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Paying for flight expenses (for an interview)

Peter Madden
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 25, 2005
Posts: 23
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?


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Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
I don't think they have any moral or legal obligation to pay your job hunting expenses. Generally they just won't interview out of towners.

IMO you could support a family in Chicagoland on $60K.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
It depends.

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.)

--Mark
m brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 01, 2005
Posts: 57
whether or not you can survive in chicago depends...you say you have a family, how many memebers? is your wife working as well?

if youre the sole income provider in the family, i still think you can survive in chicago(im from here) but like i said it depends on those variables. the median income here is around 30-35k.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
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.


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