It’s always best to ask questions before you travel to your interview location. Don’t hesitate to call up someone in the company to clarify any issues related to the trip. Getting answers beforehand can save you time and trouble.
Who pays for the travel expenses?
Never assume that the company is picking up your travel tab — though most companies actually do cover expenses to and from the interview, especially if you’re up for a manager or executive position.
If the company won’t provide you a hotel room or books you at an off-the-wall motel, then you need to consider whether it’s the kind of company you want to work for.
Some companies will actually ask you to handle the logistics — the person in charge may be buried in work, or the company doesn’t want to delay setting up your interview because there’s a need to maintain schedule.
Some companies will reimburse you in two weeks’ time. If they don’t, feel free to call the HR manager to make sure your expense reimbursement request is in their system.
What are the transportation arrangements?
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Is it okay to rent a car?
- Will I need to take the airport shuttle to the hotel?
- Will someone pick me up in the morning?
- Will I need to take a cab or public transportation?
Always have a plan B just in case something doesn’t work out. If you have to make your own travel plans, consider the least expensive flight and compare it to other flight options. You don’t necessarily have to take the cheapest flight, but make sure you have a good reason if you want to buy a ticket for a higher price.
When should you arrive? When will the interview conclude?
As much as possible, try to arrive mid-to-late afternoon the day before the interview. This way, you can enjoy your dinner, look over your interview preparation and take a drive to your interview location to check traffic levels. Make sure to get enough sleep. Absolutely plan to get to your destination the day before — you don’t want to put yourself under unnecessary stress.
When preparing for an interview outside of your hometown, make your travel plans as simple as possible, and don’t assume that everything will be paid by the company. Get all the information you need before making travel plans.