Top Five Tips for Traveling to a Job Interview

It can also be an absolute nightmare if you don't carefully plan ahead. Because there are more chances for things to go horribly wrong, you must take all the measures necessary to ensure a smooth trip and interview. There's no "winging it" when you're investing that much energy, time, and money in a potential job.

1. Pack the Necessities.

You're not going on a two-week tour of France, so pack light. It's always an ordeal when you have to check luggage at the airport, so eliminate that hurdle from your experience by packing everything you need in one carry-on bag. Checking bags just opens the door for more things to go wrong.

Only pack things you absolutely need. Items like an extra interview outfit (in case you spill, etc.), a portfolio with resumes, and your alarm clock are some valid choices. If you start to pack a bunch of excessive personal items, it's more likely that you'll lose something important, so don't take the risk.

2. Take it Easy.

Regardless of where you're going for your interview, if you arrive at your destination the evening before, you will probably be bored by yourself. Relax, have dinner, and make it back to your hotel by 9:00 p.m. If you start hunting for a good time, you are just asking for trouble. There's nothing worse than waking up in a faraway city with a hangover and some homely blonde staring at you with starry eyes five minutes after your interview was scheduled to start.

Additionally, make sure that you set at least two alarms. The power could go out in the night. Your cell phone might randomly shut off. Strange things always happen when you can't afford for them to. You may even want to have the hotel phone in a wake-up call.

3. Pack the Cash.

When you're traveling or in an unfamiliar place, it's usually a no-brainer to remember cash. You never know where you'll find an ATM, and the world has not converted everything to accept plastic yet, so this is crucial.

There are too many horror stories about people not being able to park or pay taxis because they're short on cash. These situations usually end with a sprint to find the closest gas station or bank to withdraw money. Then, before you know it, you're late, and the whole trip has been a waste.

4. You Gotta Eat.

Again, when you're in an unfamiliar place, you never know where you're going to find a place to eat. If you're busy trying to get from one place to another, food is not always the easiest thing to find. Pick up some snacks after you arrive at the airport, or pack some before you leave. It's always awkward and nerve-wracking when you're trapped in a quiet office with a growling stomach. Plus, you'll feel more alert and confident if you're not yearning for food.

5. Make a List, and Check it Twice.

Once you have considered everything that you need for your trip, write it down. Lists are good in general when you're planning something. Once your items are written on the page, you can forget about them. Lists help you clear your mind and relax because you don't have the pressure of trying to remember everything at once.

Ideally, if you make a list and keep yourself on a realistic schedule, your trip and interview will be a guaranteed success.

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