If you are an employer, does it really matter to you if job applicants bring a backpack with them?
In one word, it wouldn’t be an issue, as long as the applicant behaves decently.
But, if the applicant portrays him/herself as awkward, and the backpack is the reason for it, then it’s objectionable.
One of the non-academic questions that job seekers ask is, can I bring a backpack to an interview?
It’s totally fine if you take a backpack with you on an interview.
But, the fact is, what type of backpack you will be carrying with you.
Is it Okay to Carry a Backpack to an Interview?
A backpack to an interview can ruin your impression or can make the employer impress, it’s pretty much one or another. The suggestion would be that you give priority to the interview and try to avoid carrying a backpack that has nothing to do with documents and stuff that you will need in the interview board.
But, if you have to carry one, make sure you carry the right one that compliments your attitude, looks, and overall impression.
What Backpacks to Carry to an Interview?
Luckily, there are lots of backpacks that look professional and sleek all the way. Also, you will have a decent space for carrying your stuff with you. Depending on your style, preference, and budget, you must opt for one to meet your needs while being decent on the interview board.
So, I have made some criteria for backpacks that you can carry to the interview without any issues. If you already own a backpack, see if the one meets the criteria below. Or, it would probably be the best thing for you to get a backpack of that kind.
Look and Appearance
The backpack you are to get should be sleek, elegant, and professional enough to fit any outfit, whether you are wearing formal or casual. Don’t go for a bigger sized one as this might be hasslesome taking to the interview. There are plenty of small and medium-sized models to choose from.
Professionals as well as executives, prefer using gears and accessories that leave a professional touch in pretty much everywhere. For this reason, the materials used in a backpack matters a lot.
Consider buying a leather, faux leather, tightly-woven or waxed canvas, coated fabrics, cotton twill, or other similar materials.
Your potential office environment can influence this matter well. For example, if the office allows the employees to wear sneakers and jeans, you can go for a backpack that is made of synthetic leather or other materials such as canvas.
Simplest Look, Accent, and Color
You cannot bring anything fancy and colorful to the interview, obviously. So look for a backpack with professional looking colors such as black, navy blue, brown, beige, camel, grey, and other similar colors. These colors pretty much fit all outfits.
If the employees are encouraged to wear monochrome neutral outfits, consider choosing a backpack with a solid exterior color such as violet, red, emerald green, navy blue, etc.
Again, avoid flashy and loud colors or patterns when it has anything to do with your office and work.
Go Small and Compact
If you are concerned with what size of a backpack is suitable for interviews and office, I would suggest choosing from 6 to 20 liters capacity ones. These are small, easy to carry and look compact. A backpack with more than 20 liters capacity is for outdoor activities. So, stick to this range.
Note that these aren’t the backpacks for carrying loads of gears and accessories. Choose one that has enough space for your laptop while leaving some space for other stuff. Don’t invest in a bulky model.
Whether it’s for an interview or official purposes, you will have quite a few documents to carry. So make sure your backpack has a dedicated pouch or compartment for that.
In addition, it would be best if there is also a laptop pouch for convenience.
What Backpacks to Avoid for Interview?
Your backpack shouldn’t be a bulky, heavy, and full-sized one. The bag is supposed to help you to stay organized, not to make you look like you have brought pretty much everything you have in the house.
Also, avoid sporty and rugged backpacks that come with mesh, nylon, reflective strips, bungee cords, etc., features.
Don’t get confused with outdoor backpacks with commuting ones. Outdoor backpacks come with lots of pockets, compartments, attachments, etc., which isn’t the case with the ones for official using purposes.
So, the next time you see someone asking, can I bring a backpack to an interview? You know how to answer the applicant. Consider the things you will need in the interview, such as your resume, documents, portfolio, pen, notebook, breath mints, water bottle, etc. You obviously don’t need a bigger backpack to carry these.
Brian Millar is the owner and author of Backpackreviewed. Brian spent every possible minute outside. His passion for the outdoors led him to earn a degree in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010. A guy who is trying to get away from his desk so that he can fish, hike, travel and just be in outdoors!!! Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!