This post is written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Read on for Christine’s thoughts on navigating the Tube pre-interview:
Honestly? London is a terrifying city.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and as a job hunter myself, I’ve learned this the hard way. Lucky for you, with these tips you don’t have to go through the same.
The first step is to figure out how to get there and how long it takes. If you have a smartphone, download the app Citymapper (iPhone and Android compatible) immediately. Alternatively, use their website to figure out your route.
As a bonus, it’ll tell you how much your journey on the Tube costs so you can save time and money all in one. Favourite your ideal journey so you can refer to it offline, and do the same with an alternative route as well; you never know if you’ll run into an unexpected tube strike or line closure!
Once you’ve got that figured out, it’s definitely worth taking that journey a day or two before your interview.
Make sure you not only know which lines to take and which stops to change at, but also which exit you need and how to walk to your interview from the station. I know I’ve wasted precious prep time by wandering around aimlessly after leaving the station from the wrong exit. Practicing your commute helps to keep you punctual and confident.
Buy and wear comfortable but professional looking shoes. Your journey will contain more walking than expected. When in doubt, go for something simple and black. You should also own more than one pair if your shoes aren’t completely waterproof.
For women, either try to avoid heels or at least wear platforms. I promise your feet will thank you at the end of the day!
Wearing the same job outfit again and again is not the one. We know office wear can be expensive, so alternating between two bottom pieces and three top pieces will probably be adequate.
If you’re worrying about how to best present yourself, here’s my advice. A simple blazer, no matter what position you’re interviewing for, adds an air of professionalism instantly.
Note of caution: take it off during your underground journey, as it’s easy to overheat on the Tube and you don’t want to be sweaty and flustered for your interview.
If you’re wearing material that crinkles easily, iron it the night before. In a pinch, hanging the piece of clothing up in the steam while you’re taking a shower helps. (It won’t make your shirt entirely wrinkle-free, but it’s definitely better than nothing.)
Face & Body
When it comes to makeup, keeping it simple is definitely the way to go. Stick to neutral colours and apply minimal coverage. After all, you don’t want heavy makeup to be melting off your face on your way to an interview.
You should also use matte makeup. Not only does it stay on longer but it looks more professional.
Make sure you bring a bottle of water with you. Staying hydrated keeps you calm and cool. If the journey isn’t too long, try to stand instead of sit so you stay alert. Take it from me – zoning out and missing your stop is a lot easier to do sitting down.
If you do sit, a good method I use to remember my stop is to stand up right after the train departs from your penultimate stop. That way, you’re ready to go when you reach your destination.
So now you know where to go and you’re looking and feeling great. The final step is to keep your mind interview-ready too.
When you’re travelling on the Tube, it’s tempting to block out the world and play games on your phone. However, a much better way to spend your commute time is to prepare for your interview. My preferred method is to write a note on my phone with the details of the company and position I’m interviewing for. It’s a great way to get your head into a professional mindset and keep you focused.
All I have to say is, godspeed, and good luck with your London job hunt!
Feature Image © Comedy Central