It wasn’t so long ago that job hunting was a strictly local affair. Sure, some job-seekers might have headed to the big city to pursue careers, but most people found their first job near home – and the next one, and the next one after that.
That was in part because relatively few jobs were difficult to fill. High-profile doctors and lawyers might have been recruited from other cities, but most jobs could be filled locally – each city had enough reporters and chefs and cab drivers to function well enough on its own. But when an open position requires an applicant to know three types of Java profilers, or have a familiarity with a few specific APIs, or know web servers like the back of their hand – well, that makes it a little tougher. So it’s no surprise that the tech industry and other industries that employ highly trained and specialized workers are more and more willing to foot the bill for potential employees to fly across the country for interviews.
If you’re lucky enough to be selected for an interview you have to travel for, remember these key tips.
Job interviews can be stressful – and they’re only more so when you don’t have “home field advantage.” Reduce the impact of your strange environs by doing extra planning. Prepare for all contingencies – an extra shirt in case you spill coffee on the first, all the toiletries you think you’ll need, and extras of anything you’re afraid to go without. Know where your hotel is, how you’re getting to your interview (more on that in the next section), and what your entire itinerary is from the moment you leave your house to at least the moment you get out of your interview, if not the moment you return to your home. The less you have to worry about, the more focused you’ll be on your interview – and the more you’ve prepared for both your interview and your trip, the less you’ll be stressed and worried about.
Car services are your friend
It’s the day of the interview. You’re all ready. But how are you getting to the interview site?
The answer is a car service. You don’t want to waste time hailing a taxi, and now is not the time to learn the intricacies of a new city’s public transit system. You can’t be late for your interview, and you don’t want to be stressed out by the possibility. Call ahead and book a car service to take you from your hotel to the interview (the company you’re interviewing with may even arrange this for you). You won’t regret it.
Save your exploring for after your interview
So your interview is in a city you’ve always wanted to visit? Great! But don’t take a night out on the town the evening before your big interview. Instead, spend the night before your interview preparing for your big day, and save sightseeing and (especially) nightlife for after you’ve taken care of business. You want to be prepared, focused, and well-rested for your interview, so resist the temptation to go exploring until you’re sure you’ve done everything you can to ace the interview. After all, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city if you get the job – you’ll live there!