Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
In these kinds of talks, I think it's really important to reserve the power of "yes" and "no" for special occasions. Since this is effectively a negotiation, you should negotiate: present what you feel you need to make this interview successful and mutually beneficial. This company can signal their preliminary intentions to you by offering to cover expenses.
It will be your travel time to and from their business, and your time spent to prepare yourself for questions they will ask. These are non-trivial costs, in my view: your time is important to you and that's all that needs to be said. It's not unreasonable to say that if this company is asking you to sacrifice your time and come their way, that they cover costs.
I was in your position at one time, Nathaniel, but it was far enough from where I am now that I can only advise what to me, today, is the 'right' thing to do. Demonstrate your character and principles to yourself as well as others. Bottom line, your time can't be replaced. Their money can.
You might not even get this interview if you stand your ground on this matter of protocol, but you'll win either way if you can be candid, honest, and unwavering on what you think is right.
[ April 21, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]