I have an interview in Chicago for a web developer job that offers upto 60K. I have been told that the company would not pay for my travel expenses which is coming to a little over $400.
I am hesitant on paying that money as I have the following questions on my mind:
1. How common is this situation where the company will not pay to fly in their candidates for a second round interview for a perm. position? 2. Even if I get the job will I be able to survive (with my family) on a single income of 60000?
Mid to large corporations are more likely to pay for travel expenses (e.g. Google, GE, Earnst & Young) than smaller ones. It's not unreasonable for small ones not to pay in that, as Homer pointed out, there is no moral or legal obligation for them to do so. Companies are also more likely to cover expenses for more senior roles, the idea being that they are harder to fill, and so it takes more resources to do so.
Personally, I won't spend my own money on flights and hotels for interviews. It can really add up. You can support a family on $60k in greater Chicago, but it's just a question of where you want to live (schools, commute, home) and the lifestyle you want to have. It's cheaper than NYC/Boston/SF more pricer than many other cities. If you do consider the job, see if they'll help with relocation expenses.
If you do travel, remember that unreimbursed job search expenses are tax deductible. (Consult an accountant or tax attorney first.)
Don't know how it is in the US but over here I've only ever once had my travel expenses refunded (and that was a �15 trainticket). Despite promises by many companies most never pay out (and ever more don't offer any reimbursement). If they approach you asking if you want to come in for an interview out of the blue (so without you sending them a letter asking for a job first), and it's expensive for you to come over (airfare and/or hotel etc.) I'd expect them to pay for that (as they would pay to bring in an outside consultant for a few days), otherwise no.