I would have to travel for an interview and costs are coming up to $300 (CAD). That cost includes train tickets, stay, and food according to my calculations.

So my question is, is it okay to ask them to sponsor my travel?

If it is okay, then how can I ask them? Before interview or after interview? What should I say specifically?


2 Answers 2


I would definitely say yes.

If the company is already asking you for an interview, it shows that they are interested in you as a potential employee. Asking for them to cover the costs will result in one of three (as I see) potential outcomes:

  1. They pay for it, because they want to interview you because they feel you may be a good fit for the position.
  2. They don't pay for it, because of "reasons". Regardless of these reasons, to me, it would be a red flag if they weren't willing to drop $300 to interview a potential employee
  3. They don't pay for it, and rescind the offer for an interview. I don't see this as likely, but if it did happen you'd likely be better off (would you really want to work for that company?).

If the answer is #2, but you are still interested, see if they would be open to doing a phone or Skype interview first. If they still want to meet you in person, you'll either be in a better position to request them to pay for it, or you'll know that they're definitely interested, and the $300 may be a worthwhile 'investment' (if it's a job you really want).

EDIT: In response to the edit to the OP, I'd definitely at least breach the subject beforehand. If you ask them afterwards, but they chose not to hire you they have no reason to want to pay for your travels. Plus, if it does for some reason leave a bad impression on them, better to have done it before meeting you so that you can rectify that, rather than have that be the last thing they remember you by during the selection process (see The primacy and recency effects)

  • I did ask them for a Skype interview but they wanted me to meet in person. Jul 25, 2014 at 17:26
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    While I can't speak for a certainty to your particular position, I'd say that's a good sign. If it comes down to it, just be honest: "I really don't have $300 to spare this month, are you able to pay for the trip?"
    – Mitch
    Jul 25, 2014 at 17:27
  • Can I bring this up during interview? Asking because it didn't come to my mind while setting up time. Jul 25, 2014 at 17:29
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    I just edited my answer to that - personally I'd say ask before leaving or even buying tickets. Depending on how they do things, they may want to charge it directly to the company on your behalf (as opposed to reimbursing you after the fact)
    – Mitch
    Jul 25, 2014 at 17:31
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    Good answer, but I can't necessarily agree that it's a red flag if a company doesn't want to pay for out-of-towners to travel to an interview, if they have plenty of candidates locally. Jul 25, 2014 at 23:05

is it okay to ask them to sponsor my travel?

It's always ok to ask.

If it is okay, then how can I ask them? Before interview or after interview? What should I say specifically?

You should ask before the interview, typically when you are settling on a time, date, and location.

Just ask "This interview is going to involve some travel, lodging, and food expense on my part. What is your policy on reimbursing interview expenses?"

Then pay attention to the response. Make sure you know what the company will and won't pay for, and what you are expected to do in order to be reimbursed.

Some companies have special lodging arrangements, and will want you to stay in particular hotels, for example.

You want to make sure you can follow their rules precisely. it won't look good for you if you submit for expenses that they didn't tell you could be reimbursed. It might make you look as if you can't follow instructions, and may diminish your candidacy.

If you neglected to establish what their reimbursement rules while planning your interview, the best you can do now is try and ask now - before the expenses occur, and certainly before the interview. It's unfortunate, but the best you can do.

  • How would I approach them if we already have setup everything? Jul 25, 2014 at 18:10

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