Ask To Split The Cost Of Your Next Interview If You Have To Travel

Ask to Split the Cost of Your Next Interview if You Have to Travel

Sometimes you get a potentially great job opportunity, but you have to travel to go to an interview. Consider asking the interviewer to split some of the costs before agreeing to attend.

Photo by Alan Cleaver

Over at Ask the Headhunter they tackle the question of who foots the bill for a job interview: the applicant or the employer. Usually with entry-level jobs, this isn't an issue. But when recruiters contact you for a very specific skill set, things are different. These employers know you aren't local and travel usually comes later in the interview process. First interviews are usually over email or Skype these days, so the employer already has a strong interest if you are invited for an out-of-town interview.

They may decline to pay the expenses upfront, but just like every aspect of the hiring process, this denial is negotiable. When you pay the expenses upfront, you take on all the risk. If you've been out of work for a period of time, you may not have the money to pay airfare, hotel and meals. Ask the Headhunter has a nice compromise to propose to your potential employer:

Split the costs into portions that each of you pay up front, and settle the rest later. For example, make them this offer: If they pre-pay the airline ticket, you will pay for the hotel and meals and then submit for reimbursement. That way you don't get stuck holding the entire bag, even if they ignore your requests later. Of course, if they decline to front any costs for your trip, you must decide whether to gamble. My advice is: Don't. A company that won't pay to fly you out is trouble.

Check out the link for other ways to maximise your opportunities when interviewing for a position out of town.

Make interview travel pay off [Ask the Headhunter]


    Agreed. As a non entry level candidate, I had a zillion interviews with a company that is well known in Australia. Their PR (which seems to be one of their primary products) talked of how they're so serious in their search for the best that they'll fly anyone from anywhere in the world, to Sydney for interviews. After these zillion interviews, they insisted on a skype videocall before they'd progress further.

    I'm over 40, renowned for my skill rather than great looks, and lived in a regional area where Internet access didn't allow for great connections and my low-end poorly-paid-regional-worker's laptop didn't take great video anyway.

    I explained that I just didn't have the ability to do a videocall. They said go to a business centre (bush towns don't have them) or go to a friend's house (as if most of my fellow poorly paid regional workers even HAD their own computers at home!) and call us back when you do, or when you're in Sydney. I said, you could fly me out, like your web site says you do with all candidates -- I'm even already in Australia. They said no. I tried a "split the cost" idea, not wanting to take all the risk when I felt that they just weren't that into me, and they still said no.

    I tossed them and to this day warn everyone I hear speaking glowingly of all the wonderful PR they read about that company that the professionalism of the HR team in that company doesn't match the professionalism of their PR.

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