Take A Test Drive Before An Important Job Interview

Take A Test Drive Before An Important Job Interview
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You probably know it helps to answer a few common questions with a friend prior to an important job interview so you can prepare adequately, but if you don’t ever make it to the interview, none of that will matter. In the days before, you ought to drive out to take yourself through the process of getting ready and actually going.

Picture: epSos.de/Flickr

Alison Green, writing for US News, suggests getting suited up and making the drive out to the interview prior to it actually happening:

Try to do this around the same time of day as your interview, so that you know what traffic to expect. The point? You might discover that your directions are wrong or a major road you were counting on is closed for construction, or that traffic is far worse than you anticipated. By rehearsing ahead of time, you’ll be able to ensure you allow enough time on the actual day and don’t get lost.

In some circumstances, you might struggle to find the time to prepare yourself and make the drive, but it provides you with important knowledge to help you make it on time. You can always double up on activities too. If you like something in the same part of town as the company, plan an errand or meal over that way to pursue after your test drive.

What to Do Before Every Interview


  • wouldn’t it be more efficient to simply leave more time on the day and relax and read a book if you arrive early? Best case scenario doing the trip as a dry run you are loosing an extra 200% of your time (there and then back), even allocating twice your estimated time would be faster.

    More useful would be do a test run start/end of day before accepting the job to find out if you are going to go postal sitting in traffic for 90 minutes each morning.

    • Valid point, but I see the point of the article author as well. Peace of mind that you know where you are going, what the building looks like, where to park etc can help a lot.

      When I was interviewing for jobs I’d leave myself a ton of time (I’d usually get to interviews a full hour too early) to make up for getting lost. But the very notion I was going somewhere new was still enough to make me nervous and giddy! Though I was too lazy to try this technique myself it occurred to me regularly and I can see why it might appeal to some people.

  • Man.. I once went on a job interview where I ended up being about 1 hour late, reason being was that the office building was located in an obscure location at a second story level only accesible by an elevator which could only be operated with a keycard, there was however a number to reception in the room of the elevator which I tried calling several times only to be put through to message bank as their lines were busy or not available. I called my recruiter with “wtf is going on?” he was as annoyed and confused as I was.

    In the end I got in by following an employee of the company into the elevator.

    did not get the job in the end, glad I didn’t tbh.


    • Wait, was Civica the employer?

      I have some funny tales about them lately…

      I have recently gone for an interview where the interviews were being conducted near the lobby, so the people involved saw me arrive 50 minutes early, and then watched me sit down quietly to read a magazine on my iPad.

  • Normally for job interviews this is what I do about 1 week in advance, and at the minimum, 3 days in advance:

    1. Check my suit for stains and get cleaned if necessary
    2. Check my shoes and shine
    3. Ensure the shirt Im going to wear, fits. If so, wash and iron.
    4. Ensure the tie Im going to wear is clean and wrinkle free
    5. Wear everything to ensure I know how I look on the day (Full size mirror).
    6. Check out the drive or the bus/train timetable and if possible go for that drive or bus/train ride
    7. Check out the office location.

    On the day, leave at least 30 minutes earlier than intended. Better to be early and have time to relax and focus, than to be late and panicked.

    This process has never failed me once.

  • Rocking up to job interviews an hour earlier usually gives me time to relax, grab a coffee/tea, and even get an opportunity to walk around before actually entering the building where the interview is being held.

    I was told not all recruiters are fond of people who are too eager and show up way too early to their scheduled interviews.

    • I was told to never arrive more than 5 minutes early. They said it shows a lack of time management skills. But they did say it’s better to be 10 minutes early, than 1 minute late. So according to this advice, you have a 5 minute window to arrive.

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