a difference...then again it also depends on who is interviewing you.

    I agree to play it safe depending on the field your interview in is.
  4. Yes, I think "flashy" makes more sense too. But the way it was communicated to me (by someone who does hiring, no less) was "expensive." And then the thing about the salary. I don't think it's necessarily logical and I find this idea a little worrisome myself, but wonder if other people might subscribe to it out there in interview-land.

    I think your advice makes good sense, mockinglee & bagsaremylife! :yes: I work in the corporate world, so "fashionable" is almost a liability with some of the more old-fashioned dudes (who are usually the ones whose opinions count the most in the interview) but a plus with the younger junior types, so I don't really know which way to go and usually err on the side of caution.

    Then again I'm not sure any of these older corporate dudes are noticing my purse...most guys certainly don't check out handbags in my experience. :smile:
  5. I think that you could substitute 'purse' with any number of things (shoes, clothes, hair, jewelery) when it comes to job interviews. The point of an interview is to stand up on your own merits, and so your physical appearance should maybe be a little more subdued just on that one day; you want to look polished, but in a way that tells people to listen to what you say instead of staring at your sequined Louboutins.

    Obviously it depends on the place/postition you're applying to -- if it's a job where a sense of style is an asset you could definitely dress a little more outlandishly than if you were meeting with a bank manager -- definitely a case for a classic black briefcase. But that's just my opinion. ;)

    In the case of salaries, though, I really don't know. There's a lot of factors, but I'd definitely agree that if someone thinks you don't need the money they might not offer the same amount they'd give your competitor, but at the same time "expensive" is so a subjective that it'd be hard to tell if you really exuded an expensive air or if the person interviewing you didn't have a clue.
  6. All the jobs I've been for have been in the public sector where salaries are fixed within a range - there's usually not much negotiation on salary - they usually just put you on the point closest to your current salary.

    I'm sure there is a complex psychology involved in big city jobs, but fortunately it's not something I've encountered.

    I usually just make sure I'm smart and confident looking - I usually take a conservative plain black tote to interview - something big enough to carry folders where I usually carry the papers for the job I've applied for and presentations etc if appropriate.
  7. I haven't gone on a job interview in awhile, but I do interview quite a few people in my job. I try to not pay too much attention to exteriors when I interview, except for the time I made a bet with my HR director that the woman we were interviewing would be carring an LV bag (she was!).

    I've always thought Cole Haan would be the perfect type of bag to carry in a corporate interview: conservative, stylish, well-made, reasonably priced. A purse freak would recognize your good judgment.
  8. On another note....shouldn't your salary be based on your merits and not on if you look like you "need" the money?
  9. Totally agree, and I have to say if I felt as if I was being judged on what handbag I was carrying then I'd probably tell them to shove their job where the sun doesn't go......
  10. Well I don't think women (or most men) really carry brief cases anymore, do they? And I work in a very conservative city, D.C. My interview purse is a classic Gucci with pebbled leather, no labels, and nice gold hardware. It looks expensive without screaming the brand name. Personally, I wouldn't wear anything with logos on an interview. Then again I'm an attorney, so I think that's part of it.
  11. I would hope so...but I feel like you never know with interviews and HR people what they are thinking. The first time I had any input into hiring, I was shocked at what some of my fellow interviewers were considering. And these are people who are great to work with, but suddenly I found out that a few of them had particular hiring quirks.

    I don't carry a briefcase to work but I think people still do it, at least in my field. And I always carry one to interviews and I usually would see other people doing it too, but I don't know, maybe that is weird because I haven't interviewed too much in awhile.

    Thanks for everyone's input. As you may have guessed, I have an interview coming up. LOL. *looks around to make sure the boss is not watching*
  12. Good luck - I think as long as your smart and professional looking that's all that matters really.
  13. Last time I interviewed, I was still in law school. At that time, I used a black fossil bag that was big enough to put a notepad in. I think if I had to interview now, I would use my basic black Tumi shoulder bag, which I also use for meetings outside of the office. I think Tumi is a good choice. They're good quality products, and the brand mainly makes luggage and work bags. In general, I think a plain black/brown/grey bag would be best for interviews, no showy logos.
  14. i work in the public service so i just bring plain leather. nothing recognizable as "designer"
  15. Depending on what job I am applying for a very low cost bag is what I choose, unless it is a high profile position then I use one of my more expensive purses...