Traveling can be stressful. Job interviews are stressful. Bring these together and you’ve got yourself… something potentially unpleasant. But it’s your dream job we’re talking about, in a city where you’ve always dreamed of living. Jitters, I know you have them and that’s totally normal, but there is a way! With a little careful planning, you can ease those anxious feelings and fly on your way to an exciting new professional opportunity.
Always be prepared. This is, of course, still a job interview. Walk in confident and knowledgeable, ready to sell yourself and your skills. Research the company and its culture, and develop talking points in answer to common interview questions. Oh and you never know when you might be asked for a second round of meetings the next day; be prepared with a little extra luggage and some cash.
Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Whether traveling by plane, train, or automobile, it’s wise to allow more time than you’ll think you need to make the trip. ‘Late’ is the worst first impression. When at all possible, schedule your flight to arrive the night (or at the very least, several hours not few) before the day of the interview; if driving, build in at least an hour of buffer time.
Keep it professional. That’s a nice hotel, with an even nicer bar. Don’t do it. Just because you’re away from home and you can doesn’t mean it’s wise to get a little tipsy. Why not spend the evening NOT having to fight over the remote, and turn in early for a good night’s sleep.
Don’t break the bank. It’s often the case that your potential employer will offer to pay for travel and lodging expenses related to the interview. But that certainly doesn’t mean you should treat the courtesy like a blank check. Reserve a standard room, not a suite and avoid ordering the most expensive items on the room service menu. When making travel arrangements, it may even behoove you to ask about preferred airlines, hotel chains, and car service providers; your contact will appreciate the forethought.
Nerves aside, you’re so excited. A new job in a new city. It’s like a fresh start. And you’re ready to start today. For all of your travel and preparation before the interview, don’t forget to follow up. A well crafted, personal follow-up email to thank the hiring manager for her time and consideration could make all the difference. Good luck, and safe travels.