shoulders to interviews
There has been quite a few questions about how to dress to an academic interview. However, no answer to these questions addresses what one should use to carry their things in. For example, is it acceptable to carry your things in a backpack, cheap shoulder/messenger bag made of synthetic materials, briefcase, expensive leather bag, purse etc? A backpack with a suit would look awfully strange. Maybe a cheap messenger bag would still look OK. Links to photos of acc cheap air max eptable/preferred bags would be nice. Is the etiquette different for post docs vs. faculty positions?
I don think this is worth a full answer. but as a girl, I absolutely love those “postman style” bags that go over one shoulder. They can be classy enough, or not, and unless you need a laptop, you can fit everything in there (even a small laptop/tablet is possible if you use protection :P). They leave both your hands free, usually have a small handy and a big spacious pocket. I have seen messenger bags, backpacks and briefcases; some of them have been made of expensive leather and looked really classy/professional and I have even seen them made of cheap, fraying materials.
Either way, it does not matter except maybe in incredibly conservative departments. We hired one of the folks who had a pretty cheap looking backpack. The fact that he/she had multiple publications in the top journals and conferences in their area probably mattered more. They were all wearing suits though.
I think, at least in the UK (I couldn’t be sure about other countries), this probably matters a lot less in academia than it would for a corporate job. The most important thing is probably that you feel comfortable with your choice. It cheap air max ‘s extremely unlikely that you would fail to get the job simply because of your choice of bag, but if you are feeling uncomfortable all day about, say, wearing a backpack with a suit, then that could end up having a negative effect on your interview performance.
When I interviewed for my current job, I carried my larger items in my backpack, and I did feel a bit silly wearing a backpack with a suit, but fortunately I was offered to leave my backpack in the secretaries’ office for the day, and I had all the things I really needed to keep with me in a small leather handbag. I think I would have felt uncomfortable carrying the backpack around with me all day (even though it was a good quality and quite new one), especially as the other candidates were quite smartly dressed and didn’t have backpacks.
If you wear a backpack on both shoulders with a suit jacket, it will make the suit bunch up in front and the s cheap air max leeves look too short. Also, you will probably pop the button(s) if you wear the jacket closed. If you don’t need to bring anything heavy to the interview and strongly prefer your backpack, then wear it on one shoulder only.
As someone else said, choose to bring what you are most comfortable with. By comfortable, I am referring to the ability to quickly find whatever you might need during the interview. It is awful to be dredging through a bag or purse, trying to find something while one or more potential employers are waiting! I have done that, and it was flustering, distracting. The same is true about latches on a briefcase or satchel, if you choose that.
An academic interview is so important. Even if you don’t wear a suit, or don’t have one, make sure that your cheap air max shoes fit well, hair is combed, and your socks match. No one is likely to notice or care, but doing so costs you nothing and will minimize self consciousness, especially if you need to stand to write something on a whiteboard. How would they even get insight about what kind of socks are in my shoes? Oh and BTW, I am a science student from a developing nation. I just knew this was going to happen, as you are Penelope. I am Ellie, and am female too. I was just trying to be genuinely helpful to OP who was earnestly concerned about getting an academic appointment. Being whimsical will only work for some, but not all. I never said that a “not so serious” token would be bad. The question did not ask about that, only about backpack or handbag to take to interview.