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The Genuine Index: Trainline tackles the cost of job interviews


Trainline took over a space at Waterloo, the busiest railway station in the UK, to launch its campaign to help jobseekers prepare for interviews. It did this by providing coaching and lending clothing in a pop-up space. This physical activation was paired with a discount for train travelling jobseekers and research on the average cost of job interviews which was shared with media.


The Genuine Index panel had mixed feelings about this activation and campaign.

A majority of the panel thought the overall execution of the campaign was muddled and poor, with too many messages which could cause confusion or be misunderstood. A simpler campaign which focused completely on discounts for jobseekers OR the pop-up activation would have worked better, instead of splitting the focus. Most thought it unlikely that if they were on the way to a job interview they would have time or the presence of mind to visit the pop up.

While the panel thought highlighting the high cost of travel for job interviews was a worthy goal, they were unsure if the activation was the best way to address this, or if a discount paired with coaching videos might have reached and actually helped more people.

However the genuineness of the campaign was broadly acknowledged, with one panel member noting “I think it might be genuine, but just bad.”

Score*: 1.8

The Genuine Index Series 2 - 2023

Arsenal’s No More Red = 7.33

People Like Us Are Working = 6.7

Peugeot’s Girls Like Cars Too = -3.5

Trainline’s Waterloo takeover = 1.8

* -10.0 (Total BS & Corporate Wash) - 10.0 (Totally Genuine).

Our scores are an average of individual panel members’ individual scores.


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