August 26, 2013
Interviewing for a job is stressful enough, but interviewing in a congested city can be doubly so. Here are some pointers to help an interviewee, especially one in New York:
- Bring a folder with several copies of your resume and cover letter. Nothing looks more unprofessional than handing your interviewer anything but a pristine resume. (Of course, this should be done in any city, but the public transportation and hectic commute in a big city make a folder or binder even more necessary.)
- Do your research. Write it down if you need help remembering. Prepare a list of questions beforehand. Always prepare more than enough, in case the interviewer answers most of them in the job description.
- Be sure not to overdress - not on clothing formality, but on appropriate layers. Whether nerves or the weather, chances are, you will get warm during your commute. Prepare for this, and forgo a jacket over your blazer if need be.
- Women, wear flat shoes or sandals en route to the interview. You will be much more comfortable, and you won't slow yourself down when walking. Bring a large, sturdy bag with your interview heels. Once you are outside the building (or, better yet, duck into a cafe bathroom), change into the heels.
- Leave a HUGE cushion for timing. Trains may be down, buses may be stuck in traffic, and an empty cab may be impossible to find. With ample time, even an awful transportation problem won't lead to lateness.
- If you have extra time, go to a cafe and review your background research and interview answers. Get a coffee if you need a pick-me-up. Dash into the bathroom to check your outfit and hair. Dispose of the coffee before entering the interview.
- For commuters, if you have a large bag or suitcase, leave it with the receptionist in the lobby. This way, you are not showing up to the interview carrying bags of your belongings.
- Eat breakfast. You'll be less jittery.