The Interview Prep Kit is a response to the working parent bias. Studies show that women who are mothers receive a significantly lower wage and are perceived as less competent compared to non-mothers. Men who are fathers are paid a significantly higher wage than non-fathers.
The Interview Prep Kit gives job candidates the tools to manipulate these patterns to earn better pay and respect. While not meant for real use, the kits spark discussion about wage and employment disparities.
I started off sketching and prototyping concepts about identity and the workplace. I spent time thinking about how strongly a woman's identity is tied to her (assumed) ability to procreate, even in the workplace.
Once I read about the parenthood bias in the workplace, I realized I could create costumes for men and women to leverage the bias for their own gain.
I interviewed people to learn which qualities they considered to be most un-motherly and most fatherly. For un-motherly, qualities included "selfish," "spontaneous," and "independent." For fatherly, qualities included "playful" and "responsible." Then, I designed a kit for men and a kit for women which embodied these qualities.
I had a lot of fun mixing scents to include in the kits, inspired by these qualities. Left: fresh grass, yogurt, and pizza herbs. Middle: aloe vera, tobacco, leather. Right: Playtime!
To gain experience working with outside manufacturers, I contacted Ken, a box designer at Taylor Box Co. We exchanged emails about design constraints, and I visited the factory for a tour. Ken taught me which attachments are appropriate for securing various objects inside of boxes, and we worked together to make the boxes.