So, you landed a job interview with a great firm. The only issue is that it’s not in your city, requiring you to travel for the interview. Interviews and offsite meetings are stressful enough without having to consider all of the logistics and drama of traveling, but don’t let that stop you! With these easy plan-ahead steps, you can forget about logistics and focus on nailing the interview!
Expenses – don’t make them an issue
If a company is interested in you, they will generally be willing to pay for your travel expenses. Approach this topic gently, however, if you need to ask for reimbursement. Assuming the prospective company will cover your travel costs is a mistake. Be willing to cover a portion of your travel expenses. If you are investing time traveling to the interview, you demonstrate high interest in the job. You certainly don’t want to make a bad impression by seeming grabby.
If they agree to pay and allow you to book your own travel for the interview, don’t go overboard with a five star hotel and first class plane ticket. Respecting the company’s resources will impact how the hiring manager views you.
Pack light and bring a back-up outfit
Especially if your interview is on the day you travel, pack light with a carryon. If you do decide to pack a bag, pack an alternate wardrobe selection in your carry on. You don’t want a lost bag to force you to you show up in jeans. Plus, if you accidently pour coffee on yourself, your extra outfit will save the day! (Not that this every happened to any of us. Ahem.)
Make a transportation game plan
Arriving late to an interview is one of the worst interview blunders you can make! Spend time planning how you will transport yourself from your hotel to the interview. It’s smart to avoid relying solely on your cell phone. What if your battery dies or Internet connections are spotty? Instead, go old school and print out your directions.
Create a Backup Plan
Even if a company car is scheduled to pick you up, it is wise to have a backup plan. We suggest calling a taxi company to ensure that they know how to find you and the interview location. Again, don’t rely on wireless signals!
Night before /Morning of the Interview:
Ask the hotel to set a wakeup call to ensure you have enough time to get ready. Don’t risk an oversleeping scenario. Your goal is to be well-rested, put-together, and calm by the time you arrive at the interview. We recommend you give yourself 45 minutes of buffer time to avoid unforeseen wardrobe problems emergencies and traffic nightmares. The worst case scenario is that you’ll have time for a cup of coffee beforehand. (But not too much! Over-caffeination is your enemy.)
Think of the Next Day
When booking your trip consider giving yourself an extra day in the city. If things go really well, there is a chance the interviewing company might want you to meet with others in the company. If not, you can explore the city to determine whether or not you think it would be a good fit for you.
These tips should ensure you can focus solely on interview. Do you have any tips to share?