by Tracey Cohen Paliath, Esq.
We have had so many recent snow events and predictions of snow and ice events this week that I’ve lost track. At this point, I have really stopped following it or worrying about it, and now I just go about my days until the weather is going to force a change. That got me thinking, however, about job seekers, and how they handle weather events or even suggestions of weather events when they have an interview scheduled during the time when it is supposed to be snowing or sleeting outside. Here are a few guidelines when deciding what to do about moving forward in the event of uncertain or bad weather.
If you are hearing calls from multiple reputable sources that snow will be falling and will have accumulated while you are heading to an interview, develop a contingency plan. First of all, know yourself. If you are the type of person who hates to drive the minute you see the first few snowflakes, do not assume everyone is like you and cancel the interview or not show up to the event, thinking it won’t matter. It will. So make sure you seem responsible and safety-conscious, not crazy, when it comes to handling the snow. Call a friend or relative who might be willing to drive you, or take a taxi.
Fear of snow is quite common in Baltimore, and yours is probably not too crazy, relatively speaking. But you will look flaky (no pun intended!) if you cancel an interview for a very small snow event or one that winds up as a bust. Even if it gets rescheduled, if the weather really wound up not being an issue in the end, it will definitely be a black mark on your candidacy.
Basically, the only thing you should do in advance of a storm is to call the person with whom you set up the interview and say something like, “I am really looking forward to coming in tomorrow and a little snow or ice won’t stop me. But since this is Baltimore, I’m wondering if this turns out to be a much bigger event than predicted, how will I be able to know if the interviewer is still able to meet?” In this type of phrasing, you are showing not only concern for other people’s safety, but that you want to make sure the interview is successful. At a minimum, request a cell phone number for a person to call so you can find out if you are still a go if the weather is bad. If the interview is important enough, see if you can stay at all hotel the night before, or stay with a friend who lives very close to the location, so that you could get to it by walking or by a quick taxi ride the next day. Once you have that phone number, if you need to use it to cancel on your end, you can do it according to their established protocol, which will minimize disruptions.
Remember, try every other way you can think of to get there first, and be sure to briefly summarize what you’ve done to attempt to get there. As soon as the weather clears, if you have not heard back about rescheduling, call or send a polite email expressing your disappointment in having to cancel and requesting a new date and time. Planning and being willing to go the extra mile, with a touch of graciousness, will serve you well when the weather doesn’t!
Tracey Cohen Paliath, Esq., JCS Director of Economic Services
JCS offers a full range of career services. For more information about the JCS Career Center click here or call 410-466-9200.
This blog was previously posted as a “Generation JD” blog in “The Daily Record” on February 7, 2014 at http://thedailyrecord.com/category/generation-j-d/