Paying interview expenses

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 59)
Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

I applied for a very interesting job, and a job that I am highly qualified for (not that this really matters, since it's hardly the first job that I've applied for that I'm highly qualified for). The job location is approximately 1500 miles from where I currently reside. This is a contract job for a govt. contractor. Today (Monday) I get a phone call. They've scheduled me for an interview Thursday afternoon. They send me an email with the address and time. No mention of any travel arrangements. I email them back and ask if it's up to me to handle all the travel arrangements. They say "yes". I look at air fares and rental cars. It will cost about $750 for me to travel because of the short notice. And that's for flying there in the morning, doing the interview in the afternoon, and flying home in the evening. I'm sure that I could do a simply outstanding job of interviewing if I get up at 5 AM, spend 3.5 hours on an airplane (I hate flying!), grab a rental car, grab a quick lunch, and find my way around an unfamiliar city. Is it worth it? I will have to borrow the money from a life insurance policy to pay for the trip. Yes, the insurance company does charge interest on loans.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

42 months ago

By contract job do you mean temporary. How long would it last then?

Probably comes down to salary offered if you will be living away from home for the duration of the job.

Personally, at this point I've given up traveling far for interviews but that's me.

If it's permanent then maybe it's worth the trip. Would you have to go back for a 2nd interview?

I know I am no help!

If it's something you really would find interesting and it's a dream job then I would do it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

42 months ago

Sorry I was absolutely no help.

Personally I probably wouldn't do it, I'm just tired of all the hoops one has to jump thru for a job. Anything more than an hour and they can kiss my butt.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

Do they not have phones in that part of the world? FFS, you should at least be able to talk to them first. "Oops, we wanted C programmers, you do C++, sorry".

Is the contract direct with the employer or through an agency? 1099 or W2? At least with 1099 you could write the expense off along with the extra taxes you'll be paying".

Finally, I get those kinds of things. Some dude sees some word on the resume and wants you to come to some place you've literally never heard of. It's a legitimate business, and there are guys who do that kind of thing, but it's always scared me. I have no real way of checking on the guy, what happens if I have to sue him to collect my last paycheck, etc.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

42 months ago

Calfornian in Hayward, California said: Do they not have phones in that part of the world? FFS, you should at least be able to talk to them first. "Oops, we wanted C programmers, you do C++, sorry".

Good point, the interview could end before it starts.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Calfornian in Hayward, California said: Do they not have phones in that part of the world? FFS, you should at least be able to talk to them first. "Oops, we wanted C programmers, you do C++, sorry".

Is the contract direct with the employer or through an agency? 1099 or W2? At least with 1099 you could write the expense off along with the extra taxes you'll be paying".

It's with a US govt. contractor. It is not a term appointment. I know people who have been contracting with the same govt. agency for 30 years, so the position is possibly "permanent". However, I would be an employee of the contractor and not a govt. employee.

Most places have phone interviews with out-of-state applicants before having them come in for an interview. The fact that they did not want to do this and only gave me 3 days notice says to me that they are in a hurry. And if they are in a hurry, it would make sense that they would prefer to hire locally rather than bring in someone who would need to move across the country. Which would mean that I would have to be significantly better than any local candidate.

To top it off, I'm not sure whether this particular contractor has an exclusive contract or if I might potentially be competing with candidates from other contractors.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

Is your skill set exclusive in some way?

"Dude, I can write HTML"

is a lot different from

"10-year Oracle DBA with a security clearance".

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Calfornian in Hayward, California said: Is your skill set exclusive in some way?

"Dude, I can write HTML"

is a lot different from

"10-year Oracle DBA with a security clearance".

The job has to do with producing products for weather forecasting from satellite data. I have an M.S. in meteorology.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: The job has to do with producing products for weather forecasting from satellite data. I have an M.S. in meteorology.

Well, then you just might have something rare enough that they'd want you. A phone interview is still pretty darn reasonable.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Any way you can ask for an alternative interview? Such as Skype? $750 on short notice is unreasonable - which makes me think this employer would be unreasonable OTJ.

Based on your fact pattern, it's OMO but I'd rather take the $750 to Black Hawk and bet on craps or blackjack. My odds of coming out ahead would be better. Also transportation would be cheaper; gambling buses I've been on rebate part of your fare in gambling dollars.

The job sounds interesting, though. Does it have anything to do with aviation? Just curious.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: The job sounds interesting, though. Does it have anything to do with aviation? Just curious.

It doesn't have anything to do with avaition per se, but aviation weather forecasts and general weather forecasts come from the same data.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Any connection with NOAA?

