4 top tips for a stress-free out-of-town job interview

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Long gone are the golden days when companies would hover around universities recruiting fresh-faced graduates for high-paying schemes. Now most of us have to look pretty far afield to get a decent starting salary, or indeed any salary at all.

And being forced to travel just to get a 15-minute meeting with a potential employer makes the whole interview process 100 times more stressful than it normally is.

You're not just trying to prepare some answers and get your CV in tip-top shape, you're also dealing with crashing on a friend's sofa or surviving a cheap hotel room in a strange city you're completely lost in.

So that you can concentrate on that all-important prep work, we're sharing a few top tips that'll help make your next out-of-town interview go much smoother. Take a look.

#1: calculate travel expenses before you go

Before you agree to an interview, calculate travel expenses so that you can determine whether or not it's worth it. It might seem awkward, but ask if they offer compensation for travel costs. Lots of bigger companies will, although they may not always advertise it.

If they don't provide financial help, then check Skyscanner for deals on any flights you need and Airbnb for cheaper accommodation, to save as much money as possible.

#2: don't cut it too fine

Your alarm not going off, your car or the bus breaking down, the time of your meeting changing at the last minute - there are lots of nightmare ways an interview can go wrong, especially when you're travelling a long way to get there.

If you can, plan your schedule so that you arrive at least one day before your interview. Then you won't have to worry about any late starts or public transport delays making you late.

#3: pack carefully

Pack your suitcase carefully and remember that you don't want to be relying on hotel amenities if you're paying rock-bottom prices for a room for the night. Take your own hair curling wand or blow dryer so you know you'll be able to make yourself look presentable in the morning.

And don't forget a travel iron, for making sure your interview power-dressing outfit is wrinkle-free and pristine, even after a few hours crumpled in your suitcase.

#4: explore the town the night before

The night before your interview, walk or get a bus to where it's being held. You'll know exactly where you're going the next morning, plus wandering around a little is the perfect way to get a good sense of the place which could potentially be your new home.

Just don't be tempted to stop for a drink - you definitely don't want to be turning up to your interview nursing a hangover.

Our final closing piece of advice is to prepare for your out-of-town interview exactly as you would any other. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you are - if you know your stuff and keep your nerves under control, you'll make a good impression.

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