I currently live in Thailand now. I have done phone interviews with few companies in San Francisco and passed all of them.

Now the problem is I have onsite interviews with 3 companies, and they are willing to pay for the flights and the hotels.

I have no idea what to do right now. I don't want to fly back and forth between Thailand and San Francisco 3 times.

I believe I have 2 choices:

  1. Lie to the first company that I want to do sight-seeing for some days, and ask them to move the flight back a little bit further.

  2. Tell the HR directly that I will have an interview with other companies as well, and ask the first company to pay for the flight to SF and the second company to pay for the flight back to Thailand. (The third company gets a free pass)

The flight between Thailand and San Francisco should cost like 1,500 dollars. (round-trip)

What should I do?

  • If they cannot accomodate you for such a long and expensive travel without you getting in the details, do you really want to work for them ? And don't lie, people know each other, and talk.
    – Matthieu
    Jan 27, 2012 at 1:39
  • I can say that all 3 companies are hot startups, and I want to work for all of them :S, but I am not sure if I will pass their onsite interviews. So, it makes sense to have onsite interviews with all of them.
    – Tanin
    Jan 27, 2012 at 1:44
  • 2
    @Tanin: they would not fly you down from Thailand if they thought you might fail the onsite interviews.
    – c_maker
    Jan 27, 2012 at 1:55
  • @c_maker I mean there is a high probability that I will pass, but it's not definite. And to decide to work for a company, I want to see their teams, their offices, and their offers. At this point, they are equally attractive to me...
    – Tanin
    Jan 27, 2012 at 2:03

3 Answers 3


Think about this, if your trip was paid for by one company, then you decided to work for another and the first found out you had taken another job during a trip they paid for, how would they react?

Your question is not easy to answer. One thing that springs to mind is to first be honest. Tell the companies that you have been asked to do interviews by other companies and that you propose to split the trip costs 3 ways. They each get to pay 1/3rd of what they where expecting and everything is open and on the table. Plus, if they know that there is competition, they may make addtional offers during the interviews that they would not normally do.

I don't know if this would work, but I to think that people appreciate honesty. They were going to pay for your trip anyway so you saving them most of the costs should be appreciated. If they don't like the fact that you are considering all options and other companies, I'd be inclined to think they might not be a good place to work for.

  • That could be dangerous.. you could end up with all the companies not wanting to get into a potential bidding war..
    – hanzolo
    Jan 27, 2012 at 18:23
  • Good news. I told FB directly. The HR guy said that I could meet with other companies and Facebook would still sponsor the flights.
    – Tanin
    Feb 1, 2012 at 9:53
  • Brilliant. Now you don't have to stress and can do the interview comfortably without feeling like you are ripping them off. Now you can simply tell the other companies you will be in town on such and such a date, and can do interviews.
    – drekka
    Feb 2, 2012 at 6:21

Remember, you're just as important to them as they are to you. Set up your schedule to what suits your needs.. AND you SHOULD do some sight seeing if you're going to be relocating..

EDIT: I guess by sight seeing, i meant get familiar with the new environment to ensure you're going to like living there. As far as going to other companies.. I'm not sure on that one, one the one hand, yes, you are only there because company A got you there.. on the other hand, you need to do what's best for you..

Now there's no guarantee that you're going to get that initial job, maybe you dont want it, or maybe they find another candidate.. now if either of these occur, having those back-ups would be a great decision.

And i dont think anyone at Company A would hold it against you. I would however give Company A the top priority.. meaning if they make you a reasonable offer, while not be Obligated, it may

good luck!

  • If I did only sight-seeing, I wouldn't have a problem. The problem is I will have onsites with other companies (and do some sight-seeing, of course). It sounds wrong to use one company's money to see other companies. And I am unemployed, so I'm available everyday. Scheduling is not a problem.
    – Tanin
    Jan 27, 2012 at 1:56

Actually you have a third choice. Tell the first company that you want to stay in San Francisco for personal reasons, they do not need to know why you want to stay on. If pressed you can always say you want to take some time to decide if it is a place where you would want to work. Of course they would only pay for the hotel until you would have left, it is your responsibility after that.

For the other two companies, you can tell them that you will be coming to the USA for other reasons (once again you do not need to tell them why) and suggest that in lieu of providing you with an airline ticket they simply pay you a flat $1,500 (each) towards your travel expenses. That would save them money since they do not have to pay for a hotel, so I would think they would go for it.

Doing it this way you could end up with a couple of grand in your pocket. It is all perfectly ethical as you have not lied to anyone.

  • 5
    I wouldn't call that the least bit ethical. You haven't lied, but you've certainly twisted the truth to extract extra money. I don't think that's the attitude you want to take to a potential employer - it's not fair to them, and you wouldn't be happy if they treated you that way. Jan 27, 2012 at 2:57
  • Matt: I am not suggesting any twisting of the truth. What I am suggesting is telling the potential employer "I need to be in SF anyway for other reasons (which are none of your business), so instead of giving me a plane ticket and paying my hotel simply pay me a fixed amount of money that we agree to up front and which is substantially less than what you would have paid." That is completely up front, and they have a choice. Of course if they prefer he can fly home and fly back for the other company.
    – JonnyBoats
    Jan 27, 2012 at 3:19
  • I wouldn't want to scoop their money or trick the first company to pay all the cost. I think it is within the first company's concern if I go to SF with their money, have an interview with them, and also have interviews with other companies.
    – Tanin
    Jan 27, 2012 at 3:43
  • Tanin: Make the same statement to all 3 companies if you like. Decide what the trip will cost and divide by 3. Ask each of them to pay 1/3 rather than giving you a plane ticket and a hotel.
    – JonnyBoats
    Jan 27, 2012 at 3:48

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