Again, just curious.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

I would add the notion of borrrowing against a life insurance to travel to this interview just doesn't sit right with me. Otherwise, you can shut your eyes while on the aircraft and get a little rest, though if it were me, I doubt I would sleep much during the nights before the interview.

But, the job sounds interesting.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Any connection with NOAA?

Again, just curious.

Yes, it is at one of NOAA's primary satellite data handling facilities.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

I ask because I was a pilot some years ago. At the time the FAA was looking at privatizing flight service stations, which provide weather briefing services for pilots, among other services. I don't know if the FAA ever followed through with the privatization project.

BTW have you contacted Jeppessen in Englewood? OMO but your abilities might fit in there.

In any event, good luck with your interview, if you go. But I agree that given the short notice, distance and expense, asking for a telephonic interview is reasonable.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

42 months ago

Personally, I would never get hooked into such a situation. I know how hard it is to get a job, how hard interviews are, how hard it is to take when they don't go right, how hard the uncertainty is and how hard it is to take when you're not selected when you thought you had a great shot. Adding in the travel and the related expenses would make it even harder. So there's no way I'd personally ever go on what I'd call a wild goose chase. There have been too many jobs for which I've been perfect but haven't gotten hired to go to those lengths.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

The real kicker is how reluctant they've been to tell me that I would have to pay. Because it was getting close to 5:00, when they didn't say anything about travel arrangements I sent both an email and a voice mail. They only responded to my email. Their response consisted of a single word: "Correct".

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California

42 months ago

I would do it if you have the money and think you are a strong contender. Would it be classier for them to pay? Of course but their hands may be tied. They may have many to interview and a policy not to reimburse at the salary level for which you are applying.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

42 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: Personally, I would never get hooked into such a situation. I know how hard it is to get a job, how hard interviews are, how hard it is to take when they don't go right, how hard the uncertainty is and how hard it is to take when you're not selected when you thought you had a great shot. Adding in the travel and the related expenses would make it even harder. So there's no way I'd personally ever go on what I'd call a wild goose chase. There have been too many jobs for which I've been perfect but haven't gotten hired to go to those lengths.

Exactly how I feel. When you first start looking for work you feel you can get any job. You feel like Superman. But as the months go by maybe reality sets in and you kind of set parameters regarding what jobs you go on. I canceled an interview 2 months ago cause I would have to travel 2-3 hrs one way.

I don't know.

No more wild goose chases for me either.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California said: Would it be classier for them to pay? Of course but their hands may be tied. They may have many to interview and a policy not to reimburse at the salary level for which you are applying.
I interviewed for airline pilot jobs years ago. A few of them provided non-rev travel to the interview site - meaning I got on gratis on flights with empty seats. I had to pay for my own food and lodging.

For other interviews I had to pay my way entirely. I had no problem with that. I considered it my responsibility to produce myself on the property for the interview.

FWIW interview and jobhunting expenses, including unreimbursed travel expenses, may be tax write-offs if you itemize. Your tax advisor will know for sure.

I just would say I would be wary. This situation Indeed (as it were) has the trappings of a wild goose chase, notwithstanding Jeff's need to borrow against his life insurance policy to fund the trip. Sorry, I just don't like that idea.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California said: I would do it if you have the money and think you are a strong contender. Would it be classier for them to pay? Of course but their hands may be tied. They may have many to interview and a policy not to reimburse at the salary level for which you are applying.

I heard back from a friend who owns a "body shop". She said that expenses for interviews are not chargeable to the contract, so her company doesn't ordinarily pay expenses (I have a pretty good idea how much she makes, so I'm not exactly impressed by her stinginess).

I have no way of knowing what my chances of getting the job are, since I've only talked to HR people who are not even in the same state as the job is located.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: For other interviews I had to pay my way entirely. I had no problem with that. I considered it my responsibility to produce myself on the property for the interview.

FWIW interview and jobhunting expenses, including unreimbursed travel expenses, may be tax write-offs if you itemize. Your tax advisor will know for sure.

Given that my income this year consists of 5.5 months of unemployment compensation, tax write-offs do not do me much good. The cost of the trip is more than what my total tax liability will be.

I've never had to pay travel expenses for a job interview before. Back in the day, I even got mileage reimbursement from one out-of-town but not out-of-state company.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Well, I've procrastinated too long. I missed out on the cheaper air fare on Southwest. The trip will now cost over $1,000. That translates into having to sell my house 1 month earlier if I don't get the job. It's basically an "all-in" situation for me.

