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Topic: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?  (Read 1935 times)

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Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« on: October 01, 2019, 05:33:22 PM »
Ok, semi-hypothetical situation here:

Someone applies for a part-time job as basically a secretary that is listed as being completely "virtual" - you are expected to manage your duties from your home. They specifically were recruiting/welcoming people from various parts of the country other than where the home office of the organization is. Supposedly.

Given that, would you consider it unreasonable for them to take five months to make their "sift" and then offer you an interview - at their home office completely on the other end of the island (700+km away) - with only a few days' advance notice? Would you expect them to be paying your transportation costs (of several hundred pounds) to physically attend the interview for a "virtual" position in person? (Yes, I'd ask them when I responded, but I'm wondering what is "normally done" here.)

In the job advert it says that there will be a training period at the home office of the organization for a few weeks. Do you assume that they would be paying for your transportation, food, and housing during that training? Or would it be considered standard here for you to be on your own? (Yes, that would be one of the first questions I'd ask if I interviewed with them, but I'm wondering what is considered "standard" here in the UK.)

Just wondering - it's not worth the money to invest to physically get there for an interview for a part-time job based on the number of hours/pay per week, really. And certainly not worth it to pay for airfare/hotel/meals for a month. But I am wondering what is considered "normal" expectations here.

Also, am I correct in thinking that any amounts paid for transportation/housing/food would be considered by HMRC as "income" and so leave a tax liability for those sums?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 06:06:41 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 07:18:37 PM »
I would consider it normal for a (reputable) business to pay for travel/lodging once a job offer was accepted during the training perios (as its mandatoy). That being said, i dont think it's something they have to do (especially for an extended period of time). All depends on the contract they offer you really.

I wouldnt expect them to compensate you for travelling to the interview but i also personally wouldnt make that kind of trip for a part time job (something seems fishy to me based solely on the info you provided). I would ask instead to do a skype interview, if possible. I dont find it odd that it'd take them 5 months to sift through their applications (that seems fairly normal to me but again, for part time home work, that'd be a red flag for me).

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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 08:22:02 PM »
Yeah, same here. No Skype = no interview. That's way too far and way too expensive for a screening interview (or any really, for part-time!).

But I'm actually trying to find out if there is a given set of accepted practices in the UK. Also, the tax considerations....


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 08:24:24 PM »


Yeah, same here. No Skype = no interview. That's way too far and way too expensive for a screening interview (or any really, for part-time!).

That would be too far for me to go dor even a full time job! I'd only ever go that far for an interview if it would be for somewhere that i was considering moving to. That's just my personal preference though.

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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 09:35:59 PM »
I’d expect travel expenses to the interview to be paid. Mine always have been. These include further distances than the one you’re considering (yes, I did live in Scotland for a number of years!). I can think of 5 interviews that included very significant distances that the travel expenses were paid for off the top of my head. I’ve never NOT had them paid, in any case.

No, I would not expect them to cover accommodation, etc during training, but I’ve always had to relocate for jobs anyway, and never had a similar issue.


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2019, 08:55:05 AM »
Given that, would you consider it unreasonable for them to take five months to make their "sift"
Totally normal for UK companies. 
Would you expect them to be paying your transportation costs
   Yes, for such a long way.  If they won't, that's a red flag. 

In the job advert it says that there will be a training period at the home office of the organization for a few weeks. Do you assume that they would be paying for your transportation, food, and housing during that training? Or would it be considered standard here for you to be on your own?
  To be a virtual secretary, they want you to train in person for a few weeks?  That's insane.  Even so, you'd be an employee at that point and would have to be paid for this, with expenses.  Anything less and I would run a mile.  This sounds like a scam to me. 

I think there are legit ways to be a virtual worker.  How about the mechanical turk?
https://www.mturk.com/worker






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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 09:38:42 AM »
I would *hope* they would pay expenses if they want an in person interview.  But not expect it.

Yes, they should pay all expenses incurred during training.  Expenses are not taxed.


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 09:39:27 AM »
I should add, I would expect the travel to be for the FINAL interview only.  Not an initial interview.


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 11:32:14 AM »
Yeah, exactly on all counts.  ::)  They had initially indicated that notice of interviews would be by a certain date. A week after that date (and then continuously for a few more weeks)  they sent "oh, gosh, sorry, we have to postpone notice of interviews" messages. Then they sent one this week saying to select a time next Monday, for a face-to-face down there.

