Preparing for an interview can get expensive, which is hard if you’re not currently working or trying to save your money. It doesn’t have to be though. Last week I took a trip to Goodwill (something I regularly do) and while I was shopping, I was inspired to put together a list of items you can purchase at a thrift store that are useful for your next job interview. I love New York and Company, Macy’s and other fine stores for career clothes, but you can save a lot of money by checking out your local thrift store.
Suit – As I suggested in How to Rock Your Interview Look, you NEED to wear a suit to your interview (at least the first one you have with an organization). You never know the true culture of a company until you’ve shown up and learned first hand about the company. Wearing a suit is your safest and best bet for impressing the people who may hire you to work from them. Thrift stores have a TON of suits. This is one that I found while perusing Goodwill last week:
Shoes – It’s pretty obvious that you’ll need to wear shoes, but you may not have interview friendly shoes. If you don’t have shoes that will go well with a suit or if all of your heels are super high, don’t spend a ton of money investing in a pair that you’ll likely only wear to interviews.
If you don’t have shoes that will go well with a suit or if all of your heels are super high, don’t spend a ton of money investing in a pair that you’ll likely only wear to interviews. @heyElishaA
Check out your local thrift store for affordable options. These are one pair that I found:
Padfolio – I love these leather binders because it allows you to carry your personal items, have a place to carry the questions you’ve prepared and a notepad for taking notes during the interview. and it makes you look professional and ready!
Printer – The printer will come in handy for printing your resume, but I also like to print pre-written questions that I have prepared for the recruiter and hiring managers. Most candidates don’t take this step and by coming to the interview prepared, with not only questions for the interviewers, but typed and printed questions, will have everyone in the room look at you as a superstar. A printer will also come in handy if you have portfolio pieces, writing samples or other “proof” of how great of an employee you will be. Printing these items and presenting them in a professional way will get you tons of points and truly sell you as an asset to the company. Here’s one of many printers that were available when I was at Goodwill:
Career Books – The thrift shop is full of books. The book that I found takes you through personal assessments and inventories, so you can (potentially (it’s from the 80s)) discover your ideal career. You can find so many resources on career and productivity at the thrift shop. On my trip last week, I found this gem:
If you’re unemployed and looking for work, the cost of interviewing can feel overwhelming, but you shouldn’t feel that way. There are so many options for keeping your costs low and focusing on what’s really important. The next time you’re out, check out your local thrift store and discover all of the goodies you can add to your interview collection.