Traveling is harrowing under the best of circumstances. You may get lost, you may have flight troubles, your baggage may not make it. This is compounded when you are traveling for an interview. Will you be well rested enough, prepared enough, and avoid getting run-down? Some of these things you can’t control. One thing you CAN control is packing correctly. The best resource for this is a checklist.
Checklists are becoming more popular in human medicine and, trailing behind as always, in veterinary medicine. We did a study documenting that addition of some checklist steps dramatically reduced adverse anesthesia incidents. Checklists are effective because human brains are actually terrible at retaining 100% of the information they should retain. This is doubly true if it is an event you rarely encounter. Traveling for an interview is probably not something you do every month, so creating a checklist is key. Here are some suggestions:
- Toiletries. Although most good hotels will have the essentials, you certainly have your own things you need to bring. On my list is a hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor.
- Clothing. Obviously you need a suit if you are doing an interview. Make sure it is folded to minimize creases. When you arrive at your destination, hang your suit up first thing. You may need to iron it or your shirt/blouse. On my list are undershirts, shirts, underwear, socks, pants, pajamas, tie, dress shoes.
- Electronics. It is one of the most frustrating experiences to get to a destination and realize you don’t have your laptop charging cord. On my list is a phone, phone charger, power adapter, laptop.
- Miscellaneous. This obviously includes a wide range of items, but for me includes books and headphones.
- International. If you are traveling internationally, you need a separate section for this. Hopefully you know the visa situation before you pack. On my list are passport and foreign currency.
I travel a lot, but you would not believe the number of times I have been saved by having my checklist. Ease some of the burdens on your mind in an interview by automating the packing part of the travel. Make up a checklist ahead of time, and then you have no worries packing! Do you use a checklist? Have you ever forgotten something critical for an interview? Share in the comments!