We are living in quite the toughest market today where there are thousands of candidates for the same job and position easily. You only realize the number of candidates for a post when you appear for the interview. It is hard to imagine to get selected out of the bunch when the bunch is so big, no matter how able and skilled you think you are. Things can become even more difficult when you are going for an interview out of your city. The farther you are going the more expenses you will have to keep in mind.
It is quite a common mistake that candidates make when they don’t ask their employers for the reimbursement of their travel expenses. The important thing here is not to ask straight away but to wait for the employer to bring this topic up. See the job posting carefully if it is posted online to see if there are any travel expenses being offered by the employer for interviewees coming from out of town. If there is no such mention, it is best that you ask the employer about it. You can always send a formal email to ask for the expenses.
Another important for candidates is to know how strong of a candidate they are. You could ask in the email about travel expenses while asking about your status on the shortlist. If you think you are a strong candidate you can decide about your future plan accordingly. Some employers don’t pay for your travel because they are tight on budget while some have enough candidates coming to them from their local town. The wise move here is to ask and not assume that you will not be given travel expenses if it’s not mentioned there.
As for employers, it is quite ethical to reimburse their candidates for their travel expenses. However, we can understand that in such hard economic conditions employers can be on budget too. If you have a strong candidate coming from out of town, it would be unwise to let him go just to avoid the onetime traveling costs. It is best in this scenario to look for options that can make it easier for you to accommodate that particular candidate. You could look for ways to reduce the total traveling costs and also ask the candidate if they could pay the half of it.
For example, if your office is located in London and your candidates are coming from out of London, you might want to search for business hotels in London. The primary reason for doing that is to look for hotels that have special services and offers for candidates that are coming from out of town for interviews. You could specifically mention it to your candidate that you have arranged for an interview or their stay at a hotel where they can get great discounts while still enjoying the amenities and luxuries of a 5 star hotel. If you start looking for them, there are several hotels that offer such discounts.