Yeah, on-site training. For a basically secretarial position. Part-time. The organization may be legit, but they do sound pretty screwed up administratively. Am curious to see how it shakes out. This is not looking at all good, really. We'll see.

If it was a professional position I would definitely expect interviewing and training/travel/housing expenses to be covered. But this is not a professional position, so....  We'll see how it comes out.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 11:38:51 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2019, 08:34:11 AM »
Ok, the latest:

Yes, they would do a Skype interview.

Unfortunately, they botched the initial advertisement and subsequent communications. They advertised for a 40% time job that would allow remote work from anywhere in the country.  In their most recent email they said they had sent another notice out a couple of months ago to all who had applied to say that it was actually a full-time job that would allow 40% of the time to be telecommuting, sorry, and not a 40% time job. And that you had to be working on-site the rest of the time. Unfortunately that notice never got here. What a waste of time! 

And there would be a security check involved. That's probably lethal right there for anyone who hasn't been in the country for several years. They really needed to have put that in the initial communications or job description, not in the email asking to set up an initial screening interview! And what a p.i.t.a.!!!! >:(

« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 08:39:14 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2019, 08:47:54 AM »
Ok, the latest:

Yes, they would do a Skype interview.

Unfortunately, they botched the initial advertisement and subsequent communications. They advertised for a 40% time job that would allow remote work from anywhere in the country.  In their most recent email they said they had sent another notice out a couple of months ago to all who had applied to say that it was actually a full-time job that would allow 40% of the time to be telecommuting, sorry, and not a 40% time job. And that you had to be working on-site the rest of the time. Unfortunately that notice never got here. What a waste of time! 

And there would be a security check involved. That's probably lethal right there for anyone who hasn't been in the country for several years. They really needed to have put that in the initial communications or job description, not in the email asking to set up an initial screening interview! And what a p.i.t.a.!!!! >:(

That doesn't sound like the sort of place you want to be working anyway, Nan. Too chaotic!


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2019, 08:57:04 AM »
That doesn't sound like the sort of place you want to be working anyway, Nan. Too chaotic!

No, it does not. Disorganized and unprofessional. Not worth the bother for the salary advertised. It was doable for a remote job at 40% but ludicrously low for a full-time job.


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2019, 08:58:33 AM »
Ok, the latest:

Yes, they would do a Skype interview.

Unfortunately, they botched the initial advertisement and subsequent communications. They advertised for a 40% time job that would allow remote work from anywhere in the country.  In their most recent email they said they had sent another notice out a couple of months ago to all who had applied to say that it was actually a full-time job that would allow 40% of the time to be telecommuting, sorry, and not a 40% time job. And that you had to be working on-site the rest of the time. Unfortunately that notice never got here. What a waste of time! 

And there would be a security check involved. That's probably lethal right there for anyone who hasn't been in the country for several years. They really needed to have put that in the initial communications or job description, not in the email asking to set up an initial screening interview! And what a p.i.t.a.!!!! >:(

Sounds like you are well out of it, very badly organized.

As to the security check, my son had to go through similar but even though he had only been in the country a matter of weeks and didn’t even have a NI number at the time it was not a problem, and he got the job.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2019, 11:44:56 AM »
Interesting. When I've applied at the MOD I was told I had to have at least three years in-country to be able to qualify for clearance for an entry-level job. Jobs with the Home Office (or it's subsidaries) require five years. This particular position was with another governmental entity, so I'd assume one of the two of those apply. (?)

Maybe because your son is a citizen it's different?


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Re: Ok, what's "normal" for traveling to an interview?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2019, 01:42:34 PM »
Interesting. When I've applied at the MOD I was told I had to have at least three years in-country to be able to qualify for clearance for an entry-level job. Jobs with the Home Office (or it's subsidaries) require five years. This particular position was with another governmental entity, so I'd assume one of the two of those apply. (?)

Maybe because your son is a citizen it's different?

You never mentioned that your potential job was with the MOD, or I missed it, sorry. That is quite a different level of security.

Normal security checks are a criminal background check for potential employees in positions of responsibility. I used to work for a large chemical company and they used a firm to do background checks before anyone was employed. Nothing to do with national security like working in the defence industry which is where I used to work, and even then there were different levels of security background checks and the jobs were not limited to UK citizens.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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