19

In my last round of applications, I ended my covering letters with a sentence like "I would like to convince you of my skills in an interview1".

However, I'm addressing a company that is more than 1000 kilometers away and I'm just starting my career so I don't have the money to travel there for an interview. Given that, it seems stupid to me to say "I would like to get an interview". I'd like to get this round to something like "Would you also accept to get me to know on Skype or equivalent?"

What would be a less rude way to end the covering letter with the information that I wouldn't be able to attend an in-person interview?

  1. Note that English isn't my native language, so please don't nitpick style here
  • 5
    "Interviews" can be via telephone, Skype, etc. Unless you said, "I'd like to convince you... in-person" I'd say you're still okay. Before actually hiring you, they probably will want an in-person interview, but... – Wayne Jan 19 '15 at 22:07
  • +1 for giving me a line I can steal on my CV :) Agree with @Wayne here though. I did 2 interviews with a company that was about 700 km away over the phone, then set up an in-person. – Brian Jan 20 '15 at 14:45
28

I would probably say something like, "Looking forward to talking to you soon." In the cover letter, you may not want to emphasize anything that might get you eliminated from consideration before they talk to you or even read your resume. The people doing the intial filtering (not the hiring managers) are looking for reasons to eliminate resumes from a large pile, don't give them one at that point.

When they call to set up the interview (and are already interested), then you can ask to make it a Skype interview or if they will pay travel expenses. Some will say yes and others will say no and you can decide if you want to interview accordingly. The better companies to work for will generally pay travel expenses if a candidate is from out of town and they really want him.

10

I don't know what industry you're in or where you're based, but in the software development industry in the "West", the general rule is that the company you're applying to would pay expenses for their interviewees - and if necessary, probably be prepared to pay those expenses up front (i.e. pay for the air fare or whatever, rather than expecting you to pay it and then claim it back). Of course, there would have been some sort of phone / video conversation first to make sure that you're worth expending money on, but I wouldn't want to let a good candidate go just because they couldn't afford to travel to our location.

Good candidates are hard to find. If I've got a chance to hire one, I'm going to be prepared to shell out some money for that. It may be different in your location, but in the UK even the cost of return travel plus a hotel overnight is only going to be a small fraction of even an entry level salary - that's a sensible investment for a company to be making.

  • 12
    My rule is simple: if they're not prepared to pay interview expenses, they're penny pinching on one of the most important aspects of their business and therefore not worth working for. That applies whether they're big or small - perhaps even more so for small companies, for whom individual staff members are even more important than they are for large companies. – Philip Kendall Jan 19 '15 at 19:43
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    A train ticket the length of Germany plus a night in a hotel is definitely something that even a small company will invest. This is not a trans-Atlantic plane ticket. +1 to @PhilipKendall's comment. – S. Kolassa - Reinstate Monica Jan 19 '15 at 20:31
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    I'll add that no matter what a candidate says about wanting to convince me of his skills in an interview, that's not going to sway my opinion about whether or not I bring him in. If I like what I read in the resume and cover letter and think he's likely to have the right skills, I'll bring him in, but I'm not going to bring him in just because he said he wants an interview. And, like PhillipKendall said, I'm willing to pay travel expenses from anywhere in the country for a good candidate. – Johnny Jan 19 '15 at 20:43
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    @Zaibis North Germany to South Germany is only about 500 miles. I doubt you'll have a problem getting a business to pay for travel. How did you end up with 1000 miles? – MiniRagnarok Jan 19 '15 at 20:58
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    @Zaibis In Germany, employers are required to pay for your travels (this includes a stay in a hotel if it is necessary for the times, which is quite likely) for an interview. Also, this will be at most (!) 300€, which is a negligible cost in the whole recruitment process. – Reinstate Monica - dirkk Jan 19 '15 at 22:33
5

To begin with: you shouldn't be asking for an interview. Or anything else. A cover letter should be a brief, pro-forma, introduction to your CV. If the recipient wants to explore the possibility of hiring you, the recipient gets to choose the modality. They might want to call you, skype you, fly you someplace, or send a representative to meet you. They might want you to fill out a questionaire or send them an audition video (if you are applying for a job as a dancing bear).

You need not think about mileage until they tell you that they want to communicate with you further.

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