I've been going through the hiring process at a small local company. I passed the interview, and completed a 2 hour "trial period" where I demonstrated my ability to learn and do the actual work (processing real orders).

Now they say I have potential, and are asking me to come in for "training" for a full work day (9am-5pm), but I have not received a job offer, nor did they offer any payment. This feels weird - I don't want to work for free, but also don't want to lose the opportunity. What should I do?

Edit: It's at a small print shop. They are very informal, and haven't mentioned what the pay is for the position. I'm curious how to answer them professionally.

I'm in the USA, south Florida.

  • We can't tell you what to do. Basically, its a question of whether you're willing to work a day with no compensation in order to possibly receive a job offer at the end of it. Only you can answer that question. – Kevin May 30 '19 at 18:55
  • You don't say where you live. If you are in the United States, they will need you to fill out a W-4 form, so they can withhold income tax, before they can pay you as an employee. If you haven't filled out a W-4, they aren't planning on paying you for attending the "training", and that is a HUUUUUUGE Red Flag. – John R. Strohm May 30 '19 at 19:16

That really sounds like it could be a scam more than a job opportunity, since they already had you doing some real work for free, as part of the interview. Or perhaps, as a comment notes, the 'come in for training' is the job offer.

If they haven't mention what the pay rate is, then one way to approach this is to ask about pay:

I'm excited about this job but do have questions. How much are you paying, and is the training pay at the same level as the job pay? Does it just get wrapped up in the first paycheck?

In other words, act as if of course they are paying you, and you are just interested in the details. Because, if it is a real job, then of course, they are paying you for the training too. If it's a scam, they'll be evasive and not give clear answers. That is also an answer.

Since you also want to know if you've actually got the job, you can wrap that up in your questions about pay and training. Ask when your first day is after the training is done - the next day, the following Monday, something else?

In other words, sound like you assume they are offering the training as part of an offer, which of course would be paid. But, have your eyes open, and expect that it could be a scam, that they just want a free day of work from you and there will be no job offer. If you are in the US, do not do the training without filling out a W-4 form, which, of course, if they are legit, they will be planning on doing anyway.

When you suspect something is underhanded, but don't know for sure, asking questions in a manner that sounds like you are just confused but of course they would be doing the right thing -- that's not an attack if they are just a bit disorganized. And if they are trying a scam, you're asking questions instead of walking into it.

  • That makes sense. Would it be appropriate to ask whether I got the job, or just talk about payment? – Amelie May 30 '19 at 19:23

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