1. Book hotel/motel 2-3 weeks in advance.
a. We booked in advance and when we checked in, I overheard the receptionist tell someone who called that they were full for the evening. I was so glad that we were not in that kind of a bind.
b. If kids are going, ask about the pool… (We made the mistake on booking a hotel whose pool was not working, and I had to entertain our toddler in our room all day.)
2. Mention that he is interviewing with the school while booking the hotel room.
a. For both last year’s interview and the one so far this year, we received a special discount on our stay.
b. If the city is a little bigger and there wasn’t a list provided, call the school and ask if they have a recommended hotel list for prospective students who are coming to interview.
3. Start packing the week before the interview.
a. Set out the suit that will be worn before everything else so that you can get it dry cleaned or pressed before you travel… Then only a light ironing may be needed.
b. Be sure that the interview outfit is separate from everything else. (suit, shirt, socks, shoes, tie, tie clip, shirt stays, etc…)
c. If the kids are going, be sure to pack car toys as well as hotel room toys. (You never know if you will be stranded at the hotel with no getaway car.)
4. If you can afford it, plan an extra day to do something fun in town.
a. Interviews, generally, go from 8am-2pm. They are emotionally exhausting and physically draining. It’s ok to give yourselves the rest of the day off to nap and recharge.
b. Explore and get to know the town. The interview alone means that living there may be a possibility.
5. Have fun!
a. Treat this time together as a mini vacation! It’s time away from home. Plan things you can do together and enjoy before heading back to real life where you will be waiting anxiously for a response from the school you just interviewed at.
b. Plan something exciting! If there is an entertainment option available, do it! Whether it’s a great restaurant, kid’s museum, splash park, art gallery, beach, state park or cave exploring. Do something that the city has to offer. If you happen to not get into the school, you can still have some good memories from the time you spent there.
6. Keep all of your receipts for tax purposes. (It’s a school related expense.)
I can’t give much advice in the way of interviews where you have to fly in order to get there… We decided that it would be too expensive to fly all three of us to his one long distance choice unless we were going to be there for an extended stay, and make a real vacation of it. If we didn’t, hubs would fly and do the interview while kiddo and I stayed home.
I’d love to hear some funny interview stories! I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has been stranded at a pool-less hotel with a toddler for 6 hours.