Why are interviewers interested in asking applicants about their travel experiences and why is it often the centre of interview discussion? It is common for the well-travelled applicant to be questioned about their experiences during an interview, but why are employers so interested in our travels?
It is true that those who have travelled are as a result often demonstrative of skills which are greatly desired in the work place. To successfully complete a travelling expedition, whether it is alone or in a group, some serious organisation is required. The correct currency, the correct clothes and paperwork, not to mention the correct geographical plan will all need to be in place. It immediately proves to the employer that the applicant is capable of organising and conducting such an event.
If travelling is done either alone or in a group, good communication and confidence is require to settle in to the new environment as it is common for groups of people to meet when they arrive at the airport or whilst travelling. These skills are ideal for the workplace; communication, team work and the ability to build good relationships.
Travel makes us employable because we have decided to immerse ourselves in to a foreign culture and society. This demonstrates sensitivity and the desire to understand others; it shows an interest to take a step back and observe the bigger picture. Companies who search for the right interns are searching for those who are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes. They are capable of carrying out tasks efficiently and sensitively and are able to understand the bigger picture in terms of their role within the company.
To have travelled means to have listened and learnt about new places and cultures. It is often the case that young travellers are on a budget and cannot afford the larger, more isolated luxurious hotels. Such travellers therefore live abroad communally whether that is in local hostels or sleeping on public trains. This is a wonderful way to experience the truth of an alien society. The traveller is immersed in to the culture by means of social interaction within the local community and has developed a further understanding of the world as a whole. These skills and experiences are invaluable to the employer who seeks a confident and well-rounded applicant.
Above all, what really makes a travelling experience useful is the personal development which is gained. When interviewed, the applicant will sound and look different as a result of their personal development. The travelled individual has an expanded awareness of the world as well as of other cultures and religions. Their eyes and ears are open, ready to tackle their interview, new internship or job.
If you have not yet travelled, why not go and find yourself?