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How to Prepare for an Out-Of-State Job Interview

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated Oct 16, 2018
|5 min read

Although 90 percent of companies planned to conduct job interviews by video in 2017, according to GreenJobInterview, nothing replaces the ability to meet potential hires in person.

“You get a better sense of who someone is when you are in the same room as them,” said Nancy Noto, former director of people and development at Mic.

So if you’re close to getting a job in another state, here’s everything you should expect from that in-person interview.

Why You Might Be Asked for an In-Person Interview

Getting a job in another state can be complicated, but you’re not the only one considering it. About 20 percent of Americans who moved in 2016 did so for an employment-related reason, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As you consider moving for a job, the HR team at your potential company might be considering whether you’re a strong enough candidate to merit paying for your travel costs — a cost the company doesn’t have to consider for local candidates.

Not all applicants will be worth the time and money to wrangle plane tickets, book hotels and rent cars.

But you might be more likely to fly out for a final in-person interview if you’re an in-demand hire working in, say, technology or engineering.

“We have flown candidates in for interviews when hiring for a highly specialized role or a very senior role only,” said Noto, who also worked in HR for AppNexus. “It really depends on the size of the company. Very large companies with large recruiting budgets might fly out candidates more frequently.”


How to Plan Your Interview Trip

By footing the bill for your airfare, a company is demonstrating its interest in you. It’s also expecting that you’re seriously interested too.

You can assume the company will either assist you in making your travel plans or offer instructions on taking care of them yourself. Either way, show initiative. Just because your new company will pay for (or reimburse) your travel, doesn’t mean you need a secretary.

Being thrifty might impress your future boss. So will treating your visit like a business trip.

“Some employers will fly candidates in and out the same day,” said Tiffani Murray, a career consultant. “You can expect a half or full day of interviews usually in these cases.”

What to Expect During Your Visit

If you’re being flown out for in-person interviews, your potential new company is likely ensuring you’re a fit for its culture.

“They know you can do the job already and are seeing who will best fit on the team, so keep that in mind when answering questions,” said Valerie Streif, a senior adviser at Mentat, when asked how to land a job in another state.

“Educate yourself on the mission of the company,” she continued, “and customize your answers to interview questions so that you align with their values.”

Your day at the office might also include:

  • Touring the offices
  • Meeting with HR to review the role
  • Attending a welcome breakfast or lunch with potential colleagues
  • Interviews with various colleagues and higher-ups

Just in case, ready yourself for an end-of-the-day offer. Brush up on your salary-negotiating strategies in case the process moves along quickly during your visit.

Getting a job in another state is also about getting accustomed to your new surroundings.

“Some HR teams may also be looking at this as an opportunity to sell the candidate on relocating to the work location,” said Murray. “They may include other activities during this trip such as a city tour that includes looking at neighborhoods, entertainment districts, schools and other local attractions.”

Use the Plane Ride to Prepare

When you’re asked to cross a state border to interview for a job, you might assume you have it in the bag. Be aware that even if the company is not flying out other candidates, it could still be considering local applicants.

So use your travel time to either rest or study up. Short of taking a red-eye flight, you might want to spend your time:

Using your time wisely will ensure you have no regrets once the in-person interview ends.

The same goes for your return trip. Use that time to digest your interviewing experience. Think about how well everything went, how you might mesh with your interviewers and how you can follow up to express your gratitude for the trip.

Also, ask yourself whether you’re excited about getting a job in another state or whether you’re excited about this particular job — no matter its location. After all, moving for a job is only worth it if the job is.

This article was originally published on Student Loan Hero. It is reprinted with permission.

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