Interviews and flights

I just got invited to an interview across the pond, but I’m getting the impression they want me to arrange my own flight and stay since they havent mentioned them, and gave me a time to show up at their office (had they arranged a flight I think it would be different).

Does anyone know of a tactful way to ask if they are arranging the flights, and if they expect me to foot all the bill? Flights arent cheap, but I would KILL to work at this place. It would be a GREAT opportunity for me, but I dont even know how many other candidates they have, and I shouldnt be throwing away money in this economy.

Thoughts? Anyone paid for their own flight for an interview?

I know this seems like a stupid question, but are you completely sure they know you are based ‘across the pond’? Sometimes people just assume you are in the same country as they are…

Only domestically, and at a price where it’d be more hassle for them to take out their wallet and sort it out than me doing it! Internationally though, I really don’t think you should be taking that hit, they should be paying for your flights at least. Maybe call and try and pry whether they are going to pay or not from their secretary/receptionist rather than going through to your contact and possibly offending etc.

It’s a tough one, but if they don’t offer to pay for the flights does that say something about their way of treating their designers etc?

call the secretary and ask who arranges their travel, easy enough to have them pay for the flight

Well i stated in previous emails where I live, even what airport I would leave from, so how about saying something like “blah blah filler. Do you need any additional information to arrange my flight?” or is that too forward? Im dealing with the office assistant, so not directly with the designer.

I just dont want to lose the chance if im too much hassle for them, as i think i might just take the hit and book a flight if they are not willing to. I can understand a few grand being hard to swallow for a small studio where there is plenty of local talent.

I’ll call my dad and ask for you, about this. He has done many ex-pat assignments so I think he might know what to do or how to ask.

Mmmm… sounds like you’re taking the hit - what you need to do is think if it’s really that beneficial to you (are you employed etc at the moment? is your job secure? ie will you have steady income over the forseeable future to cover the cost of flights etc).

You really have to ask yourself though if they aren’t willing to make any sacrafice at this stage, will they be at a later stage? ie if you get offered something, will they pay for flights then? Will they help you with your visa? Accommodation? You could find yourself in debt just trying to start work!

So, spill the beans… who is it?

Or just plan a small vacation around it…

Right on! Maybe you can score a few other interviews while you’re there as well.

A few years ago I was flown from Chicago to Hong Kong for a 1 day interview. They bought a business class seat for me and paid for all ground transportation and hotels/meals. I was interviewing for a director level position. The “style” of travel (plus being impressed by the organization) pushed me over the edge into taking the job.

Epilogue: The CEO of the US division was fired six months later for spending too lavishly. We changed to coach class seats when flying to HK and if we wanted to eat somewhere other than the factory in China it was on our own dime.

Lesson learned: Don’t judge a company by the interviewing process.

wow thanks for the replies! My position would be mid-to-senior level (3-7 years experience, I have almost 5).

Im thinking about the mini vacation too, i think thats a good idea, and also interview around the same city.I’ll double confirm with them…you never know with these language barriers!

That is bazaar. I would never go on an interview that did not include all accommodations.

If it were me in this situation I would as “When will you be contacting me about arrangements?”

While it is not a complete indication, it is the sign of a class act operation. I remember when I was getting into footwear, I interviewed with 5 or 6 brands in the span of about 3 weeks. They all treated me fantastic, but with Nike they had a town car waiting for me at the airport, they booked me on a high floor at a luxury hotel, with a town car to and from the interview. It definitely sent the message “we take care of our talent”, and they do.

Granted, I would totally expect this from a multi-billion dollar company. But what about a small boutique studio? They dont have the resources to splurge like this even if they wanted to, so herein lies my confusion. Ill dig a little deeper in an email and see what they expect.

An international flight on your own dime is certainly not standard practice for interviews. Either they somehow don’t get you are not local, or they are not the kind of company you would want to work for.

At the very least (which is still not advisable) I would think they would mention to have you book the travel and reimburse you (this sometimes happens with smaller companies that don’t have a travel office or full HR staff).

No need to beat around the bush. Ask flat out in an email with no other filler (so they can’t miss it) if they will be arranging your travel and accommodations.

As Yo mentioned, I’ve been on many interviews and have also found that how they treat you as a prospective employer is key in how they will eventually treat as an employee. I’ve had everything from limo pickups, over the weekend stays to check out the city, and in-and-out same day travel with 5 hour flight so that they can avoid a hotel cost. In more than one instance I’ve declined pursuing the position further based on the treatment I’ve received.

best of luck with it.

Think of it this way. The cost of travel and accommodation to you is likely pretty significant. For the company billing out at a sr. level it’s perhaps a day of work. If they can hire someone who is the best person for the job and even save one day of work over a year through your skills/efficiency, they’ve paid for it. It’d be silly for them not to pay for it if they think big picture.


But what about a small boutique studio?

So we have established that d-flux is not interviewing for Sony, but rather a “small boutique studio”.
I think it’s important to look at who is inviting you to the interview.

Of course I would expect all the bells and whistles from the big corporate heavy hitters but I would be very surprised if OKAY Studio or Front would fly in people for a mid to senior position.

Seriously, how are they supposed to pay for that? It is hard enough for smaller, more artistic and conceptual studios as it is.
If the studio has designs in say BestBuy, ask for the flight, if its a quirky little but really exciting design house, don’t. They will just shake their heads and think you are not committed.

It is all about the context and if you think that the studio would be able to muscle such an expense account. That is the only way to judge them,

a lot of good points, and I agree with a lot of what Yo and Richard said.

I asked flat out after confirming the time was ok. Lets see what they come up with.

well, as I feared, they arent arranging travel or stay, so i gotta foot my own bill. Sucks but at least I was prepared for the situation. I guess ill make it a mini-cation, and check out a few other firms while im there! (any suggestions for cool dutch companies/studios welcome!)

Van Berlo, sweet studio.

If you have the book “Sketching” its predominately all dutch companies and they are all hot studios. I can’t remeber of the top of my head all of them im affraid

So funny to come across this, just when i’m doing a round-up of dutch design firms. You could check out,,,,,,, and I’m working at Pezy(.com) myself, pretty much in the center of Amsterdam. We’re not looking though. But if you want to meet up or come by, feel free to pm me. And good luck!

Well you got your answer, I asked my Dad, he said about what RK and YO said.

Someone commented on how a company would pay for something like this. The answer is simple, with money; they are a company the point is to make money. It takes money to make more of it. So by putting out for someone good you will get higher returns.

Im going to PM you, check your inbox