How to Arrive Wrinkle-Free

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At some point, if the preliminary interview goes well, you may get a call to catch a plane for an interview at the Corporate Office in another state or country. Aside from being an opportunity for a little vacation and chance to see another part of the country, it’s an indication that the company is really interested in you. 

It may be a trip for the corporate people to get a look at you, get to know you a little bit and get a first-hand impression. It may also be a test to see how well you handle the pressure of an interview out of your comfort zone in unfamiliar surroundings. Whatever the reason, it’s still important to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered.

It’s important to take care when making travel arrangements, making sure you don’t miss a flight and have plenty of time between flights so you don’t miss connections. In most cases, the interviewing company will make the reservations and pay for the flight and expenses.  Be responsive when asked about convenient dates and times. If you can’t make a specific date, speak up. Some assertiveness is expected, especially if you’re interviewing for a management or leadership position. On the other hand, you don’t want to miss your opportunity because you’ve got tickets to a football game the same day as an interview. 

Packing for an interview trip can be tricky. You want to be comfortable on the plane, but need to take your best suit for the interview. You certainly don’t want to show up wearing a business suit that looks creased and rumpled from being smashed in a suitcase and then thrown in an overhead bin for several hours. An article in the Business Insider shared the secrets of how to pack a business suit so that it arrives fresh and looking pressed after being in a suitcase for a number of hours.

The packing instructions are for a man’s suit, but it can work for women as well. A few folds in the right places, tucking the folded pants (or skirt) inside the folded jacket makes a small folded package to fit easily into a rolling suitcase that then fits into the luggage carrier. The photos make it easy to follow. 

A pair of socks (or pantyhose) tucked into a pair of well-polished shoes and a shirt folded neatly complete the interview attire. It looks simple, and it is, but there may be a few wrinkles left in even with the best folds. To get out the last wrinkles, hang the jacket, pants (or skirt) and shirt on the hotel’s wooden hangers and hang them in the bathroom while taking a shower. The steam from the shower will take out any wrinkles left from the packing. Unless you’re an expert with an iron, leave the touch ups to the shower steam.  You can’t risk burning a hole in your suit jacket or scorching your shirt. 

A perfect resume, answers to the tough interview questions and a list of solid references are important, but the ability to travel well and arrive looking professional, calm and poised to face the corporate team shows you as competent, confident and someone who could represent the company in style. 

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