First time traveling for an job interview
October 18, 2008 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I am soon traveling for an job interview for the first time, and in general this is the first time i have traveled for "business", any tips? primarily looking for tips about traveling for an interview but if you have a good lesser known tip about interviews, let me have it.

i am going to a town i have never been to before for a job interview. any tips on what to pack, how to travel, what to explore in the new town to see if i would want to live there, ect.

any advice would help, thanks
posted by humanawho to Education (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Save your receipts.

Pack light. Bring an extra shirt in case of a spill. Same with the tie.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:53 PM on October 18, 2008

Leave at least an extra hour free before any important deadline (flight time, appointment). Sit and relax with a cool drink if you're early. Get plenty of sleep before and during the trip. You want to be cool and fresh for a job interview.
posted by JimN2TAW at 4:15 PM on October 18, 2008

-lay out your daily schedule, google map and print all directions
-are they getting you a rental car? spring for the gps (~$12/day) even if it will be an out-of-pocket expense.
Message: Do not fuck around with getting lost, make sure you can get to your hotel, to your interviews, and anywhere you need to go for "exploring."

-visit anywhere you need in your daily life (social, professional, etc.). Consider visiting grocery stores, public transit, accessible residential areas, parks, local groups doing your favorite hobby/sport/whatever, bar/night life if you care.
posted by whatzit at 4:17 PM on October 18, 2008

Definitely leave time to explore the area and get a feel for it, like whatzit suggests.

Back up all your vital information somewhere you can access from any computer, so that if you leave it at home or lose a bag, you can easily get a new copy or pick up a detail.

If you've anything to bring to the interview, consolidate your luggage or figure out a trick to remember to bring it at every change in location, especially if you're likely to be anxious. Might sound ridiculous, but I am a champion worrier and was lucky my destination for the interview for my current job was at the terminus of a train line and also near the station, because I remembered at the door of the office that I had started the trip with my portfolio, and I managed to run back just as the return train was boarding to leave again...)
posted by carbide at 4:25 PM on October 18, 2008

Are you staying overnight? If you are going right from the airport/train station to the interview, take it from me and wear comfortable shoes. I once wore a pair of new shoes to an interview on a trip where I basically flew in, took the train to the interview, killed a few hours, and then took the train back to the airport to go home. By the time I got to the interview, I was limping. By the time I got home that night, I had welts on my ankles that took days to heal, and I lost the feeling in one of my big toes for a week. Not fun. I did get the job though.

Again, if you're going right to the interview by cab or subway and will have to bring your luggage into the office, make sure it all looks very professional. A small rolly black suitcase and a nice bag/briefcase are good.
posted by lunasol at 4:28 PM on October 18, 2008

I find it helpful to write out a time line from when you leave your front door to when the event is scheduled to start. I always work backward and add padding time for some items like travel or getting dressed.

Go exploring AFTER your interview and whatever else you need to do. Even if you arrive the night before or day before, just lay low around your hotel and double check your stuff. No reason to get lost and stressed out, even the night before.
posted by Science! at 4:32 PM on October 18, 2008

Don't get arrested...
posted by thilmony at 6:03 PM on October 18, 2008

thilmony, it sounds as if that advice has a story behind it that needs to be told here. Sort of a what not to do on a business trip.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:41 PM on October 18, 2008

If it's a lunch interview at a nice restaurant, order the scallops. Why? During a meal that doubles as an interview you must always be talking or listening attentively, making it hard to eat. If you order something that is tricky to eat or must be carved, you'll be wrestling with your food while everyone watches. Scallops can be cut easily if large, popped into your mouth (with less chance to spill sauce on yourself) and chewed subtley. Plus they're an unconventional choice that usually lies in the middle of the menu price range, which is a good thing too.
posted by carmicha at 8:42 PM on October 18, 2008

Oh, and get your shoes shined (regardless of whether you're male or female). It's an inexpensive, relaxing treat that will give your look some extra polish.
posted by carmicha at 8:45 PM on October 18, 2008

get your shoes shined, that's important. Probably most important (I have found) is to have a tie that matches the color of the suit and shirt you are wearing - but most important matches the two primary colors of the logo of the company you are looking to work for. Before I got the job I have now, my ex-girlfriend got me a blue satin shirt and a blue tie. I looked like a Chroma-Key display! I called Brooks Brothers ahead of time and told them I needed a white shirt and a buff-and-blue tie. I got the job two days later. I have been here for ten months and feel very lucky for the opportunities I now have. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
posted by parmanparman at 9:10 PM on October 18, 2008

If someone from the interviewing company is picking you up at the airport, dress in business casual or nicer for the plane ride. The interview begins from the moment they meet you. Prepare all your materials beforehand. You don't want to be searching for a notepad and pen or the usb stick with your presentation as you head out the door. Wear comfy shoes and don't eat a heavy breakfast.
posted by MsMolly at 5:04 PM on October 19, 2008

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