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Mark,

As I mentioned in one of my posts to the main blog, I'm being flown down to Florida to interview for multiple positions with a major company that is one of my top choices. I have two questions before I head down

1) What is the best way to pack a suit for such an important trip? I fly out Monday evening, arriving around 10 PM and my interviews start at 8 AM Tuesday morning.

2) Due to the multiple positions that I am interviewing for, I am scheduled to meet with 10 people in seven interview sessions (one is a lunch interview, and yes I have gone over the meal podcasts several times) at three different locations in seven hours. Two of the sessions are panel interviews (one two person and one four person panel). I've got a pretty good idea as to who is making the hiring decisions and I fully intend to close everybody. Do you have any suggestions as to handle this marathon?

You and Mike have been instrumental in getting me to this point and I want to finish strong.

Thanks for everything!

KC

fcch_mngtools's picture

KC,

Best of luck to you.

Meticulous preparation!

I travel with those "wardrobe" folding suit bags. You'll have to press the slacks and shirt at your hotel anyway.

Don't forget to have a wake up call sent up. Eat well. Give yourself time for a real breakfast.

Keep hydrated. Air travel is dehydrating and you'll be more tired than you think that you should be.

Remember, ... the first 3-5 minutes of the interview is the periode that the interviewers say NO! The rest of the time is spent convincing themselves to say Yes.

Energy, ENERGY, [b]ENERGY[/b] !!

juliahhavener's picture

I had great success packing my suits in a travelling garment bag. I would call the hotel ahead of time and make sure there is an iron/ironing board or service available at the time you arrive (many hotels these days have both). I didn't need one, but I wasn't wearing slacks and ladies' blouses can be a bit more forgiving on travel wrinkles. You might even consider bringing an extra shirt for after lunch if there will be time enough to change into it so you look fresh and bright all day. If there is no time, I wouldn't worry about it. They are very aware of your schedule and will forgive you!

Lots of water. I took several bottles of my favorite brand with me, even.

And energy, energy, energy is definitely key. It will be VERY hard for you to do in this arrangement and especially after lunch. Keep lunch light and try to arrange for light snacks (bananas might be good: they're hard to make a mess of, stash easily, don't give you bad breath, and are simply packed with good stuff) in between a couple of those interviews.

And walk in as prepared as you can. Learn from each interview IF there is time in between. I went into a recent set of three interviews for my company in different areas with a handful of goals (aside from the question prep I did): great smiles, good handshakes, and closing. Best of luck to you!

aspiringceo's picture

The best tip for wrinkle free suits is to get it dry cleaned and get the cleaners to fold it for you, leave in in the plastic cover and make it the last thing you put in the case. If you dont have time to get it to the cleaners you should turn the jacket inside out and fold it so that the one shoulder rests on the other then place the trousers on top and finally fold up. When you get to your hotel unpack it immediately and hang it in the bathroom when you'r showering, the steam will take out any wrinkles that remain, all you need to do is brush it in a downword direction with a stiff clothes brush.
The previous posts give great hints for dealing with the rest of the day.

Best of luck and remember to shine your shoes.

Edmund

sholden's picture

With regards to question #1.) - I highly recommend keeping your suit in the dry cleaners plastic bag and then packing in a garment bag. My garment bag fits into my luggage, and it works very well. One suggestion I got from a friend that does 2/3rds of the year on the road is to put your suit in the bathroom in the morning and get a little steam on it from the shower. I do this when I remember, and I haven't had any bad experiences with it.

On question #2.) Good luck with the marathon. As Mark says -- keep the energy level up as high as possible. I think that if you have watched Mark's video at Kellogg and you are going to close, then you should close with everyone you meet.

Steve
7-1-2-7

Mark's picture

KC-

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence, particularly in your case. Please do let us know how things turned out, so I can flail myself.

We have a cast coming out regarding business trips and packing for them.

Dry Cleaning bags are HUGELY important. NEVER CHECK BAGS.

More soon.

Again, my apologies.

Mark

KCSmith's picture

Mark,

The first half of the day went well. I had a two-person panel interview went well. Followed by two individual interviews. This was all for one position. I had the energy. I was positive. I closed. It was good.

From there, I drove to my lunch interview. This was to begin the interview process for one of four available positions in a different department. Frankly, I was shocked that they were considering me for these positions based on my phone interview. I should have cut it off before it started. But I decided to go for it. The only problem was that it all seemed forced through every interview. I was told that the lunch interview was going to be a one-on-one, it turned out to be a two-person panel. I adapted. After lunch, I had two one-on-one's and the four-person panel ended up being cancelled because one of the interviewers joined me at the lunch interview, another was my first one-on-one and another was out-of-town. I closed, but I didn't get warm fuzzies from one of these people. I finished up, thanked them and I was on my way to the airport.

I turned in my car and found someplace to sit down and started on my thank you's. I finished them one the plane and mailed them before I got home that night. I waited a few days (my wife actually ended up in the emergency room with kidney stones the day of my interviews, but she didn't tell me until I got home. We are the weaker gender!) and called to follow up. I couldn't get a hold of anyone directly. I eventually left messages that were never returned. I ended up calling their corporate recruiters to inquire. It was then that they told me they weren't going to move forward with me for any of the positions that I interviewed for, but one of the mangers was considering me for another position they were going to have coming available in the near future. I made other attempts to get in touch with the people with whom I interviewed with to try to get some feedback on how I could improve my interviews in the future. No one gave me the courtesy of a response. I pretty much decided that if they couldn't give me any feedback, they weren't the right place for me. The "future position" never materialized anyway.

Since then, I have stepped up my search. I managed to connect with a recruiter in Austin that is working with me (are you familiar with Tatum, LLC?). Austin/San Antonio is my primary target area at this point, with the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and Houston behind it. My home & work life has been EXTREMELY hectic recently (I know I'm preachin' to the choir!). I haven't been able to put 100% of my efforts into my search. I'm trying to get back on my game, but I'm a bit worn down right now. Any suggestions one how to get back on my game?

[color=red][b]Great to see you back in the forums & the blog! You have been missed![/b][/color]

KC

Mark's picture

KC-

Sorry that I wasn't more prompt, but it appears that no amount of attire improvement would've helped here.

Your results are not surprising, and likely have little to do with you. I know WHY companies do it - lazy, unprofessional, inconsiderate - and it happens a lot. But I still find it disgusting.

Keep it up, something will happen.

Mark