Bad Travel Interview

At some point in your professional career, you may have to travel to complete an interview. This type of interview has its own unique challenges. For instance, do you already have a suit bag? Now, you have to transport your outfit and make sure you have everything you need beforehand. This essentially adds another level of necessary preparation. However, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. Avoiding a bad travel interview requires special attention to a few details and a confident state of mind.

First, you should research the company, industry and position. Find out as much as you can about your prospective employer’s market position, business practices, partners and anything that might be relevant to your position. Become very familiar with the original job posting. Understand what the hiring manager will be looking for in your experience and character traits. Additionally, do your best to gain familiarity with the trends and predictions of your industry. All of the information will help you prepare for any question you may encounter.

Next, one of the keys to preventing a bad travel interview is practice. Compile a list of common questions for your position and industry. Ask friends and family members to act as a panel or individual interviewer, who will draw from your list of questions. Focus on confident and concise responses. Remember, candid replies are more inviting, so do not memorize and repeat a stock answer. After your mock interview, have a discussion about what you can do better and what you did well.

Preparing for Everything

The element of travel adds a new list of pre-interview preparations. You may not be able to print off 10 copies of your resume in the morning or depend on your knowledge of secondary roads to avoid traffic. In this situation, you must be prepared for the possible issues so you can avoid a bad travel interview.

  • Lost Baggage: Carry your resume, portfolio, laptop and other interview resources in your carry on bag.

  • Flight Delays: If possible, arrive in the city 12 hours early. Even if you are delayed, you will likely have enough time for some sleep and a meal before your interview.

  • Spilled Coffee: Put your important documents in waterproof guards and carry an extra shirt.

  • Power Surge: Bring your own battery-operated clock just in case the hotel’s power goes out while you sleep.

  • Arriving on Time: Before you leave your place of residence, clarify the details of your transportation whether you are renting a car or a company member is picking you up. If you are using public transport or a taxi, budget for traffic.

    These small details can really put a wrench in your plans and cause a bad travel interview. However, these problems are easy to prepare for and don’t have to be a cause of added stress. If you typically have trouble remembering to pack items when you travel, make a comprehensive list a few days before you leave. As you think of new items, add them to your list.

    Keep Your Outward Appearance Positive

    A jobseeker once wrote about his experience with a bad travel interview:

    “I was a college senior and survived the on-campus interview with Hormel Foods. As a result I was invited to their Minnesota offices for a second interview….Weather conditions and bad luck forced me to arrive at my hotel at about 3 a.m. Three hours later, they picked me up and took me to the office. The first person I met was the VP of sales.

    ‘How are you doing?’ he asked.

    ‘I am well,’ I responded, ‘Just a little tired.’ I went on to explain that my flight was delayed….

    Two weeks later, I received a rejection letter from the company. When I called to ask why I was turned down, I was told they made their decision entirely on my answer to that first question. To them, it sounded like I was already building a reason to fail.”

    This is a perfect example about why it is so important to stay positive during your interview. From the moment you step onto company property, you should conduct yourself as if you are being observed for a prospective position. Employers want to know that you will make the most out of a bad situation, so always spin your responses to the bright side of things.

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