Should prospective employers pay for interview trips?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Margaux1985, May 13, 2008.

  1. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    I thought this a general question that a lot of the new graduates and wait-listers who are looking for a job might be interested in. I applied to a position with a large company a few weeks ago and I had a phone interview with one of the recruiter. She was very interested in my application and wants to invite me for an interview. The problem is that the firm is located 600 miles away and I realize that I would need to fly there and stay at a hotel. So far, I haven't schedule my interview yet, but I was wondering if anyone knows whether its the company or the firm's responsibility to cover part of the cost of the trip. The firm is aggressively trying to recruit new associates and I have about a year of experience in their specialty. How should I bring this up and kindly ask them if they'll defray some of the cost of the trip when I schedule my interview with them?
     
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  3. RoadRunner17

    RoadRunner17 Fleet of feet
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    In my experience, the firm will pay for your travel and boarding costs if they invite you for an interview. You should not even have to ask for them to do so.

     
  4. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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    You could always try dropping some sort of hint when you schedule the interview. For example, if they dont say anything after you nail down a day, ask the person where a cheap hotel near the firm is.
     
  5. sunny1

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    Typically large companies that recruit graduates from all over conduct the phone interview first and then pay for the in-person interview if they want you to go out there. You shouldn't have to ask. However, the question is whether they will reimburse you or pay upfront. My experience has been that they arrange the airfare, hotel, and rental car for you, so you don't have to pay for anything upfront except meals and then your per diem for meals and snacks is reimbursed after the interview.
     
  6. flip26

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    By recruiter, do you mean a head hunter or employment agency? If yes, then don't expect anybody to pay for the trip. Be careful with head hunters - they can't always deliver on promises, and they also tend to gloss over details about the jobs, too...
     
  7. sunny1

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    I agree it's always good to be careful and certainly the OP can clarify with the recruiter when scheduling the interview as to how the costs of airfare etc. will be covered. I assume it is a company recruiter from HR.

    However, not all headhunters are bad as an anecdote. If the headhunter was hired by the company specifically, travel may still be covered. That's how it was with one of my husband's more recent interview trips. In that case, they flew me out too and we got to stay the weekend to see the town. Fun! Granted, for a new grad I wouldn't expect that unless the person has a graduate degree and the company really needs new hires.
     
  8. flip26

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    But in your anecdote, when were you told the trip was paid for? My guess is upfront, right?

    I think that is the problem here - if the applicant has to ask, that is kind of a bad sign - either the recruiter has no authority to offer, or no offer is forthcoming...my guess is that if the OP is dealing with the hiring firm and not a headhunter, since no mention was made, there is no money (unless the OP is supposed to call someone else at the company to firm up the travel plans...).

    Regardless, it is ALWAYS better to get the travel pre-paid, not an offer to reimburse expenses you incur...just a word to the wise here.
     
  9. loganhayes

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    As a canditate, you should not pay for anything to get you the job. The company should pay for your travel expenses either in advance (they usually make the reservations) or reimburse you later. If the latter, make sure you have it in writing. I have experienced both. Think about it, if the prospective employers do not even want to pay for your travel, either they think you are not good enough or they do not make enough money to pay such a small amount.

    Also, if you have recruiters asking money for job placements, ditch them. It is a total scam. These recruiters make money from the companies they place you to, not from you. Be smart about it. I never pay anything to get a job.. zero zilch nada.. Monster.com is free, everything else is also free.
     
  10. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    OK, I guess I should clarify. The company is actually a large legal firm that does IP consulting and deals with regulatory laws for pharmaceutical and biotechnology products. The recruiter that I spoke with is acutally the firm's own hiring manager (although at some other firms that I've contacted, it could be a managing partner or a group principal). I usually contact companies and firms on my own without using an employment agency and I always deal directly with someone in the company who is responsible for the hiring new staff and associates. The problem that I'm having is that most of the firms are located quite far from where I am right now and I want to find out how to ask them to cover some costs for the trip when they want to interview me without turning them off.
     
  11. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Oh, I wouldn't take that to the bank. Firms will usually pay travel expenses. That's been de rigeur if the firm is interested in you as a candidate (as opposed to you as a candidate interested in the position).

    But I wouldn't take anything for granted, especially in this economy. For new grads, the fact is, they want you or someone like you. If they have ten qualified applicants for the spot and three are willing to interview on their own dime (or better yet, are local applicants who don't need to travel), you might find them looking at them as more attractive.

    Companies are belt-tightening and I wouldn't be shocked to see this start to happen more and more for new grads. It's the economy.

    As for the OP's case: just ask.
     
  12. Margaux1985

    Margaux1985 0k member

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    That's my fear exactly, someone else might get chosen because it'll save the company a few hundred dollars. Truth is, I want the job as much as they want new recruits. The problem is that bringing this up during the phone interview or as a follow-up might cause them to reconsider offering me an interview if they have someone else as qualified as I am who lives nearby.
     
  13. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Well, you've made it to the point that they want to meet you, which is always a good sign. Just ask if they are paying for travel. Whether they are or not, it's a common enough gesture that they will not think twice about your asking, even if they ain't paying.

    If they're not paying for travel, I wouldn't take it as a really bad sign, as someone suggested, but I think it would be fair to ask how many candidates they'll be interviewing for the slot. You'd hate to get there and find out it's a cattle call with mostly local applicants there vying for the spot.
     

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