March 6, 2014

Don’t Let Weather Mess Up Your Job Interview

Man shoveling snow This has been a particularly harsh winter and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon. However, weather problems can persist all year so it’s best to be prepared so weather doesn’t mess up your job interview.

At, Amanda Augustine writes that you should:

  • Make Contact Quickly
  • Prepare for Other Interview Methods
  • Take Advantage of the Time

As soon as you hear there might be problems getting to your interview on time, make arrangements, Augustine advises. “Be prepared to propose new dates and times for the interview. Avoid rescheduling for the very next day, as there may be residual travel issues due to the recent storm,” she says.

One other point to consider is arriving in town the night before if you have to travel some distance. It will demonstrate dedication to the interview, especially if you arrive when others might cancel because of the inclement weather.

Just make sure your contact is going to be in the office for the interview. Don’t waste time traveling only to find out the person you are meeting with has decided to stay home.

Other interview methods would include Skype. Not familiar with Skype? You should be only if for no other reason than it’s an effective way to keep in touch with far-flung family members for free or little cost. Augustine says, “Be prepared for the virtual interview by downloading and testing the appropriate software on your computer and identifying a place in your home that’s quiet and clutter-free.”

That last point is especially important. Just like you would never show up for an interview with a stain on your suit, you don’t want to show a messy office in the background or have kids screaming in the background. Also, never do a Skype interview in an environment you can’t control like a Starbucks or a public library.

Sarah Stewart, an Australian nurse, writes about her experiences (and those of colleagues) being interviewed virtually. She offers these tips:

  • Practice – Talking on camera isn’t easy, even if it’s just a webcam. You’ll want to practice with a friend so you are comfortable doing this. Avoid that “deer in the headlights” look that plague some folks when they appear on camera.
  • Dress appropriately – Wear the same clothes you would for a face-to-face interview. That’s what this is, in effect.
  • Check how you look on camera – Stewart offers this valuable advice that could work for either gender. “Web camera always shows up my wrinkles, so next time I have an interview I am going to wear a little make-up to hide the wrinkles and add color to my face,” she said.
  • Get rid of any distractions – A key piece of advice she offers is to set your Skype to invisible. This prevents your other Skype contacts from interrupting you during the interview. Also, make sure your pets are outside and your kids are with a babysitter.
  • Think about the name of your Skype account – Same could be said about your email, too. Keep the account name professional because it is business related. No nicknames or plays on words for your Skype name.

Finally, Augustine says, “If the interview is cancelled, take advantage of this extra time to prepare. Practice your talking points and brainstorm questions to ask the interviewer. Do some additional research on the company’s culture by checking out their reviews on Glassdoor and reviewing their social media accounts.”

Remember, weather problems can hinder travel 12 months of the year. Demonstrate to your prospective employer that you are flexible and have creative solutions and you could be that much closer to landing the job you want.

Read more in Interview Tips

Keith Griffin is an award-winning business writer and editor with more than 30 years experience as a journalist. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, Medical Economist, Good Housekeeping,, the Hartford Courant, CT Law Tribune and numerous other regional publications.
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