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Job interview question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Kritter47, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    I've been asked to fly in for an interview with a paper a few thousand miles away. It's a good paper with nice people, and I'd be very happy to work there.

    There are only two slight catches. The first is that I'd be splitting the cost with them. The second is I'm 22 and, therefore, can't rent a car to get around.

    The first is what makes me pause. I'm just out of college and have very limited (read: no) income right now. I'm happy to pay half of the expenses if they're seriously considering me. However, if I'm a long-shot candidate compared to the rest of the field, I'm worried about the amount of money I might end up putting towards this process.

    Any tips on how to ask this diplomatically? Or should I assume that my being asked to come there for an interview is enough of a sign they're interested.

    Edited to make the title clearer.
  2. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    Honestly, I don't think you'd want to work there if they're asking you to pay half the interview costs. If they're that cheap now, they will NOT be any more lenient with editorial spending when you're a staffer.

    I never understood how newspapers, with their already paltry salaries, could expect job candidates to foot the bill during the interview process. Pardon my French, but it's bullshit. I once drove 8 hours to interview with a paper for an internship once. They never even mentioned compensating my mileage or paying for my hotel. I got the internship but interned elsewhere that summer instead. But looking back, I shouldn't have given that paper even half the consideration I did, as they obviously would've never returned any thoughts.
  3. markvid

    markvid Guest

    Just be blunt with them and tell them you can't afford it.
    We've all been there at some point after college, and they have been too.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    They should tote the full note for a "serious candidate."

    I've never heard of a paper trying to split the interview expenses. Gack.
  5. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I agree with Mark. Everybody's been 22, so they'll understand the situation. If they're interested in you (or they were treating you fairly), they'll foot the bill themselves. If they're not interested in you, they won't. That's why many papers will only hire local candidates sometimes, if the travel budget is a concern, to cut down on expenses. But don't get into the pattern of helping pay for THEM to interview YOU. It doesn't help you out any, and you're just getting ripped off.

    As far as renting a car, you can rent one from most major rental companies (I've always rented with Dollar) when you're 21 or older and have a good driving record. You just have to pay an extra $25/day "young drivers' fee" along with the regular rate. I'm 24, and I've rented car in several cities when I didn't have a ride or public transport. It's not a problem.
  6. Kritter47

    Kritter47 Member

    Thanks everyone.

    It surprised me that they asked to split expenses. I'd talked about the pay scale with the SE in a phone interview, and it's more than reasonable. I've also heard nothing but good things about the paper from people who know the staff or who have worked there themselves. The splitting the expense thing seems out of character, and I'm wondering if they simply didn't budget enough money for interviewing a candidate from so far away.

    My gut says to just suck it up and pay, but my wallet aches thinking about it.
  7. JME

    JME Member

    Last time I took a job far away, they didn't pay a cent for me to fly out and meet the staff/find an apt, nor did they pay anything for moving expenses. Not a cent. When I got there I learned the owner had a reputation for being a penny pincher in all of his many ventures, and later found they made a lot of efforts to do all of the beat road trips on the cheap.

    I imagine this is extremely uncommon in most fields, almost unheard of.
  8. I don't want to tell you to pass on the interview, because it sounds like you really like the paper. But asking to split (?!) the costs is weird. I could see them saying nothing about the cost, which would confirm their cheapness. If they're first class, I can see them picking up the tab. But Dutch treat? Strange. I get bad vibes. When I was in your shoes, I interviewed 800 miles away and the paper (not a big one either) picked up my expenses. I could not have afforded it on my post-college budget.

    It just strikes me as a strange way to do business.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    Just started at new shop in April. They paid for me to fly down for interview, put me in a hotel (a pretty nice one) and paid for my meals. And they gave me $1,000 for moving expenses. But my previous job did interview over the phone and only paid $250 for moving expenses (which covered about half of my gas, and none of the hotels). I guess it depends on the company, and the size of the paper (first job was 16K daily, current job is 40K).
  10. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    I work for a 22,000 daily and they will at least foot the bill for a plane ticket, hotel and/or mileage for a top candidate.
  11. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I was given about 50 percent of my flight, plus hotel and meals and this is at a 27k paper. I can understand the half of the flight. Maybe they are trying to figure out how interested you are in the job. Maybe they don't want to fly a candidate "thousands of miles" only to see said candidate decide it is not for him/her.
    It is strange, but look at it from the paper's end. Most papers are extremely cheap and I have helped hire people and there is always a concern about people being from far away places. Plus, flights aren't getting any cheaper with gas being so expensive.
  12. PEteacher

    PEteacher Member

    I have a friend who was flown in and put in a nice hotel for his interview and treated to first class meals. Then for moving expenses, they paid for a trip (airfare, hotel and car rental, including the under-25 surcharges) to find an apartment, shipped all his belongings, including car and furniture, across the country, and paid for him to fly there for the start of work. All for a first job out of college to cover preps.
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