I applied to a job but my interviewer hesitated to hire me. He told me that I should work one month without salary and then he decides how to continue. What should one think about this?

  • 23
    Please add the country.
    – Pete B.
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:16
  • 4
    One of the answers mentioned this was normal in his country, you may want to add a country tag.
    – Thalantas
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:27
  • 4
    In my country this is both pretty common (enough to expect that most of us have a friend or a friend of a friend that got such offer), and theoretically illegal :( Oh, and of course most of the time there is no actual employment later. I wanted to second what others say - while universally bad, this is country dependent. Oh, and it is dependent on OP's age and experience. If he is 16 with no previous employment history it's a whole lot different than if he is 32 with few years of experience.
    – Mołot
    Jan 18, 2017 at 16:13
  • 4
    You hear about this sort of thing happening in Eastern Europe. Typically it's a way for an unscrupulous employer to get a free month of hard work out of a desperate person looking to prove themselves.
    – AndreiROM
    Jan 18, 2017 at 16:24
  • 16
    Tell your interviewer that you are concerned about his ability to pay on time and if he pays your salary for a month before you do any work, you will consider possibly working for him. Jan 18, 2017 at 16:44

4 Answers 4


Refuse. If he is not willing to pay you, you should not be willing to work. You would lose valuable time in your job research. Moreover, that's quite a shady behaviour. Do you actually want to work for that person ?

You could offer him to go through a probation period, where both parties can unilateraly terminate the contract.

  • 6
    This is a great answer. If they really need your services, they your services are worth getting paid for. Don't under value yourself.
    – Neo
    Jan 18, 2017 at 17:03
  • This is so bad. You should really make a counter offer. The company pays you from the start, and for the first month you will just sit in a nice office chair and listen to some good music or read some books.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:29

Actually this is a really common situation (where I live in Italy at least) to work free for a certain period, I say that however I would never accept this kind of condition.

For me it is only a method to not pay someone for work, I am pretty sure that this will not transform into an actual working relationship (working contract).

Apart personal experience, free working is not professional unless you are in high school and you are doing a stage/internship or trainee program.

  • 1
    This is why, here in Italy, job market kinda sucks. Jan 18, 2017 at 19:32

What should one think about this?

It depends on how badly you want/need this particular job, how much you trust this employer and what are the norms in your locale and domain. Consider your alternatives before making this decision.

I can't imagine doing this in my part of the world and my domain (US, software). If someone wants to hire me, they would need to pay for all of my work.

But working a free month is not typical in my space, and I'm not desperate for a job. Your mileage may vary.


Working for free is not professional. Go look for a job, this is either a scam or a company that's highly unprofessional.

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