Hidden Costs of Job Interviews and How to Avoid Them

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Being offered an interview for a job has the potential to be life-changing. You’ve put the time in researching the company, eyed up the role and everything it involves, and put yourself forward with a sparkling CV and portfolio to match – and they’ve decided to get you in!

With all that excitement, it’s easy to forget about the potential costs involved. We’re moving jobs more than we used to, which means that you could experience tens of interviews in your lifetime.

While it’s good to see interview expenses as an investment in your future, it’s still worthwhile being aware of some of the costs you could accrue and how to minimise them.

New Job, New Wardrobe  

They say when you look good you feel good, and that’s important when you’re stepping in to a new company for the first time. While you may want to present your best self and make a good first impression however, investing in a new suit or smart dress can set you back.

As with any clothing purchase you make, try to look for discounts in different stores or on different websites before you decide to buy. If you have access to a student card or a discount scheme through your current company, make the most of it while it lasts.

It’s always worth asking friends or family if they have anything you could borrow too.

Travel

If you’re looking to relocate, you could find yourself being offered an interview in a different part of the country. Many companies will ask you back a couple of times before making a final decision, and that can mean shelling out on multiple tanks of petrol, train tickets or even hotels.

If you are travelling by train, see if you can hop on outside of the busiest times. Off-peak tickets can save you money on the price of standard tickets, and you’ll be able to enjoy a quieter carriage too – ideal for fitting in any last-minute preparation.

Food and Drink

You don’t want to go in to an interview with an empty stomach or dehydration-induced headache. Stopping on the way for a hot drink or snack can often cost a pretty penny – but it’s important to keep yourself going.

Think about making sandwiches the night before or taking leftovers. Preparing a flask of coffee too can help you get your caffeine fix for less.

Taking Unpaid Holiday     

If you’re in a role already, job interviews inevitably mean taking time off work. If you’ve already used all your holiday allowance, this could mean having to sacrifice a day’s pay.

Most job interviews only last a couple of hours at most, so try to take half-day holidays where possible. You could also suggest a video call interview to your potential employer – this way you could fit it in on your lunch break.      

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