Preparing For Your Interview

When you have a job interviewing coming up you should prep if you want to be hired. Even the best HR Executives prep for job interviews. Keep reading to get some great tips.

Would you be OK with the commute to this job?

The Real Question: Nobody likes a long commute; you know other candidates live closer than you, right?

Bottom-line Tactic: If you’re not prepared to move, say so. And if you genuinely don’t mind the commute, say that too—and don’t wait to be asked.

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For an innocent-sounding topic, this is a surprisingly rich question.

In some countries, legislation has made it illegal for an interviewer to discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s postcode, so don’t be surprised if even the most politically incorrect interviewer approaches this question a little gingerly. In some countries, legislation has made it illegal for an interviewer to discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s postcode, so don’t be surprised if even the most politically incorrect interviewer approaches this question a little gingerly.

But this question mainly concerns how long you’ll stick around in the job and whether you can get to wherever the job needs you to be. Everybody knows long commutes are an expensive grind, and that the further away you live, the more likely you are to arrive late and frazzled. Indeed, a lengthy commute is one of the main reasons people quit, and your interviewer will be mindful of that. No employer will be upset to hear you live next door.

Be advised that one person’s short commute is another’s marathon, and you don’t know which sort your interviewer is. If the topic arises, it’s probably because the interviewer thinks you live too far out.

Geography can also play a part. For example, a candidate who lives in a congested city might feel that an eighty-minute commute is par for the course—but if that city-dweller were to go for a job in the country, an eighty-minute commute might well get them excluded if everybody else can be there in twenty.

In the short term, there’s not much you can do about where you live and where the job is, but there are ways to counter the problem:

  • If you’re ready to move for the job, say so—and say it as though moving home is something you take in your stride, rather than one of the most stressful life events there is.
  • If you’re not prepared to move for the job, say that you’ll bear the commute. If you’ve done it before and got used to it, be sure to say so. Be ready to show you’ve got the trip planned already, including your alternative route for travel delays.
  • If the job involves lots of long-distance air travel and your interviewer is a veteran of that, you need to decide how world-weary you want to sound. If you’re new to it, you’ve room to say that it’s yet to burn you out. But if you’re a frequent flyer yourself, for the sake of sounding sincere you might want to acknowledge that business air travel can occasionally be a tough gig, though it has its perks too.
  • If you’re one of those gods who can do good work on the train or on the plane, say so—because few can.

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