For Air Reservations:
In most cases, the company will make air travel arrangements. Be prepared to charge your ticket (using a credit card) if the company doesn't pre-pay for it.
Check in at the airline counter 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. Your baggage will be checked through to your final destination. If you have a close connection to make, consider carrying your baggage with you (if this is not possible, make sure that you have any information necessary for your interview). Dress appropriately for interviewing when traveling (you may not have time to change clothes or freshen up upon arrival). Contact an airline representative immediately if your baggage is delayed. Lock and plainly mark your baggage with your address, inside and out.
Many of your trips will be during the winter or early spring when travel is affected by weather. If your flight is detained or if you have missed connections for a flight, you should contact a ticket agent for assistance. Be sure to call the employer to inform him or her of your delay and your expected time of arrival.
When formulating travel plans for the interview trip, be certain to obtain the following information:
1. Will someone meet you at the airport, or should you go directly to the hotel or the company office?
2. What is the best mode of transportation (limousine, taxi, bus, train) for you to use?
3. Has a hotel/motel reservation been made for you?
4. Is the reservation in your name?
5. What is the name and address of the hotel?
The second interview generally consumes a whole day--sometimes more. It may include pre-employment testing, such as paper and pencil tests or on-the-job situation scenarios in order to assess your decision-making abilities. The various interviews during the day are a test of your knowledge, poise, stamina and enthusiasm! Typically, you will be interviewed by various supervisors, managers and officials with a break for lunch and perhaps a tour. Try to obtain a schedule which states who will be interviewing you and when each interview is to take place.
Typically, the employer expects to pay for all legitimate expenses incurred by you in connection with a site visit. "Legitimate expenses" are defined as those which are necessary to get you there and back, covering the basic items of transportation, food and lodging. If you are uncertain as to who is expected to pay for interviewing expenses, do not hesitate to ask the employer.
1. Seek reimbursement only for the actual expenses of your trip. Do not include entertainment or personal expenditures. Should you visit other firms on the same trip you should prorate your expenses among them. Reimbursement policies vary. Some employers return an applicant's funds the same day, while others take several weeks to mail a check. Each candidate should have funds on hand for recruiting expenses.
2. Get receipts for hotel and travel costs. They are normally required before reimbursement can be made.
3. With the employer's authorization, select the most convenient means of transportation. If you drive a car, show your complete route and round trip mileage. Include airport limousine service, buses, trains and taxis.
4. Be conservative about meal expenditures. How you spend an employer's funds on an interview trip is a good indication of how you might spend those funds as an employee. Costs should cover meals with tax, and should be listed on a daily basis. Some employers set no limits but rely on your good judgment. Although geographic location will cause figures to vary, these maximum expenditures should serve as a general guideline:
Breakfast $ 8.00
5. The following items are NOT considered normal business expenses:
- Personal entertainment and tours, cigarettes, magazines, etc.
- Tips may or may not be reimbursable
- Valet expenses
- Expenses for persons other than the individual invited, except where the company authorizes expenses for the applicant's spouse
- Hotels at points other than the city being visited, except as may be required by the transportation schedule
- Charges for transportation reservations that were not cancelled
- Travel insurance
Many questions arise when it comes to the subject of a meal which is scheduled into the interview. The main point to remember is that employers mostly want to see how you handle yourself in public. So, with this in mind, here are a few pointers:
- Order an alcoholic drink only if you are of age and all others have done so. Ordering more than one drink is ill advised. This is not the time to find out that nerves and drinks do not mix. You cannot afford to "blow it" by slipping up on those items you kept under control prior to the meal.
- Do not order as if this were the first time you had eaten in the past week. If you are too nervous to eat, order something light.
- Be careful about expense. Do not order the most expensive item on the menu. Keep it on the conservative side. Choose something in the mid range of the menu. A hamburger is not appropriate if the others in your party are ordering steak
- Avoid foods that may cause unpleasant breath.
- Do not order "hard to handle" foods. Those that fall into this category, and often times in your lap, are crab legs, spaghetti, lasagna (or other entrees with tomato sauce as it splatters easily), and peas.
- As for conversation, take cues from the interviewer(s). Discuss neutral topics such as sports, TV, hobbies, and food. Steer clear from topics such as politics, religion and moral issues.
- Use this time to find out about the community, climate, and cultural and leisure aspects. Also, if some recent graduates have joined you for the meal, ask them about their jobs.
Second Interview Tips
There are two important factors that the company will use in evaluating you: your ability to fit in with the company's culture, and the quality and depth of the questions you ask. Just as the prospective employer wants to learn a great deal about you during the interview trip, you should also gain as much information as possible during this short time period. Try to develop the right level of questions for each specific person you interview with that day (HR, top management, etc.) It's a good idea to always have some questions prepared while remaining open to questions that come up spontaneously during your interviews.
- What markets does the company anticipate developing?
- What new product/service/client is the company actively pursuing?
- How do market trends affect company growth and progress?
Final Comments About the Trip
FOLLOW UP: An offer of employment is rarely given at the time of the second interview. Each person you interviewed with should receive a thank you e-mail within twenty-four hours of your visit. Be specific, but brief in expressing your thanks and continued interest in the organization. Before you leave the office, find out what the next step is and their timetable for making a decision. When it is necessary for you to miss classes because of interview trips, be sure to notify your instructors prior to leaving.