Being that it is graduation and let’s-find-an-internship season in recruiting, this is geared towards all of you juniors, seniors, and grad students attending live interviews, especially out of town and looking at potential internships.
*Unpaid internships are illegal except under a very few circumstances (Non profit, working for the government, ie a law clerk for a congressional member). If you aren’t getting paid, it probably isn’t following established legal criteria. https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf
The best thing to do is check with your Career Center.
-Only a VERY FEW, very large global companies will pay for your lodgings during an internship. Assume you will be responsible for covering your own rent/accommodations for the duration of your stay.
There are always a lot of questions from candidates about what they should think about in terms of the cost for interviewing. The single best thing you should remember, if nothing else: SAVE ALL YOUR ORIGINAL RECEIPTS. You will need these to get reimbursed, NOT your credit card statements. Without your receipts, you will not get reimbursed.
Here are some basics:
-Most companies *should* pay your airfare and hotel (for at least one night) upfront when you are invited to interview from out of state; make sure you understand how many nights at a hotel a company will cover. Generally they will use a corporate account or travel agent, so you shouldn’t even have to worry about it. *Always ask*!!
*This is usually only relevant for actual employers, NOT employment agencies, who will expect you to pay out of pocket. Sometimes they will offer to reimburse you part/all of the expenses if you end up getting the job. ASK THEM and GET IT IN WRITING if that is the case.
If you would like to stay an extra few days at your own expense, most companies don’t care when you arrive/leave for flights.
B />The caveat: if you are are looking to move to a city, and your resume/profile has a *local* address, then expect to pay for your own travel expenses. />TIP: if you are interviewing with more than one company in an area, you can try and negotiate additional hotel nights with one employer if another is paying your airfare.
-If you can drive to an interview, have a car and prefer to do so, you should be reimbursed for your total mileage; fill up your tank at the beginning of your trip and save the receipt/s. Keep in mind that you will be paid for the trip to and from your interview, on those dates, and not for side trips to sight see. If you live 250 miles from the interview site, they will generally expect 500-550 miles round trip on your expense report, not 800-1200 over the course of 4 days. he IRS annually outlines mileage guidelines: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-standard-mileage-rates-for-2019
You can also ask if a train is an option, but you may need to be reimbursed for your ticket.
-Most employers will provide you with lunch or dinner; if not, save all your receipts during your trip. You will generally be given an expense reporting template to file.
BR />-It’s important to understand that your expense report is considered part of the corporate accounts payable cycle, and as such will most likely be paid to you, in a physical check via USPS, at the end of the cycle which could be anywhere from 2-6 weeks. Companies cannot/will not send you cash, paypal, or direct deposit in most instances. (This is also how business travel works for employees as well.)
Hope this helps clear up some of the mysteries of business travel.