Job interviews are stressful.
There are a lot of factors to prepare for, from reviewing common interview questions to finding a great interview outfit.
But what if that interview is in another town or state?
If you are looking for a job outside of your area, you will need to know how to prepare for an out of town job interview.
There is more to think about than just the interview questions you will be asked and what you will wear.
But don’t worry!
Here are some tips on how to handle your out-of-town job interview.
Determine how expenses are being covered
Knowing what expenses are included when you are traveling for an interview is crucial.
If it is not explicitly expressed, ask what travel expenses you will responsible for?
Is airfare or gas expenses covered? Are you responsible for your hotel? Do meals and transportation fall under covered expenses?
These are all questions that should be asked prior to the interview.
It’s also important to ask if the covered expenses are paid up front or if you will be reimbursed for your travel.
Be clear on your arrangements
Once you have determined how the expenses will be handled, you will need to be aware of how the arrangements are being made.
Most companies will provide you with a detailed process of how they handle travel arrangements, but if you have any questions, be sure to ask.
Know who is responsible for booking your travel and lodging and how you will get information on the arrangements.
If you are responsible for the travel costs or you will be reimbursed, you will most likely be managing your own arrangements, but ask for clarification if necessary.
Make smart financial choices
If your potential employer is covering your expenses, be mindful of your spending.
Not being responsible for the cost does not mean you should run up the bill unnecessarily.
On a trip to the job interview, you want to make sure your expenses portray you as a candidate that can make smart financial choices.
If booking your own flight or hotel, fly coach and choose a modest business hotel.
Treat your expenses as part of the interview.
Don’t rack up room charges with expensive room service or pay-per-view movies.
Be aware that your expenses, if too indulgent, could make you appear irresponsible to the company.
Arrive early if you can
If you are planning your travel arrangements, consider arriving a day early.
Giving yourself a day to prepare without the worry of being late can cut down on stress and make it easier for you to focus on the interview.
Traveling the day before can also cut down on unexpected travel delays, like canceled or late flights or traffic accidents.
Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with the area, arriving early can give you time to find the location of your interview and get familiar with the town.
Arrive a day early and give yourself time to settle in and prepare the night before the interview.
Account for day two
If you did amazing on your interview, you might find the company asks you to return the next day
Be prepared for the second day and know how to handle impromptu interviews.
If you can, make your travel arrangements flexible for an additional day of interviews. Make sure your schedule is clear for two days after the initial interview.
Also, come prepared with at least two sets of interview clothes in case you are asked back for another meeting.
Always be on “interview mode”
Traveling to a new town for an interview may seem like a vacation, but it’s important to remember the reason you are visiting.
You never know who could be connected to your potential company when you are visiting.
Be polite and professional to those around you, even if you are at the hotel or out to dinner in town.
News of your rudeness with hotel staff or excessive drinking at a hotel bar could get to your potential employer and keep you from getting the job.
Prepare for the interview ahead of time
Traveling can put a lot of stress on you.
There are a lot of factors to consider when traveling that can distract you from your interview.
Before you head out of town, make sure you are prepared for the interview.
Research common interview questions and answers.
Gather any supplies and papers you need.
Write down your potential questions to ask during your interview.
By preparing ahead of time, you will be able to eliminate additional stress and have resources to review the night before.