Interview Expenses - Should You Claim?

After much planning, preparation and hard work, you’ve finally been offered an interview; the only problem is that the venue is miles away and the train fare is going to cost you a fortune. What a dilemma! If you attend and don’t get the job, you won’t be able to afford to eat for a month but if you don’t attend you could be throwing away the chance of a lifetime.

Company Policy

Reimbursement policies for travel expenses vary from company to company, although larger organisations are usually more open to honouring expense claims, especially for graduates. They reason that it’s in their best interests to offer travel expenses reimbursement in order to attract the very best candidates and thus secure the best staff. If you are offered a reimbursement of your travel expenses, always travel at the cheapest time and don’t book first class; this won’t go unnoticed by your interviewer!

Smaller companies are not so likely to pay travel costs, particularly if you are not fresh out of university and can therefore afford to pay for yourself. Having said that, it’s certainly worth being cheeky and asking; after all, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

How to broach the subject

No-one likes asking for money and in many ways enquiring about a reimbursement can be every bit as daunting as the interview itself!

The most sensible approach to take is to telephone or email the HR department of the company you are attending for interview before you go and enquire about their policy. If you want to, you could ask at the end of the interview. Even if they turn down your request, it can be a good way of getting a feel for the sort of company you could potentially be working for. If they turn you down flat, you may feel that they are not the right company for you; on the other hand, if they’re sympathetic to your request then you know that they are a fair and generous employer.

In conclusion

The final decision is obviously yours. If the interview is for the job of your dreams, it may well be worth the gamble of allowing your bank account to take a hit; rather than wondering forever whether you’d have been offered the job had you dug deep and paid the train fare.

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Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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