I'm sorry if this is a wrong place to ask this question but I hoped to hear from others who travelled long distance for an interview.

Finally after countless applications I was invited for an interview next month. I'm trying to arrange my journey there (London to Glasgow). I'm trying to keep the expenses to minimum. Fastest option is a flight BUT I would need to leave home from 3/4am to make it on time (interview at 10am, home to airport via coach, then flight, then airport to institute via bus). That is if there are absolutely no delays.

My alternative would be to take a coach (8-9h), stay overnight in a hostel. And then the next day meet them all fresh and ready.

So I emailed them politely asking them if this arrangement would be acceptable stating that I worry I might not make it on time if I travel on the day of the interview.

They replied to me stating 'no' and that my statement is wrong (about not being on time) and went on to say that there are plenty of flights on that day. They sounded very upset at me.

So now I made a wrong impression even before meeting them. I even made them search for me and made them wrongly accuse me of trying to visit Glasgow at their expenses.

I get a very bad feeling about all this and I still would rather not go with the plane option. It's not only about being late but also arriving tired and dishevelled (formal suit).

Am I wrong to feel a bit angry at them? I would keep the travel expenses to minimum and it would be a huge difference not to travel overnight with multiple changes.

  • 1
    I find this a strange reaction as it is perfectly reasonable to not want to travel on the day of the interview. Anyway, follow @aparente001's advice but consider taking the direct Virgin train! :)
    – dsfgsho
    Sep 16, 2016 at 22:32
  • Is the coach/bus option the best? I'm not that familiar with the distances involved and the reliability of the bus sytem in the UK. I wonder whether they might have been expecting you to take a taxi instead and whether that would be significantly faster? Students aren't used to the expense of taxis, but profs might be assuming this mode. Sep 19, 2016 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


Take the coach, stay overnight and pay your own expenses; forget this flap ever happened; do your best in the interview. Keep in mind that the office staff who arranges for travel is probably overworked, and has NOTHING to do with hiring decisions, and will have almost nothing to do with you once you are working there. Focus on figuring out if the job is a good fit for you -- read up about the department or whatever before you go, think about how you can make a contribution to their efforts, and how you will convince them of that. And enjoy your trip. Even if this is not the place you end up working, the interview will be valuable experience for you in your job search.

  • Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately it was the main supervisor who invited me for the interview (before the official one will come next week) and who replied to me. I had no intention of offending him in any way! But I feel like this is exactly what I did. I appreciate their offer to reimburse my travel expenses but I will do as you advise and I will pay on my own. I want to meet them fresh and ready and take in the whole experience of the interview. This is my very first interview and I definitely want to take as much from it as I can.
    – HoldenDK
    Sep 16, 2016 at 19:08
  • 2
    This is a wrinkle that the natural humidity in the air can iron out. Please, just focus on the other stuff, as I wrote in my answer. It's natural to feel anxious -- but take a deep breath and remind yourself to focus on the positive. It's exciting to be going to your first interview! Sep 16, 2016 at 19:18
  • "will have almost nothing to do with you once you are working there" Unlikely. Graduate students often need travel reimbursements. The same staff often do other essential things, like place orders for lab equipment. Sep 17, 2016 at 0:34
  • 1
    I'd also add that spending a bit more time in the city you could potentially end up living in can only be a positive. Hope the interview goes well!
    – user58935
    Sep 17, 2016 at 0:35
  • @AnonymousPhysicist - Are you saying you would turn down a job because of some unpleasant office staff? Sep 17, 2016 at 3:47

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