They also sent me the formal job announcement. This job announcement mentions Java more prominently than their ad did. And I've "only used Java in school." This is too big a risk. I can't risk nearly a month's worth of living expenses for a job interview for which I don't know what the prospects are. As I mentioned earlier, there might prefer to hire a local candidate who can start sooner.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

No possibility of a preliminary phone interview or Skype?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California

42 months ago

Given the cost and your budget it looks like you have to give it a pass. I'm surprised the airfare is so high. You could try Skype as Paralegal mentioned.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California said: Given the cost and your budget it looks like you have to give it a pass. I'm surprised the airfare is so high. You could try Skype as Paralegal mentioned.

Air fares almost always increase when you're buying a very short time in advance. If the interview was in January, I could get a round trip for under $400. For a trip on Thursday, there is no trip for under $900.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California

42 months ago

Jeff,

I would be honest with them about your financial concerns and stress that you'd like to have a preliminary interview by either phone or webcam to help assess if you are a good match for the job. If you find out you are a good match perhaps you could look into traveling wherever your interview is.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

Investor Guy in San Francisco, California said: Jeff,

I would be honest with them about your financial concerns and stress that you'd like to have a preliminary interview by either phone or webcam to help assess if you are a good match for the job. If you find out you are a good match perhaps you could look into traveling wherever your interview is.

This!

It's a damn reasonable request all things considered.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Of course it is - provided, of course, they're on the level.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff from somewhere near Denver in Dallas, Texas

42 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Of course it is - provided, of course, they're on the level.

The contractor is a reasonably large body shop. It is a legitimate job for a legitimate, albeit cheapskate, company.

Overhead charges on contracts are intended to be used on things like employee recruitment. It's not intended to all go into the owner's bank account.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Englewood, Colorado

42 months ago

Well, again, given the expense, time frame and distance you would not be asking for the moon if you asked for a telephonic or Skype interview.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Englewood, Colorado

42 months ago

The only other thought I might have is what is customary in your industry? If it is customary to appear at interviews in person may have to follow that custom, as unreasonable as it may seem.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

42 months ago

One would think they'd do a phone interview of some sort in advance given the distance. I have employers right here in my city within one mile of me who do phone interviews beforehand. They could easily make an exception given that they're interested in you. They should have. Asking them unilaterally to do a phone interview probably won't work. They hold all the cards and make all the calls.

I agree with everything Joe said as well. I've been through too many interviews to ever go to these lengths - mostly because the potential for being devastatingly crestfallen by not getting the job would be high.

Sorry, Jeff, if you don't go. I don't think it's an unreasonable call not to.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois said: I don't think it's an unreasonable call not to.
Seconded.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

As it turns out, the contractor put my resume in their format, which means it contained their address rather than mine, so that the interviewers did not know that I was out-of-state. They were willing to do a phone interview. As usual, I was broad-sided as the HR person told me I'd be talking to one of their employees and one other person but it turned out to be that the interview was with 4 people, none of whom worked for that contractor. Even by my own anemic standards I did poorly. It was overall a low energy day for me.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagill in Monticello, New York

42 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: As it turns out, the contractor put my resume in their format, which means it contained their address rather than mine, so that the interviewers did not know that I was out-of-state. They were willing to do a phone interview. As usual, I was broad-sided as the HR person told me I'd be talking to one of their employees and one other person but it turned out to be that the interview was with 4 people, none of whom worked for that contractor. Even by my own anemic standards I did poorly. It was overall a low energy day for me.

Truly sorry to hear that.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: Even by my own anemic standards I did poorly. It was overall a low energy day for me.

Interviewing is tough. You can't be smarter than the guys asking questions but they get to play the "trip you up and put you under pressure game". I've blown stuff that I've known cold in an interview.

It's such a weird dynamic because it's not something most places would do to an outside vendor. They might make them jump through hoops, earn the sale, come off their price, negotiate for weeks, but they never get asked "tell me about a time when".

I'm absolutely convinced that we've made it both too hard to hire people and too hard to fine them.

Anyways, good luck man, sorry to hear that.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

42 months ago

fine should be fire.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

42 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: As it turns out, the contractor put my resume in their format, which means it contained their address rather than mine, so that the interviewers did not know that I was out-of-state.
How totally moronic.
Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: They were willing to do a phone interview. As usual, I was broad-sided as the HR person told me I'd be talking to one of their employees and one other person but it turned out to be that the interview was with 4 people, none of whom worked for that contractor. Even by my own anemic standards I did poorly. It was overall a low energy day for me.
Sorry that you went through all that nonsense. Ordinarily the next step is thank-you letters, but one wonders if they would be worth it.

Of course interviewing is tough, no matter how will prepared one is. I am sure it's now a game strictly of "stump the dummy."

