Interview preparation can feel a bit daunting, and it's easy to miss some of the basic items you might want to bring on interview day. One item that is often overlooked until the night before is a leather/faux leather interview portfolio (sometimes also referred to as "padfolio") to hold your resume prints, pen, and notepad. In this post we'll help you identify the right leather portfolio for your upcoming interview for any budget.
Best Value Portfolio On a Budget (faux leather, under $25): Samsill Stitch Leather Padfolio
The Samsill leather portfolio is our favorite choice in the value category for portfolios. The faux leather Samsill comes in black, brown, and bergundy (note, each color has a unique price point) so you can choose a color that complements your outfit or style. Our recommendation for any low-cost portfolio is to choose a black color, because the quality of faux leather just isn't there to pull off brown or other colors. If you really want that brown leather look, consider upgrading to genuine leather products at a higher price point.
One great feature about all Samsill models is the open-style pocket which is ideal for easily sliding a resume in or out without worrying about creasing corners. We liked that this version has an optional zipper, which gives it a bit of versatility and perhaps more practical use beyond the interview.
Best value portfolio on a budget, runner up: STYLIO Padfolio
If you stopped reading this article at the STYLIO black faux leather padfolio, you'd be safe. The sleek black design is simple and carries a notepad, pen, and includes a pocket for resumes. While the STYLIO padfolio is a great value product, it does only come only in black. Pro-tip: the resume pocket isn't super flexible out of the package, so loosen the pocket with one hand while you slide your resumes in to help keep your resume prints in tip top shape.
Best Value Genuine Leather Portfolio ($25 - $100): Alpine Swiss Genuine Leather Writing Pad PortfolioAlpine Swiss offers a high quality and high utility genuine leather portfolio at a reasonable price. The product is available in three colors: black, brown, and a greyish color called "smoke". The value in this product is aided by its versatility: the notepad can be flipped for left-handed writers, there is a sleeve for a full size tablet, and it includes a high quality zipper. Given the genuine leather, quality build, and utility-oriented functionality, this piece can not only help you shine in your interview but also deliver long-lasting value in the workplace.
Best Value Genuine Leather Portfolio ($25 - $100), runner up: Royce Genuine Leather PortfolioA close second best option in genuine leather portfolios is the Royce Genuine Leather Portfolio. For a single interview, the Royce is going to be perfect - it's simple, comes in a wide variety of colors, and also comes with a lifetime warranty. This model doesn't have some of the features as the Alpine Swiss, like additional pockets, but as a result it's also a bit sleeker. While both the Alpine Swiss and Royce are very nice quality products, you might be able to squeeze a bit more use out of the Alpine due to some of the added features like a zipper and extra pockets. If you think you might be using the portfolio only for interviews, then this product is a perfect fit.
Best Premium Genuine Leather Portfolio ($100+): Bosca Old Leather Portfolio
The Bosca Old Leather Portfolio is everything you might desire in a premium portfolio. Bosca delivers simple design focused on core features and quality. The hand-stained leather offers an elevated look and feel considerably above the most leather portfolios. This leather does have a tendency to scratch if roughly handled, but if well-taken care of this product will age beautifully over the years. Bosca offers a variety of premium leather portfolios, we only settled on this model as our favorite because its simple and elevated design best fits an interview setting. Bosco also carries similar models with zippers, but at this price point we tend to favor the cleaner design elements over the utility of a zipper.
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