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(BBC-US)   Why bother hiring anyone when job interviewees will do it for free?   (bbc.com) divider line
    More: Asinine, Employment, Candidate, Interview, major trend-forecasting company, The Work, candidate's suitability, senior role, take-home assignment  
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2440 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 May 2022 at 8:53 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-21 4:49:28 PM  
This is why you don't ever take a cooking position that asks you to do a stage or commis.

Either hire someone, or don't, but don't expect someone to do work for you and NOT get paid. It's a sign of disrespect for your skills and your word. In other professions, the idea of an unpaid internship is equally f*cked up. And again, it shows you the value that they put on your work. And that they put on you.
 
2022-05-21 4:54:47 PM  

hubiestubert: In other professions, the idea of an unpaid internship is equally f*cked up. And again, it shows you the value that they put on your work. And that they put on you.


That's actually the other way around.  The reason internships are unpaid is to insure only the Right People can take them.  The kids who can afford to work for free in those situations are the same ones that went too the right prep schools and were in the right frats/sororities.  And so they are the ones that get the connections and get remembered by the guy hiring for the upper management sinecures.  Unpaid internships are the way you strain out the proles who manage to get into universities above their station.
 
2022-05-21 5:20:28 PM  

phalamir: hubiestubert: In other professions, the idea of an unpaid internship is equally f*cked up. And again, it shows you the value that they put on your work. And that they put on you.

That's actually the other way around.  The reason internships are unpaid is to insure only the Right People can take them.  The kids who can afford to work for free in those situations are the same ones that went too the right prep schools and were in the right frats/sororities.  And so they are the ones that get the connections and get remembered by the guy hiring for the upper management sinecures.  Unpaid internships are the way you strain out the proles who manage to get into universities above their station.


True enough.

I still don't do a commis though. F*ck that sh*t.
 
2022-05-21 9:10:41 PM  
how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.
 
2022-05-21 9:11:44 PM  
Suckers. Your time and effort isn't worth shiat and never will be. Work for free. The fark is wrong with people. Unpaid internships are BS. They want to make sure you're a good fit. No one is going to be a good fit so long as they have interns lined up to work for free. They hire one maybe two to keep up appearances. Suckers.
 
2022-05-21 9:13:44 PM  
It's at the point where companies should have you pay you for your time to do an interview, especially if they expect you to do multiple rounds.
 
2022-05-21 9:24:32 PM  

OhioUGrad: It's at the point where companies should have you pay you for your time to do an interview, especially if they expect you to do multiple rounds.


I agree. Colleague recently took a new job as an office manager. She was up to 5 interviews and they wanted to do one more. She said no, couldn't take off yet more work.

they did offer her the job at double what she was making at current gig.

/still trying to hire her replacement
//its been six months since she left
 
2022-05-21 9:25:26 PM  

Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.


Could be that the managers really have no idea of what it takes to do the job.  Not out of the range of possibilities.  At an old job, our new team was feeling far more out of our depth than we really should have.  We were maybe 3 or 4 months into it, and we asked "Well, how many accounts should we be able to handle?"  "Oh a seasoned employee in your position should be working with anywhere from 750 to 800 or so after about 18 months or two years."  "Okay, how many does it show me as having, so I can gauge things?"  "Let's see.....you've currently got......twelve hundred and forty."
 
2022-05-21 9:39:06 PM  

Hyjamon: OhioUGrad: It's at the point where companies should have you pay you for your time to do an interview, especially if they expect you to do multiple rounds.

I agree. Colleague recently took a new job as an office manager. She was up to 5 interviews and they wanted to do one more. She said no, couldn't take off yet more work.

they did offer her the job at double what she was making at current gig.

/still trying to hire her replacement
//its been six months since she left


Especially after what we saw with the fake diversity interviews at Wells Fargo. They'll stop farking around if they are paying to interview people, they won't post bullshiat copy/paste job descriptions and all that either. It'll crackdown on a corrupt outdated practice.
 
2022-05-21 10:02:18 PM  
FTA: "After several more interviews and months of back and forth, she was offered the job."

Months? It took months for the interview process? Hard pass.
 
2022-05-21 10:10:00 PM  
In the world of software, I tell people not to play the technical interview game.  99% of the time, the interviewer is going to be some self-proclaimed genius who merely wants to play "Stump the Chump" / Buzzword Bingo.  I worked with a guy who would interview for practice (plus he was fed up at the place where we worked) and he once returned from an interview with a puzzled look.  He detailed how he spent the better part of a couple of hours on a coding challenge that he said was "really weird".  As he described it, along with the reaction of the interviewers when he submitted his code, we realized they were using him to solve a problem that was probably kicking their asses.  He didn't get the job and was understandably fuming for days afterward that they got free work out of him.

