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Old 02.03.2011, 00:23
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Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

I have several job interviews scheduled for the coming weeks for companies all over Switzerland. I am taking the train and even with the half care card its going to be expensive to get to Zurich/Basel from Geneva several times a month.

Im thinking about asking for reimbursement for travel costs from the potential employers but Im a bit hesitant since I dont know if this is accepted here in Switzerland. I was offered this by Alstom a week ago which opened my eyes.

What are your experiences with employers in Switzerland? Will they get upset if suggested that they pay travel costs related to interviews or is it more or less normal here?

Thanks
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Old 02.03.2011, 00:42
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

I would say that it depends on the company and the positions you are interviewing for (i.e. if they are willing to relocate you, they sure wont mind paying a few extra CHFs for your train).

But a good way of getting around reimbursement issue is just to specify your travel times and ask company admin to arrange your travel for you.

Good luck.
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Old 02.03.2011, 00:53
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

If it is your first interview, I would not ask for a reimbursement. If you are asked to come back for a 2nd or 3rd interview, perhaps you can lightly broach the subject.
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Old 02.03.2011, 08:42
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

Is the 100chf in your hand worth more than the job?
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Old 02.03.2011, 08:50
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

I went for an interview with big Pharma in Basel and made the mistake of asking about travelling expenses. They got the impression I was more interested in that rather than the job itself. Needless to say, I didn't get the job (and I didn't bother asking again about my travelling espenses).
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Old 02.03.2011, 09:24
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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I have several job interviews scheduled for the coming weeks for companies all over Switzerland. I am taking the train and even with the half care card its going to be expensive to get to Zurich/Basel from Geneva several times a month.

Im thinking about asking for reimbursement for travel costs from the potential employers but Im a bit hesitant since I dont know if this is accepted here in Switzerland. I was offered this by Alstom a week ago which opened my eyes.

What are your experiences with employers in Switzerland? Will they get upset if suggested that they pay travel costs related to interviews or is it more or less normal here?

Thanks
Probably best you don't waste your time going as there's no chance you're going to get the job"!
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:38
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

absolutely get reimbursed if you're traveling distances greater than within a city.

as with anything else, be polite about it and not demanding.

the HR person (especially in a larger company) has no input on whether you get hired or not. they are there to simply coordinate and facilitate your interviews. of course, if you are an irrationally rude jerk, then they may tell somebody who is a decision maker, and that might get you rejected. but politely asking for travel expense reimbursement is a standard request that will not raise any eyebrows.

(ps: you guys are such pushovers. there's never any harm in asking nicely. worst that may happen is they say no.)
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:41
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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absolutely get reimbursed if you're traveling distances greater than within a city.

as with anything else, be polite about it and not demanding.

the HR person (especially in a larger company) has no input on whether you get hired or not. they are there to simply coordinate and facilitate your interviews. of course, if you are an irrationally rude jerk, then they may tell somebody who is a decision maker, and that might get you rejected. but politely asking for travel expense reimbursement is a standard request that will not raise any eyebrows.
I found completely the opposite. When I spoke to the HR person after the forementioned interview, the reservations she put forward were based more on the interview I'd had with her and her colleague, than on the discussions I'd had with the actual people who matter.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:49
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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I found completely the opposite. When I spoke to the HR person after the forementioned interview, the reservations she put forward were based more on the interview I'd had with her and her colleague, than on the discussions I'd had with the actual people who matter.
wait, you brought up travel expenses during the interview? ok, that's something I wouldn't do. i was talking about emailing them.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:49
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

You got an interview, are you the only one? Are you the greatest one that they absolutely need? If so, I'll believe they will walk you on a red carpet. If not, if you are one against too many, asking for a reimbursement is just plain tacky, rude and cheap.

