Q. As part of the search for a new position, Iíve had to travel to prospective employers for interviews. In the last two months I had one interview that was 208 miles from home ó which cost me a total of $117.10, including tolls. I asked for reimbursement from the Human Resources person the day after the interview. The other interview was 244 miles, totaling $135.20. On this occasion I asked my potential manager who to contact for reimbursement. After numerous attempts, I finally gave up on trying to be reimbursed per customary business travel expense practices. Was I correct in asking for travel expenses? Was my timing correct? I am currently out of work so the reimbursement would be helpful.
A. G., Methuen, MA
A. Timing is everything. Asking after the interview was over is like slamming the barn door shut after all the cows have escaped. If receiving expenses for traveling to the company was an important consideration for you in accepting the interview offer, the time to raise the issue was before you made the trip. ďMr. Smith, thank you so much for asking me to interview, and of course Iíd like to. Is it at all possible to receive compensation for the travel expense Iíll incur?Ē This way you would know up front if there was any travel allowance available which could influence both your decision to interview and your willingness to work for the company.
Q. Both my business partner and I open the mail. I open all the mail addressed to the company, whether it is to my attention, my partner's attention, or simply addressed to the company only. I do not open my partner's mail if it is specified as personal or confidential. Is this correct mail opening etiquette?
L. B. M., Hanover, MA
A: Unless you have your partnerís permission, any mail addressed to the company that specifies it is for your partnerís attention should be opened only by your partner. Mail sent to you or to your attention should be opened only by you. Mail to the company in general can be opened by either of you.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
about this blog
e-mail your question
Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.