ASK HR: Who should cater for refreshments during an interview? - Daily Nation

ASK HR: Who should cater for refreshments during an interview?

Friday July 6 2018

I have been shortlisted for an interview and asked to pay Sh300 for refreshments and facilitation. Isn’t this the employer’s responsibility to cater for meals for interviewees? PHOTO | FILE

I have been shortlisted for an interview and asked to pay Sh300 for refreshments and facilitation. Isn’t this the employer’s responsibility to cater for meals for interviewees? PHOTO | FILE 

By JANE MUIRURI
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I applied for a job as a school nurse and two weeks ago I received communication that I had been shortlisted for an interview.

Problem is, the call for the interview came with a pre-requisite that I have to pay Sh300 for refreshments and interview facilitation before the interview date.

When I called the school, the secretary explained that the interviews take long so we will have lunch and refreshment at the school. Isn’t this the employer’s responsibility to cater for meals for interviewees?

Could you enlighten me on other things that I shouldn’t pay for as a job seeker?

The unemployment rate continues to be a concern for the many graduates who are looking for white collar employment.

This creates anxiety and desperation and most can go to any measure to get that coveted interview opportunity. This creates a loophole for unscrupulous employers to take advantage of the situation.

Most employers don’t generally offer a meal or refreshment especially for an interview that takes one day. However, based on their location, they may opt to offer lunch if there are no amenities nearby.

In this instance they should not charge for it since it is a good gesture and should not be a burden to the candidate.

Ideally employers must cater for reasonable costs related to the interview, including travel expenses and accommodation where applicable.

Some employers opt for telephone interviews to limit the travel expenses and only pay for one trip, usually for the final interview.

For expatriate jobs, some employers cater for the travel and accommodation for the potential employee and spouse. This is to facilitate the new employee and the family to acclimatise to the new environment before they make the decision to relocate.

However, some recruitment agencies, based on their policies, may charge a fee to candidates upon placing them with an employer, especially if the recruitment was not initiated by the employer.

In this instance you must honour the payment as you are bound by the rules and regulations.

An interview with a company is a mutual assessment opportunity for the employer and potential employee. In the recruitment process, you also gauge the potential employer in terms of how they plan for the interview and the timeliness, this can give a preview of the values they embrace.

Because you are already uncomfortable with the request to send money, you could suggest that they waive that requirement and let you carry your own lunch to the interview.

If you feel that their values are not consistent with your own, maybe you could opt not to pursue the interview further, but this depends on how much you need the job.

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