job offer with 1 week trial period?


I have 2 years of post-graduate experience and got a job offer at a 5 people office.

Principal, his partner, principal's wife, and 2 other people.

The interview was great but the offer came with 1 week trial period.  Is this normal at small


Apr 4, 14 12:30 am
90 days probation is standard in just about every company big or small. One week is odd.

Small offices have to make sure the group dynamic works...or maybe they want to see what/how much you can produce. Aka how you will effect the bottom line.
Apr 4, 14 12:53 am

One week does seem like an odd period. Are they asking for that first week to be unpaid?

Apr 4, 14 2:54 am

I think we're going to see a lot more of this kind of thing. "Audition" is a big new concept in hiring practices.

Apr 4, 14 12:49 pm

I recently was offer an unpaid internship (3 months) and the "we will see if we got potential projects for us to offer you a job once the internship is over". Maybe is the new tendency, who knows; I would love to accept the offer but I got to pay gas, food, rent, etc life of arch students after college.

Apr 4, 14 3:58 pm

It is very common - you should, however, be compensated for your time (either a lump sum or an hourly wage - don't expect much).

Apr 4, 14 4:07 pm

^ ^ Exactly. Sorry, my earlier post may be misread from what I meant. Are they asking you to work for "free" for the 1 week? That is NOT alright; they're probably trying to get some cheap drafting. Working for the 1 week at a reduced wage to see if you are a good fit, with the expectation that you will make a standard wage after if it turns out you are indeed a good fit? More common.

Apr 4, 14 4:14 pm

They should pay you at least the regular wage for this magical week, and really should be paying an above average wage b/c you are working that week for them and missing the opportunity to find a job somewhere that isn't so commitment-phobic.  You are being treated almost as a freelancer doing a one-week gig and you should arguably be compensated as such. 

Apr 4, 14 5:33 pm

Dude,  My advice is don't hit on the wife!

Apr 4, 14 6:49 pm

Dude,  On the other hand if  it looks like it is going down the Toilet....Hit on the Wife....after working for free what do you have to loose.

Apr 4, 14 6:50 pm
The OP never mentioned getting no pay or less pay during the trial week. I think if they are going to pay you and treat you like the rest
Apr 4, 14 8:06 pm

If they are going to treat you like the rest of their employees during the week long trial, I don't see any difference between this and a 90-day trial period.

I wouldn't expect an offer of employment to carry any kind of guarantee of continued employment. The week period or 90-day period is just an easy way for them to sit down and say you are either performing as expected, or you aren't.
Apr 4, 14 8:10 pm
Brian Henry is right. Any job comes with a probationary period, usually 90 days, so from that point of view this is very advantageous. Of course, if on the other hand the trial period is unpaid even if only for one week, it is no more than the same old bs of unpaid work plaguing the field. If that's the case (not clear from OP) then I would ask that in the event things pan out I get paid retroactively for the initial week too. Don't work for free. Ever.
Apr 4, 14 8:42 pm

honestly, 90 days is way too long for a trail period.  Imagine hiring an unskilled worker who turned out anything but what his resume said and having to keep him around for 90 days.  One week trial is a little too short but perhaps their plan is to give you work to test your real abilities right away. :)

Apr 5, 14 5:28 pm
You don't have to keep them for 90 days. Probationary or trial period means you're being evaluated as a worker during that time. In Europe, where labor laws are stronger, this means you can get laid off without notice period due to poor performance during this time, something that after the 90 days becomes much harder for the employer. In the US since "at will employment" is the prevailing form, it basically means you can always get laid off pretty easily but after the 90 days it gets morally harder to do so for the employer and also this is when your benefits kick in, if there are any. At no point does the trial term oblige the employer to keep the employee for at least the full duration of it.
Apr 5, 14 5:45 pm

I think its normal. I was offered a job in which for starting 3 months they will hire me as a trainee(without salary) and after three months i will be paid and i have joined that job one month ago and have learnt many techniques. I think you should go for it as getting job now a days is really difficult.

Apr 7, 14 1:26 am

^ ^ You're working for free at an office for three months just to have the chance of getting a job offer?

Apr 7, 14 2:08 am
Again, in a serious company the "trial" or "probation" period is standard and usually 90 days, but has nothing to do with unpaid work. Regardless whether you're being evaluated as a new employee or whatever, your work is unlikely to be so basic that it's not worth anything even if you just started.
Apr 7, 14 7:48 am
3 months unpaid with no guarantee of a job...and if you get the job and get bumped "up" to minimum wage what happens then?

I would love to meet the owners who think this practice is acceptable.
Apr 7, 14 8:50 am
Non Sequitur

3 months unpaid trial? And here I am starting my week thinking slavery in the developed world was pretty-much abolished centuries ago. oh well.

You're a fool to take anything unpaid. I second lits4formZ (damn... it's been over ten years since I've seen a mention of Form-Z... I just noticed it in the handle)'s second comment.

Apr 7, 14 9:18 am

Standard is a probationary period.  It's just a nice way to set reasonable expectations by basically stating that just because you got through the interview, doesn't really mean the job is yours.  Think of it as an extended interview or test drive.  You should be paid.

Often there are other factors to new employees.  Such as how well they fit in with the office culture, take direction, and their real level of experience (since so many 'embellish' resumes).  One week is harsh... that barely gives you enough time to adapt to office policy and standards.  I usually know though if you are a keeper after a couple weeks.  You simply can't get this out of an interview.

Apr 7, 14 11:13 am

elizabethnew:  yikes! which company put you on 3 month probation without pay?  I want to make sure I don't ever work for that company.  I'm guessing they expect you to starve in that time.  If you make it, you're hired?

Apr 7, 14 8:38 pm

Life is too short 4 FormZ

That was saying back in the day when we were being force-fed that awful program. 

Apr 7, 14 8:55 pm

How much should one get paid during a trail period for an architecture job?  I am getting paid $15/hour. Is that right?  I never had an interview with them. On my first day, I jumped into a project with them. Feel like they might be taking advantage of this trail period because they have a lot of work.  

Apr 11, 14 12:09 am
Non Sequitur

rajeshkjose1, $/hour vary on a few things but mostly on the market/client base, your skill/output level and billable hours. I was offered a 15$ an hour job at a prominent firm when I left graduate school and turned it down immediately. My time is worth far more than that and it only took me a few days to find an office willing to give me the right salary.

Apr 11, 14 7:59 am

The range I was offered was $15~$35/hr (low end was with firms with design time but relatively low 'billable' time -read anyone out of school w/o experience could do it-, to upper end getting CD sets done and out -needed 3~5 yrs exp-); lower end in pay scale did allow me to work 60+ hrs a wk and it was more 'fun' work.

Apr 11, 14 11:04 am

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