Again, so sorry. Keep at it - I guess.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

jenab in Austin, Texas

42 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: As it turns out, the contractor put my resume in their format, which means it contained their address rather than mine, so that the interviewers did not know that I was out-of-state. They were willing to do a phone interview. As usual, I was broad-sided as the HR person told me I'd be talking to one of their employees and one other person but it turned out to be that the interview was with 4 people, none of whom worked for that contractor. Even by my own anemic standards I did poorly. It was overall a low energy day for me.

How incredibly callous, and unfair; that just wastes everyone's time, not to mention the frustration for you. Hang in there.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

It keeps getting worse. They asked for references. I sent them my standard threesome. Today, I got a voicemail saying that they can't contact one of them. Apparently the guy retired recently. I don't have a good 3rd reference.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

41 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: It keeps getting worse. They asked for references. I sent them my standard threesome. Today, I got a voicemail saying that they can't contact one of them. Apparently the guy retired recently. I don't have a good 3rd reference.

Put me down. I will vouch for you and say, you were a model prisoner and were indeed released early for good behavior. Heh!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

Put me down. You know wx. That makes you a pro in my book! You also live in Denver.

On a more serious note FWIW it's interesting that they want references. Maybe you did better on the phoner than you thought. Certainly you have someone else to give them.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

The job looks pretty likely at this point. The only problem is that it is a job that I wouldn't even consider taking were I not in the situation that I am. It is a dead-end job in a place that I'm not excited about moving to that I would have to work at until retirement because I will become even less marketable since I won't be learning new skills and I will be getting older. And the job consists mainly of adapting existing software to work in their system, with little original software development. If it were local, I wouldn't have any problem with accepting the offer and then rescinding my acceptance if a more interesting offer came along. But once my furniture is loaded up in the moving van, I'm committed.

Why do they want me? Because I have EXPERIENCE in obsolete skills like FORTRAN that can be hard to find these days. And I know something about meteorology. It's not because I'm smart or have overall ability, it's simply because I have EXPERIENCE similar to what they are doing.

Unfortunately, they are in a hurry, and I have one other hope, but that organization isn't even going to decide who they're going to interview until January. I hate to contact this other organization because they might feel like I'm pressuring them or trying to use them and so they would decide to drop me as a candidate.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Calfornian in Hayward, California

41 months ago

If it makes you feel better, I have BASIC on my resume. And, no the word Visual, isn't next to it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Joe Gagilll in Wurtsboro, New York

41 months ago

The truth of the matter Jeff is anyone who gets laid off when they do get back on their feet it will be something they don't really want and/or their skills set will be underused at their new gig.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

41 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: The job looks pretty likely at this point. The only problem is that it is a job that I wouldn't even consider taking were I not in the situation that I am. It is a dead-end job in a place that I'm not excited about moving to that I would have to work at until retirement because I will become even less marketable since I won't be learning new skills and I will be getting older. And the job consists mainly of adapting existing software to work in their system, with little original software development. If it were local, I wouldn't have any problem with accepting the offer and then rescinding my acceptance if a more interesting offer came along. But once my furniture is loaded up in the moving van, I'm committed.

Why do they want me? Because I have EXPERIENCE in obsolete skills like FORTRAN that can be hard to find these days. And I know something about meteorology. It's not because I'm smart or have overall ability, it's simply because I have EXPERIENCE similar to what they are doing.

Unfortunately, they are in a hurry, and I have one other hope, but that organization isn't even going to decide who they're going to interview until January. I hate to contact this other organization because they might feel like I'm pressuring them or trying to use them and so they would decide to drop me as a candidate.

FORTRAN? Is ol' Bob finally retiring? LOL!

Congrats. A job is a job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

Jeff in Denver, Colorado said: Why do they want me? Because I have EXPERIENCE in obsolete skills like FORTRAN that can be hard to find these days. And I know something about meteorology. It's not because I'm smart or have overall ability, it's simply because I have EXPERIENCE similar to what they are doing.
Congratulations! Maybe your situation proves that it is what you know and not necessarily who you know.

I thought FORTRAN went out in the sixties, along with BASIC and keypunch cards.........

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

41 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Congratulations! Maybe your situation proves that it is what you know and not necessarily who you know.

I thought FORTRAN went out in the sixties, along with BASIC and keypunch cards.........

That is what I thought. Heh!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in Denver, Colorado

41 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Congratulations! Maybe your situation proves that it is what you know and not necessarily who you know.

I thought FORTRAN went out in the sixties, along with BASIC and keypunch cards.........

There are still some military projects that use IBM 360 Assembly Language. The IBM 360 series war produced in the late 60's.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.