When the job market is competitive there are typically many applicants for every open position and the company may have a sufficient volume of applicants in close proximity.
However, for top level positions or jobs where the company needs to actively recruit candidates there is more likelihood that the employer will arrange for travel at their expense or reimburse all or some of your expenses.
Check the Job Listing
Before you apply for a job in a new location, double-check the job posting. It may specify that travel and relocation expenses are not provided. If that's the case, don't expect (or ask) the employer to pay.
If you have been actively recruited by a company, rather than finding a job listing and applying yourself, you can expect the company to know where you are located and to cover the costs of interviewing you.
For other applicants, the interview invitation you receive may mention that your expenses will be covered.
Asking for Reimbursement
Not sure who pays? If you don't have any information to the contrary when you are asked to travel for an interview, it is acceptable to ask if the company will be making the travel arrangements for you. If not, ask if there is a possibility of being reimbursed for all or part of the costs you incur to get to the interview.
Do keep in mind that if the company isn't paying your travel expenses to get to the interview it probably won't pay to relocate you either, so you may opt to decline the interview if you can't afford to get there or to move.
What Travel Expenses Are Covered?
The travel expenses that are covered depend on the company's policy. In some cases, all your expenses including airline fights, hotels and meals are covered. Another common practice is for a company to pay for your lodging as long as you pay for your transportation. Potential employees are more likely to be expected to cover their own travel expenses for entry-level jobs and jobs for nonprofit organizations.
Tax Deductible Travel Expenses
If the employer doesn't cover your expenses, some of your travel expenses may be tax deductible. If you travel to look for a new job in your present occupation, you may be able to deduct your travel expenses. Here's more information on tax deductions for job seekers.