5 Interviewing Expenses That You Should Never Have to Pay For, According to Experts

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A Reddit subthread titled “Recruitinghell” revealed some trends in today’s labor market that have some recruiters and human resource professionals scratching their heads. Job candidates who spend time on multiple interviews are invoicing for their time.

“Don’t let anyone take advantage of you during these tough times with an excessive hiring process. There’s a distinction between normal hiring process where you have to take aptitude tests and go on factory tour, etc — but if it creeps into the 3- to 4-hour (or sometimes an entire day) mark; don’t take it lying down,” wrote a Redditor who goes by the name CptVanHorne.

“You can bill them as a contractor for professional services– even if they’ve gone with a different candidate, are dragging their feet, or have otherwise frozen their hiring process– if you truly feel you’ve been taken advantage of; make them pay.”

CptVanHorne continued: “I’ve done it in the past, and have received my request for payment (albeit begrudgingly).”

However, while some companies pay for work or deliverables if they give a candidate a test — such as a tech assessment or a writing test — being paid for your interview time is not standard practice, experts said.

Tammy Amstutz, chief people officer at ThinkTech, told GOBankingRates in an exclusive phone interview, “There’s the general norm [that] you’re not getting paid for an interview. So somebody submitting an invoice for that, I think, would come across as a bit entitled. But if I have repeat visits to the office, and they’re all two to three hours long, that’s a different case.”

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She said that if someone did submit an invoice following an interview, depending on the amount and the reason for the costs incurred, she would probably pay it.

“I think the confidence to be able to do that would be a great story for me in the long run,” she said.

The situation shouldn’t come up, she said, because most employers should cover reasonable expenses for job candidates, especially if they have to travel a long distance for the interview. Amstutz outlined five expenses that you should expect a prospective employer to pay during the interview process.


In cities where free parking is not the norm, you should reasonably expect an employer to cover your parking fee when you come in for an interview. It’s about creating an experience and making a good impression, which is worth well more than the cost of parking, Amstutz told GOBankingRates.

Food and Beverage

Job interviews often happen during a candidate’s lunch hour, especially if they are currently working another job. “If we have interviews over the lunch hour, we often cover the cost of lunch or coffee,” Amstutz said.

She noted that the rule would apply whether the candidate was interviewing for an entry-level position or a senior role. “Every good recruitment cycle needs to have a defined budget,” she explained. “And generally, it’s a percentage of the base salary in terms of the placement.”

If you’re wondering what expenses would be reasonable for an employer to cover, consider the level of the position.

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Similarly, if you are traveling long-distance to interview for a position that would involve relocating or remote work, the employer should pick up the tab.

“My philosophy is that if we hire this person, we’re committing to two to four years. If we can set a showcase, the cost for flight and hotel is a fraction of the monthly salary we’ll be paying this person,” Amstutz said. “If we’re confident enough to bring them in from out of town, we should be confident enough to pay that $1,500. And if we determine it’s not a fit, our dime goes a lot further, as it provides a better experience.”

She added that the goal is to create people who will celebrate the company throughout the recruitment process, whether or not they get the job.

However, it’s important to keep in mind the level of role. “If I’m hiring someone junior, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to pay to fly them in,” Amstutz said.

Hotel Accommodations

Likewise, Amstutz said, she would be willing to cover hotel accommodations if needed. However, a candidate may have to ask about this expense.

Amstutz said it’s not uncommon for someone who is relocating to have friends and family in the area, making a hotel unnecessary. But, she said, “If a candidate is coming into town and doesn’t know anybody, we’d cover the hotel. We might [also] cover meals on a per diem basis. I would approach it on a case-by-case basis.”

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Finally, if you do any work as part of the application process, you should expect to be compensated for that. “If I’m asking candidates to complete an assignment — a brand guide, an essay or a tech assessment — we will compensate them for their time,” Amstutz said.

Bottom Line

The most important thing, according to Amstutz, is to ask questions if your prospective employer isn’t upfront about what expenses they will cover throughout the interviewing process.

“Candidates do need to advocate for themselves,” Amstutz said. “Advocating for yourself means understanding the expectations.”

GOBankingRates reached out to Redditor, CptVanHorne and did not receive a reply.

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