Interview Packing List

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hi friends! Hope everyone is doing great. I've been hearing from a lot of you about getting interview invites and I am so excited for you all! If you haven't heard back yet, do not despair. It's still pretty early in the cycle and interviews go on until spring time (depending on the program's start date). Since the interview season has started, I thought I'd share a bit about packing for interviews. If you're new around here (first of all, welcome!) be sure to read up on some interview questions and my two cents on advice for PA school interviews in previous posts.
Here goes: Whether you're driving or flying to your interviews, the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to keep your eyes on your suit at all times. If you're flying to your interview, pack it in your carry on and keep that suit with you! That way, if for some reason you don't get your luggage when you land, you won't be left scrambling to buy a new suit in an unknown place at the last minute (thankfully, I was able to drive to all of my interviews). You don't need that kinda stress right before your big day. Don't worry about getting wrinkles in your suit, you can always iron it out in your hotel room the night before. And guys, make sure you remember to pack a tie!

Learning from my first two interviews, I decided to take this Kenneth Cole Reaction handbag with me to my third interview to store some items I needed. It fit everything I needed to take that day and was professional enough to take to an interview. I took a portfolio with me to make sure I had something to write on when I asked questions or to take notes during the info sessions. Prior to my interview, I also wrote down important facts about the program and questions I was planning on asking to make sure I didn't forget anything in the heat of the moment.

Along with my phone, I took my charger and adapter (to be on the safe side) with me since I needed directions to drive around a new place. I also took a small bottle of water with me as my throat always gets dry when I get nervous! The schools always provide water and snacks, but with shuffling back and forth to different rooms throughout the day, I found it easier to have a bottle in my bag at all times. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. They know that you're human and it's definitely okay to take bathroom breaks in between sessions. Also, don't be stupid like me and make sure you eat something before your interview. I didn't eat enough before my last interview and by the time I was done with the day, I could feel my sugar levels dropping. As soon as I stepped out of the building, I ripped off the packing of the nature valley bar I luckily had in my bag. To this day, I'm so grateful I didn't pass out in front of everyone. That would have been an embarrassing start to say the least.

Breath mints are a must! No one likes to be around someone with a bad breath. Enough said. I also took my go to Burts Bee tinted lip balm to keep my lips hydrated. I never leave the house without this thing! It's a good idea to also keep a lint roll on you since anything on dark colored suits will easily show.

For shoes, I personally wore a pair of comfortable flats. I made the mistake of wearing heels to my first interview (we had an 8-4 day at this interview) and could barely put my feet down by the end of the day. I never touched those heels again. Instead, I wore a pair of black flats to the next two interviews and I was much more comfortable! Ladies, I know it seems like we're expected to wear heels to make a good impression or wearing flats would make us feel dumpy at an interview (I used to think both of these things) but take my word on this and go with whatever you're more comfortable with. If you're used to wearing heels, then by all means go for it.

So that does it. I decided to share what I took to my interviews because I had to learn on my own from trial and error and I don't want you all to go through that. I had no idea I would need such small yet important things throughout the day. While one of my interviews was very short, the other two required us to stay on campus for 4 - 6 hours.

Stay comfortable and confident. Don't wear too much perfume or jewelry. Keep it simple and professional and go get em'! You're going to do great :)

Do you have anything you'd like to add to the list? What do you like to have with you on interview days?

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