Thursday, August 30, 2012

So you’ve been invited for the interview...

Congratulations, you are one step closer! Now the hard work begins! First things first, you have to figure out how to get to Indonesia, let alone Jakarta. It can be quite a financial outlay as Susi Air covers none of the costs for its interviewees, only the accommodation while in Pangandaran. The rest is up to you. Expect to pay around USD 1500 for the plane ticket, another 300-400 dollars for hotel in Jakarta before and after the interview in Pangandaran, a decent amount for food, taxi and of course beer! Just for the interview you are looking at USD 2000 plus! Then if you are so unlucky as to actually get the job, you have to pay it all over again, unless of course you stay in Indonesia and backpack around as many people do. Don’t sweat though as you will be able to recoup this money if you get the job and stay on for a few years.

The interviews are usually conducted during midweek of 2-3 days. This is normally on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This does vary though. Be sure to arrive in Jakarta at least 24 hours before you are to take the Susi Air flight from Halim (the airport Susi Air operate out of in Jakarta) to Pangandaran and schedule your return ticket home at least 24 hours after the last exam or test. Susi Air pays for the Halim-Pangandaran flight, don’t worry!
Pangandaran - Home of Susi Air
With regards to hotels in Jakarta that are safe and decent , I can recommend the following: Max One Hotel in Sabang – around USD 45 a night, Amaris Hotel (there are several in Jakarta), Formula 1 near Menteng or if you are on a budget then try any of the backpacker places along Jalan Jaksa. There is also a lot of cheap hotels in Blok M (the red light district), but I would stay away until you work for Susi Air!  Have a look at,, or even for really cheap deals.

People will also tell you that you are only to take Blue Bird taxis while in Jakarta. This is correct to a degree, although I would also recommend Express and Gamya, I have had no problems with them. Once you arrive in Jakarta and get landside, head straight for the curbside at the terminal where there are lots of signposts for different taxi companies. The Blue Bird one should be easy to spot as it is the one that is most crowded. Make sure you get a numbered piece of paper from the guy in the Blue Bird uniform, this is your sequence in the queue. Now wait, sometimes it takes up to 1 hour before it is your turn! Make SURE you know your bahasa numbers (satu, dua, tiga, empat etc).

On the way to town you have to pay for the toll road (Rp 12,500) and also an airport surcharge of Rp 10,000 and then of course the meter sum when you arrive at your hotel. Whatever you do, do not agree to talk to anyone who walks up to you and says “Blue Bird mister”, it’s just a random guy wanting to charge you overprice!
Blue Bird taxi
For food while in Jakarta, definitely stay away from any street vendors as the last thing you would want is the runs when you are at the interview! There are plenty of good malls with food courts that are cheap and safe. Just of the top of my head I can think of Senayan City, Grand Indonesia, Plaza Semanggi, Taman Anggrek Mall and Pondok Indah Mall. There are a few good places to eat which are cheap. I recommend Solaria, Gado Gado Boplo and Warung Tekko. A main dish will set you back around Rp 25,000 (USD 3). Not too bad.
Downtown Jakarta
Now that you have all the logistics down, it’s time to focus on why you are here in the first place. The interview and all that it encompasses will be covered in my next post!