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A company has invited me for an on-site interview. Their office is in a different country, so the flight tickets are very expensive.

I am taking leave from my current job to go and have the interview at their office. To minimize the number of leaves at my current job (which my boss is very particular about), I wish to travel by a late night flight (1 am) to avoid taking an extra leave to travel. This 1 am flight is also one of the cheapest options, it’s not like I’m asking them to sponsor a deluxe first-class flight. In this regard, I’m hoping that my request for a specific flight should be reasonable.

However, this is my first on-site interview and I’m not sure whether this request will be taken favorably by the company. Another option I thought of was giving them suggestions of times when I’d like to depart at rather than specific flights. However, in this option I run into the risk of them booking a different flight at around the same time.

Any thoughts on how best to proceed?

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To me, this is absolutely fine. You've got a good reason for your request, and it's not going to cost the company any money (in fact, quite possibly the opposite).

That said: you want to be on top form for your interview. I certainly wouldn't want to do an interview after taking a middle of the night flight, because you're going to be sleep deprived from jet lag anyway and a middle of the night flight is only going to make it worse.

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    Not only do I agree that this request is totally fine, I would say it's almost expected that whomever at the employer makes the arrangements will be working closely with the candidate on scheduling preferences. So, yes - go ahead and reach out and suggest "I would like flight XYZ or something in a similar time frame - I am available to depart any time after X PM on Thursday and would like to be landing back home some time before Y PM on Saturday." – dwizum Aug 6 at 12:51
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Typically, when inviting candidates to interview, a member of the HR or travel procurement team will reach out to coordinate booking with you. In that case, you should expect to have total control over which flight you take, so long as you're not making strange requests (like a day-long layover).

If, however, the company has indicated they will book a flight for you, you should express your schedule constraints, suggest the specific flight, but be sure the schedule you communicate gives you enough time such that any flight in the window would work for you.

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