[D] Should we start charging for interviews as candidates?
I’ve been interviewing for a few months now with various companies. I have a PhD in ML and 5 years of experience in academia and industry, and been actively publishing in prestigious ML and CV conferences and journals for the past 5 years.
During my very frustrating job hunt, I managed to get interviews with 20+ companies, startups, and academic/industrial collaborative institutions. Apart from a couple of the interviews that I quickly discovered wouldn’t be a good fit for my future, all the interviews went really well, and I communicated well with the recruiting management and the recruiters. I travelled across country, paid for accommodation, paid for interview attire (we wear T-shirts to work), got unpaid leave for many days from my current employer, and as such lost lots of money out of my pocket to get a job; not to mention the many hours I had to spend preparing for the interviews, showing up to the interviews, waiting for the recruiter or hiring committee to not show up and then reschedule the whole thing, etc.
I also spent priceless time doing coding interviews or more time-consuming take home challenges to solve. I paid out of my pocket for Google cloud to do the training for the coding challenges. More often than not I felt me doing the interview is actually offering the company a “FREE CONSULTATION GIG”, rather than them wanting to know more about my background, my resume, and gauge my experience and abilities, and see if I’d be a good cultural fit for their team.
All that to hear first-hand from the hiring manager or my connections (friends who work in the said company) that internal candidate got prioritized, or they can’t offer me work permit sponsorship, or the hiring manager wasn’t too sure if they really want to hire someone at the moment, or get hit by a country-wide hiring freeze because of elections (Canada).
My search still continues for the right job, but I’ve been thinking of starting to send bills to companies that outright waste candidates’ time and money, and don’t offer any compensation for accommodation and travel.
What do you think? Are we selling ourselves too cheaply these days or is this a norm and I should get used to getting treated like this when I’m interviewing?