With the change in the weather over the past week or so it got me thinking about the implications of bad weather for people attending interviews. Since I started working in recruitment back in 1996 I have come across all kinds of interview disasters due to bad weather. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t fall foul of bad weather!
- Check AA Roadwatch website to check driving conditions at least 24 hours in advance. Over the past few years we have had situations of interviews being cancelled at the last minute due to frost, snow or flooding. Leave plenty of time to make sure you can deal with poor road conditions. If it comes to pass that the weather is so poor that you must cancel the interview why not suggest a skype or telephone call? This can keep momentum in the process and allow you to hopefully rearrange another date/time for a face to face interview.
- Expect delays. Driving conditions can be much worse in the winter and on a dark wet evening a journey can take much longer than expected. Give yourself more time than you need for the journey and then add another 30 minutes to be 100% sure of being on time. Don’t ever take chances trying to make time to get to an interview. If you do end up running late due to bad roads pull over and call the company and explain your situation. This will help you relax and will give the interviewer prior notice that you are running late. It can also be used as an example of good decision making.
- Bring suitable overcoat/umbrella. Remember some companies have vast carparks and it would not be unusual to have to walk 200/300 meters from a car park to reception. Don’t arrive soaked and frozen as this will unsettle you and the less stress you can bring on yourself in the few minutes before an interview the better. I remember a number of years ago a young engineer was attending an interview in a US medical device multinational and he arrived on time and parked in the carpark which was about 300 meters from reception about 15 mins before the interview. All sounds fine, but the rain was coming down incessantly and he had to make a run for it and got drenched running to the reception. So this young engineer arrived at reception – new suit and gelled hair ruined from the rain. The receptionist took pity on him and went off to get him a towel and as the young engineer tried to dry himself off the HR manager arrived into reception only to see the young lad with his head in a towel trying to make himself respectable!! There is a happy ending in that he got the job but he brought an umbrella along for the second round interview!
- Long Journey – If the journey is over 1hr plus you may need to consider travelling the night before especially if it is a morning interview. These mornings it is not unusual to wake up find your car covered in frost and if you have to travel across the midlands frost can be quite severe until mid morning. If you intend travelling very early make sure to check the forecast for your destination and also the route you plan to take. If you are nervous of the conditions why not travel the night before.
- Public Transport – why not use public transport? Obviously timetables and locations will dictate whether you can use public transport but if it is an option why not relax and take the train or bus. Most trains now have excellent WiFi and this will allow you to spend some time researching and preparing for your interview.
In summary, my advice is to check out weather conditions in advance of your interview. Expect the unexpected and give yourself more time that you think you will need and most importantly be safe and don’t take any risks when travelling to interviews.