Working Interview - Definition, Legality, How to Prepare

What's a working interview? Employers utilize a variety of interviewing techniques to determine who is the best candidate for the job. They can take the form of a typical sit-down interview or something more akin to a day of work. As a candidate, it's critical to understand the sort of interview you've agreed to so that you can prepare appropriately.

working interview

What's a working interview?

A working interview is a hands-on examination of a candidate's ability to execute a particular job or activity. Rather than a typical interview, during which you are asked a series of questions, a working interview involves you being assigned tasks and the employer observing your performance. It effectively allows you to practice for the actual job you will be performing.

Advantages to working interviews

A working interview is a hands-on examination of a candidate's ability to execute a particular job or activity. Rather than a typical interview, during which you are asked a series of questions, a working interview involves you being assigned tasks and the employer observing your performance. It effectively allows you to practice for the actual job you will be performing.

Proves your abilities

Rather than attempting to convince an employer of your qualifications, a working interview enables you to demonstrate your talents. This interview style is excellent for highly trained individuals who are required to complete a specific set of technical tasks rather than generic labor. If you are confident in your work, the process of conducting a job interview should be pretty straightforward for you.

On-the-job experience

The experience of reading a job description vs performing the job might be extremely different. A work interview allows you to experience what it's like to work for this employer. You can determine whether or not you like their management style and the duties they assign you. Essentially, this type of interview allows you to get a firsthand look at the task you'll be performing if you accept an offer.

working interview

Educates on company culture

While some companies send you home with an assignment, others prefer that you complete the work at their office. The latter allows you to see how the business runs and meet your future coworkers. While doing your duties, observe the business culture and determine whether you can genuinely envision yourself working here.

Working interview tips

Employers can determine whether you are a good match for the position by following these tips:

Manage expectations

Establish clear expectations from the start. Prior to beginning your job interview, you should inquire about the type of work you will be performing and the salary you will receive. Numerous businesses will pay you a fixed rate or on an hourly basis for the job you perform during the interview. If they do not intend to compensate you, you must consider if this is acceptable to you.

Research the company

Conduct due diligence on the business. Even though this is not a typical interview, it is critical that you learn about the company. In this manner, your work can represent their ideals.

Pay attention

Pay attention to the smallest details. Because you want to impress the employer, review the guidelines and double-check that you have covered every aspect. Utilize all of the time they provide you to ensure that you completed the work correctly.

Dress the part

Prepare for success by dressing appropriately. Even though this is a work interview, you should dress appropriately as you would for any other interview (unless they tell you otherwise). This generally entails formal workwear that fits well, is wrinkle-free, and is clean.

Be confidence

Recognize your confidence. Remind yourself that you are capable of completing the task at hand. By being upbeat and confident in your abilities, the employer can detect your assurance.

Ask smart questions

Pose intelligent questions. Before approaching the employer with any queries, properly read the guidelines. If you are still unclear about something, ask them to explain so that you can do your duties properly. If you were a genuine employee, you would be permitted to ask informed questions, and you can do so now as well.

Show enthusiasm

Demonstrate your passion. Even if a task is really difficult, demonstrate that you can overcome any obstacle with a cheerful attitude. Maintaining a cool and controlled demeanor throughout your job interview demonstrates to companies that you perform well under pressure.

Make a good impression

Make an impression that will last. Along with allowing you to evaluate your job, a working interview enables employers and their workers to learn more about you. If you are going to be in the office for a day or two, make an effort to introduce yourself to your coworkers and demonstrate that you are a pleasure to work with.

Alternatives to working interviews

While working interviews can be an excellent tool for companies, they can choose to assess your abilities in different ways. Consider the following alternatives to job interviews:

Go through a temporary agency

Certain companies engage temp companies to assist them in locating and hiring competent personnel. In essence, you will be regarded as an employee of the temp agency while doing the employer's responsibilities for the specified number of days. By the time your temporary job ends, the company that hired the temp agency can be able to offer you full-time employment directly via the company rather than through the temp agency. Companies who wish to conduct a large number of working interviews choose this technique in order to avoid developing an employer-employee connection with their applicants.

Skills testing

A skills exam is a streamlined form of a job interview. Rather than assigning you a few hours or perhaps a full day of labor, the company will assign you a single job or a test to complete. For instance, if you are looking for a position as an editor, you can be asked to fix a couple of paragraphs. They generally combine this with a second regular interview, since companies reserve skills testing for the most qualified individuals. It is improbable that you will get compensated for a skills exam, as they typically take an hour or less to complete.

Common questions

Questions from job candidates regarding working interviews in the hiring process.

Do you have to get paid for a working interview?

Yes. From an employer's perspective, whether or whether you hire the person, you must compensate them for their time spent in a working interview. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in employment claims for unpaid wages. Additionally, the procedure should allow the prospect to choose whether or not they wish to work for your organization.

Is a working interview illegal?

As attractive as working interviews can appear, they are unlawful when conducted without going through a temp agency or the whole employment procedure. Additionally, when you opt to fly under the radar, you increase your responsibility, not decrease it.

Employee working interviews are generally frowned upon. Especially when a job candidate is brought through temporary employment agencies. Employers should avoid using this style of interview in the interview process.

Again, when you hire someone new, go through the entire recruiting procedure, which includes background checks, U.S. employment eligibility verification, and handbook distribution, among other things. As attractive as working interviews can appear, they are unlawful when conducted without going through a temp agency or the whole employment procedure.

Does a working interview mean you'll get the job?

According to legislation, the working interview is essentially a trial term of employment, not unpaid training prior to hire. This does not necessarily imply you got the job; rather, it indicates that the employer is according to the letter of the law by including you on the payroll during the working interview time.

How much do you get paid for a working interview?

Yes and no. From an employer's perspective, you are not required to pay the "hourly" rate for the job, but the minimum wage rate is the foundation hourly rate at which you must compensate employees for each hour performed during the interview. You can (and probably should) send the individual a check at the conclusion of the interview, and you are unlikely to be required to withhold taxes.

working interview

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Get our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free. No email required.

Grab the PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur (Profile), Dice.com, WorkWise, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word