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Job interview expenses

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Got a call, pretty much out of the blue, from a guy I had talked to last summer about a non-newspaper media job. The guy liked my stuff then but they decided to hire a local fellow for their spot. Now the position is open again and he wanted to see if I was interested.

    There is mutual interest for a number of reasons and I am planning to go visit him on site next week (waiting to hear back as to what day is best for him and his boss). The city is about 500 miles from where I live (used to live in that area), so it's a long day's drive each way. So I figure a good two days total, which is fine by my schedule.

    When I calculated cost of travel plus an inexpensive motel, I am looking at between $200-250 to make the trip. Now, that's not a ton in the grand scheme of the universe, but money doesn't grow on trees in my corner of the world, either. While we both like each other and I may be a good match for the job, nothing is guaranteed. And I can ill afford to spend money chasing down stuff that doesn't pan out.

    Would it be reasonable to ask the company to pick up part of the cost of the trip? Perhaps split it, with them paying for a hotel and I'll pay the travel. Or should I just suck it up, pay it and look at it as a possible investment.

    Anyone got advice or experience in dealing with these sort of matters??
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    If the company is serious they should pay for it. If you ask to split it, they should definitely be okay with it.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Has the subject of the scheduling of the interview come up at all in your conversations with the guy? When it does, just tell the hiring employer what the logistics are for you and that you'll need a hotel and mileage to cover the costs of the interview. Then see what his response is.

    If he's hesitant, see if they'll pay for the hotel, at least. They should at least be willing to do that. Gas prices have come down in most places, so that shouldn't be too expensive for you to eat the cost. If the job's worth your time and you think you can get it, that's a small price to pay.

    If he's adamant that they won't cover a dime, not even as reimbursement, then it's probably not worth your time to go interview. They're just going to nickel-and-dime you forever.

    Bottom line is, if it's important enough to the employer to bring you in for an interview, it should be important enough for them to pay for it. Otherwise, they're wasting their time and disrespecting yours, too. You're not doing them a favor by coming in -- it's an equal opportunity; they're looking to hire and you're looking to be hired. That's your leverage, so use it.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Thanks. I probably won't get a definitive interview date until Saturday, or maybe Monday, because he wants me to meet his boss, too. We talked for maybe an hour or so this afternoon via phone.

    From what he said in the phone interview, the salary is a step above what most of the newspaper jobs I have applied for pay. I just don't want to come across as an ungrateful a-hole, because I AM truly interested in the job (based on what I know thus far).
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Like I said, you're not doing them a favor by interviewing. You don't have to be "grateful" for nothin'. Got to fight for yourself, though, because nobody else will.
  6. pallister

    pallister Guest

    I've had papers offer to pay my mileage at least twice when I interviewed, but they never did.
  7. You shouldn't have told them you were a Sox fan.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    You should have worn sleeves to the interview.
  9. I like your post better.
  10. pallister

    pallister Guest

    I'm good enough to get hired without sleeves. :D
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    And too scary without sleeves to be fired. Good niche!
  12. Not knowing what kind of outfit you're interviewing with (big, small, state u., Fortune 500 company, etc), I would broach the subject of expenses to them. If they turn you down out of hand, maybe say it's not their policy, then I would weigh my interest in the position against the expense. If you truly think the job is better, I wouldn't rule out going on your own dime. They'll know your interest, and maybe it can be a negotiating tool later. It was for me when I faced that situation.

    You say you used to live in that area. Maybe there's a friend or relative where you could crash. Then you can turn the trip into an opportunity to see an old friend.

    The reality is, there are more applicants than jobs. Many places are feeling the squeeze to hold expenses down. Just saying.
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