Tips For The Out Of
Few situations offer as much opportunity for disaster as the long-
There's all the regular anxiety of a job interview with the added
frustrations of packing, catching flights and finding your way
around an unfamiliar place.
Still, as online job boards make it easier to find jobs anywhere in
the world, the long-distance interview is as necessary as it is
Staying Ahead of the Clock
When planning the long-distance interview, it's critical to build
buffer time into each leg of the trip.
Plan to arrive in the city where the interview will take place at
least a day ahead of time. This will give you time to wind down
after your trip, to prepare for the following day's interview and to
handle any last-minute emergencies.
Arrive at the airport at least two hours early.
Plan to be at the interview at least an hour early in case of
traffic, extreme weather or bad directions. (Keep in mind that the
city you're traveling to may not have public transportation that
will get you to the interview location. You may need to hire a car
or arrange for a rental.)
Have Resumes, Will Travel
Be sure to pack all the things you will need for interview day --
that includes grooming products as well as what you plan to wear to
And, of course, don't forget to take extra copies of your resume,
samples of your work and a list of references. Pack these someplace
where they will stay clean and wrinkle-free.
Men should pack: A pressed shirt, suit, belt, tie, dark socks,
polished shoes, T-shirt, comb, deodorant, razor, toothbrush, etc.
Women should pack: A blouse, pant/skirt suit, hose/slip, low-heel
shoes, brush/comb, deodorant, razor, toothbrush, etc.
Don't cram your interview outfit into a suitcase, assuming that
you'll be able to find a dry cleaner or have time to iron it before
the interview. Hang the outfit in a garment bag and be sure to carry
it on the plane with you.
Always pack a back-up outfit in case of an emergency spill.
Discuss reimbursement with the potential employer prior to setting
out on your trip.
Be clear on what they will pay for and what they won't. Some
companies will pay for the hotel, airfare and other expenses. Others
will expect you to bart the bill.
If the employer is picking up the tab, save your receipts. Even if
you're paying, you'll want to hang onto your receipts as you might
be able to write the trip off as a tax deduction.
If at all possible, stay in a hotel -- not with family or friends.
You don't need the distraction.
No Rest for the Travel Weary
Be prepared to meet a lot of people. If a company is flying you in,
chances are they'll want to introduce you to as many folks as
They'll also expect to take up the lion's share of your time. So, if
you thought you could sneak a trip to the beach -- or some other
local point of interest -- the chances are slim.
Also, keep in mind that few of the people you'll meet are going to
take into consideration the hours you spent at the airport, the
crappy hotel they booked you in or -- if you're employed -- the fact
that you're eating up your vacation days. Smile and be polite