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Can I ask a potential employer to pay my travel expenses for an out of town interview?

Hi Deb:

Is it OK to ask a hiring company to pay for my airline ticket and hotel to an out-of-state first interview?

Thanks, Sean

Dear Sean,

Many times a large employer seeking candidates outside of their geographic area will pay for transportation and hotel expenses, especially for senior management positions. Some smaller companies may not have the budget to cover the expenses.  Also, if the company is not actively recruiting and if they have plenty of local candidates, they may not cover the expenses for a first interview trip.  In any case, it is a question worth asking.  You may ask, “I am excited about the opportunity to meet with you.  What is your company’s policy on covering the travel expenses for the interview we have scheduled?” 

Sean, also consider relocation expenses.  While you may cover your travel expenses in order to secure more interviews, do not commit to relocation expenses until you have been offered a job and have begun compensation negotiations.  That is not an expense you want to cede this early in the game.  Be sure to research the tax implications of relocation expenses and reimbursements.  You may want to negotiate so you net (amount after taxes) the amount you need to cover your expenses. 


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website. 

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Hi Deb:

Is it OK to ask a hiring company to pay for my airline ticket and hotel to an out-of-state first interview?

Thanks, Sean

Dear Sean,

Many times a large employer seeking candidates outside of their geographic area will pay for transportation and hotel expenses, especially for senior management positions. Some smaller companies may not have the budget to cover the expenses.  Also, if the company is not actively recruiting and if they have plenty of local candidates, they may not cover the expenses for a first interview trip.  In any case, it is a question worth asking.  You may ask, “I am excited about the opportunity to meet with you.  What is your company’s policy on covering the travel expenses for the interview we have scheduled?” 

Sean, also consider relocation expenses.  While you may cover your travel expenses in order to secure more interviews, do not commit to relocation expenses until you have been offered a job and have begun compensation negotiations.  That is not an expense you want to cede this early in the game.  Be sure to research the tax implications of relocation expenses and reimbursements.  You may want to negotiate so you net (amount after taxes) the amount you need to cover your expenses. 


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website. 

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