Traveling for Your Interview?
Tips and tricks to get you from point A to B and back again
This past year I traveled to about five different cities on job interviews. It was a first for me – previously, I’d always interviewed locally, or somewhere just a short drive away. But these were serious interviews – airplane rides, overnight stays, the whole deal.
If you are facing the same experience, here are a few tips that will help you along the way – and make the whooooole process MUCH easier.
1. If time allows, wear one outfit on the plane and bring your interview clothes with you. I found that a lot of the airports, and some of the planes, were REALLY hot, and I sat there and steamed like a piece of broccoli in my suit – which also led to some wrinklage issues. The air outside was freezing (hello, Boston in February!) but it was warm inside – and I learned to dress in layers, so that I could add and subtract as needed.
2. Don’t wear boots in the airport. I wore my dress boots, because that’s what I was going to be wearing for the interview, and I was trying to keep packing to a minimum – and I paid for it when I had to go through security. When you have 200 passengers behind you, anxiously trying to get through security, and you have to stop to unbuckle/zip/button your boots, you will feel the rage radiating off every last one of them. And on the other side of security, you have to stop to put them back on – if you are running to catch a plane, this isn’t a great overall plan.
3. The Tide-to-Go pen is your new best friend. When your plane makes a bumpy landing and your row buddy’s coffee remains splatter on your thigh, you will be glad you have the pen. Not that I know from experience, or anything. (As an alternative, bring extra clothes!)
4. Save all your receipts. Any company that flies you out for an interview should also reimburse you for things like cab rides. So make sure you get a receipt, and then turn them in at the interview (I always wait until the end). Even if you don’t get the job, you should still be reimbursed for those expenses. And make sure you keep copies of your receipts, because if you are not reimbursed, you can write those expenses off on your taxes.
5. Try to pad in some exploration time. If this is a job you are really serious about, and you are thinking of picking up and moving, you need to make sure the area is a place in which you want to live. Scout for grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential shopping spots. Take the time to drive through some of the local neighborhoods (note: if it looks like a dangerous area, it probably is, so don’t drive into those areas) to make sure they look like a place you want to live. See if there are kids playing, what the parks look like – are there places that look like you might want to hang out? All of these are things to think about – after all, they aren’t just interviewing you, you are interviewing them PLUS the city.