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Simple Truths About Getting to the Interview and What to Take With You

Location, Location, Location

When you schedule your interview, you should definitely ask for directions, even if you're pretty sure how to get there. If it's a large facility, be sure to ask which entrance you should use and where you should park. Don't assume that you'll be reporting to the main entrance or the human resources office; the interviewer may have something else in mind. Many company Websites have directions to their facilities; it's a good idea to go to the Website and print them out, even if you were given verbal instructions on the phone. You can also consult one of the online mapping tools. Mapquest is the most commonly known, but most of the major search engines have similar services that you can link to from their home pages. A word of caution: There can be discrepancies and inaccuracies on these maps, and occasionally they won't give you the most efficient route from point A to point B. Of course, if you have one of the several onboard GPS navigation devices that have hit the market in recent years, you can also use that to plot your route. Whichever you choose to use, comparing a couple of sources is always a good practice.

For out-of-town trips especially, it can be very helpful to have a full map that shows a whole city or metropolitan area to give you perspective that you can't get from the small, detailed maps printed from online sources. If you do make a mistake and are off course, the larger city map may be your best hope of navigating back on course. If you belong to AAA, they will happily provide such maps and directions to their members, typically free of charge.

If your interview is local and you have any doubt about where you are going, make a dry run at least one day before. Drive the same route you plan on using to get to the interview and confirm the written directions. Also keep an eye out for road construction, one-way streets in locations where you didn't expect them, and other impasses. If it's possible to drive the route at the same time of day as when your interview is scheduled, you'll have the opportunity to observe traffic patterns and allow for anticipated delays. A drive that takes 20 minutes on a Sunday morning could easily take more than an hour during the Wednesday-morning rush hour. If the interview is out of town, you may still be able to do a dry run from your hotel to the interview site if you arrive the night before. In the alternative, get an extra early start to give yourself a “buffer” if you do indeed get lost or miss a turn. Regardless of where your interview is, plan to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the appointment. In the best of circumstances, you'll have a few minutes to spend in the parking lot gathering your thoughts, and then in the restroom to take one last look in the mirror. In the worst of circumstances, it may allow you to still arrive on time.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview TipsSimple Truths About Getting to the Interview and What to Take With You - Location, Location, Location, Having What It Takes/taking What You Need, Tips From The Pros