You are the one looking for a job, aren't you? So you should put that on your job research expenses. If you get the job, the little money you put on travelling to the interview will be well worthed. If not, it is part of looking for a job.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:50
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

If it's a well organized company, they bring this subject to you even before you think of asking. But I don't think you will need a train ticket of 100 CHF to be reimbursed.
If you are going abroad for a job interview (plane tickets, taxi, train alltogether), than you have to ask for reimbursement before going to the interview.
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Old 02.03.2011, 10:55
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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wait, you brought up travel expenses during the interview? ok, that's something I wouldn't do. i was talking about emailing them.
Only at the end, when I was about to leave. Probably not the best thing to do, no. But I'd not attended a "proper" interview in years. Very sloppy, I know.
I also brought it up in a follow-up email, intending more as a lighthearted lead-in to asking for proper feedback. Yes, yes, I know.....
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Old 02.03.2011, 11:43
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

It is common to be reimbursed for the travel costs for job interview. This has to be discussed with HR who organizes the interview. The company's decision of hiring/rejecting is totally unrelated with this aspect. Good luck for your job hunt !
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:03
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

Personally I wouldn't bother, the interviewing experience alone is worth the cost of a train fare.
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:20
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

My current company (small private) arranged for my air & train tickets, but booked me a hotel near the airport for which I had to pay myself (small private once again, yeah) - I was quite surprised, to be honest.
Before I came for the actual interview, I was interviewed several times by phone, and they seemed very much interested in my humble self.
So, I would say if you're quite confident of the interest of the company in you, you may come up with some ridiculous reason why they should arrange (and pay) for your trip. Otherwise, I'm afraid you totally depend on their good will.
I assume you know about daily travel cards that you can get in your commune for like 35CHF? If you travel for instance to Zug from Geneva, the difference could be around 30CHF (with a travel card).
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:31
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

OP, it is as simple as politely asking, "Can you please tell me what your policies are for travel reimbursement for job interviews?" If you're truly interested in the job, then don't push too hard for it. If you're not, and are simply trying to fill your RAV quota, then see if you can get reimbursed. Most companies tightened their belts a while back and frown on any miscellaneous petty expenses. It may be a big hassle for those who invited you to the interview.
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:38
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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the HR person (especially in a larger company) has no input on whether you get hired or not. they are there to simply coordinate and facilitate your interviews. of course, if you are an irrationally rude jerk, then they may tell somebody who is a decision maker, and that might get you rejected. but politely asking for travel expense reimbursement is a standard request that will not raise any eyebrows.
I can hardly believe this. HR have the first and last contact with you before hiring. First when you reply to the advertisment and last when you return the contract.

You think the line manager doesn't speak with HR and HR don't add a little note about requesting travel ex's in their file ?

If you need to ttravel abroad, that's a little different andf travel ex's are usualy discussed beforehand, but a little day trip between Geneva and Zurich...
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:44
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

I'm quite surprised by the responses here.

Even though I am quite young and have been to less than 10 interviews in my time, every email I've had to organise an interview time has stated the maximum travel expenses that they will pay.

I guess most of the interviews I do are for new graduate jobs and the companies maybe don't want to burden the person with what is a lot of money for a new graduate. But if I was earning the much admired 120k and going for a 150k interview then I'd not ask specifically for travel expenses.
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Old 02.03.2011, 12:54
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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You got an interview, are you the only one? Are you the greatest one that they absolutely need? If so, I'll believe they will walk you on a red carpet. If not, if you are one against too many, asking for a reimbursement is just plain tacky, rude and cheap.

You are the one looking for a job, aren't you? So you should put that on your job research expenses. If you get the job, the little money you put on travelling to the interview will be well worthed. If not, it is part of looking for a job.
Exactly what I was going to say. If you think about it logically, all you are potentially doing is making the employer regret they invited you in the first place. If they state that they will give reimburse your expense from the outset, fine, but I would NEVER ask for that.

People really baffle me sometimes...
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Old 02.03.2011, 13:03
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Re: Reimbursed for travel costs for job interview?

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Exactly what I was going to say. If you think about it logically, all you are potentially doing is making the employer regret they invited you in the first place. If they state that they will give reimburse your expense from the outset, fine, but I would NEVER ask for that.

People really baffle me sometimes...
It's all about attitude.

Hopefully you aren't going to the interview to beg for a job. You are interested in the employer, and the employer is interested in you. You both have something to offer each other. So now, you have shown up at the employer's office at their request, instead of them coming to you, so you both can evalulate whether you two would be a good fit for each other. Because you are the one traveling to see them, the assumption here is that they should at least pay to cover your cost - no more, no less.

People go wrong when they believe that the employer is doing them a favor by inviting them to interview. Believe in your self-worth! They wouldn't have asked you to come in unless they thought you were promising, at least on paper.
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