I had an interview with a CTO where he played Buzzword Bingo with me and he capped my answers with his words since it was apparent he's the smartest person he knows.  I flipped the script on him by asking about his team's workflow which turned out to be an Agile/Scrum organization where "the users do not attend the traditional scrum meetings."  Uh huh.  His team had recently spent a lot of time learning a new flavor of JS and he couldn't give me a decent answer why they didn't go with Blazor (translation: he opted the shop [all five people] will use what he learned is the most popular flavor this week).  His org's workflow sounded like a disjoined trainwreck as they were "hoping" to be hiring a project manager in the near future.

Bottom line: I started telling recruiters I would not be participating in any technical exercises.  I've been at this for a long time and have a resume and references to back it up.  Ended up interviewing with two competent organizations where I had to agonize who would be the best to work for.  Am very happy with the result.
 
2022-05-21 10:14:06 PM  

MSkow: FTA: "After several more interviews and months of back and forth, she was offered the job."

Months? It took months for the interview process? Hard pass.


you should look into academia. takes about a year to initiate the hire process to having a candidate accept a hard offer.
 
2022-05-21 10:36:24 PM  

Hyjamon: MSkow: FTA: "After several more interviews and months of back and forth, she was offered the job."

Months? It took months for the interview process? Hard pass.

you should look into academia. takes about a year to initiate the hire process to having a candidate accept a hard offer.


10 years ago, I once had 4 rounds of interviews over 3 months ( and they even flew me to New York to interview with corporate).  Still waiting to hear back from HR.
 
2022-05-21 11:24:09 PM  
You want me to do work for you? Sounds ok. You want me to do it for free?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-22 12:14:43 AM  

Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.


I did technical interviews for a consulting firm I worked at a while back.  My interviews usually lasted 30 minutes, sometimes longer if we had good conversations.  My area is networking, and that's what the tech interviews focused on, so as such I gave everyone the same hypothetical (but real-life) troubleshooting situation and see how they responded to it.  Ideally, this should be solved within 5-10 minutes of back and forth, no more.  I had anywhere between 45 seconds and 30+ minutes before I pulled the plug.
 
2022-05-22 12:40:24 AM  
I've heard that's terrible in the arts. Submit a demo drawing of a character based on a description? Wow. New character, royalty free.

I'm an accountant. I would LOVE for people to ask me to do their taxes for free.

"Hell yes I can make legally binding statements on your behalf to the government. Let me do it for free."
 
2022-05-22 1:50:42 AM  
We've had project-based interview segments for roles where they make sense since we started almost 15 years ago. But the idea of having candidates do work for free absolutely appalls me, so we have always compensated candidates at fair market rates for a freelance project. And none of this token "$25/hour" bullshiat. There's not a freelancer worth hiring who works for $25/hour. If the going rate is $50, we pay $50. If it's $150, we pay $150. And anything less than that just offends every single part of me as an absolutely barbaric piece of exploitative bullshiat.
 
2022-05-22 2:03:28 AM  

MSkow: Months? It took months for the interview process? Hard pass.


My last tech interview with a big firm was months between interviews, including a second round where I was ghosted by the interviewer and had to be rescheduled to another couple weeks out. At the last one they told me I got great feedback and it would be a couple months to set up the next round of interviews. I took another position.
 
2022-05-22 3:06:49 AM  
"They told me I would have five interviews, and if I made it through the first three, I would be required to do a lengthy research project." Tahlia reached the task stage, and took a week off work to focus on it wholeheartedly.

media.makeameme.orgView Full Size
 
2022-05-22 3:07:28 AM  
img1.od-cdn.comView Full Size
 
2022-05-22 3:39:41 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: In the world of software, I tell people not to play the technical interview game.


I've had a mixed bag when it comes to the technical interview game. Granted I learned how to play it pretty well, but one led to a very pleasant conversation that turned into about two years of work until my (now former) boss deep sixed that relationship. But most do tend to go how you mentioned.

If there's some sort of test or work involved, I ask for the scope of the work involved. If it crosses a certain threshold (namely if I get the feeling you're asking for free work or this is something about a week's worth of time), I will tell you to rot faster than if you happened to pull out a whiteboard and started asking me about bloody linked lists. People need to stop doing this at the interview and realize this is why new-hire probationary periods exists.
 
2022-05-22 3:40:37 AM  

blackminded: MSkow: Months? It took months for the interview process? Hard pass.

My last tech interview with a big firm was months between interviews, including a second round where I was ghosted by the interviewer and had to be rescheduled to another couple weeks out. At the last one they told me I got great feedback and it would be a couple months to set up the next round of interviews. I took another position.


Had a similar situation, but then out of the blue called me up and got upset that I wasn't interested
 
2022-05-22 3:48:11 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: As he described it, along with the reaction of the interviewers when he submitted his code, we realized they were using him to solve a problem that was probably kicking their asses.  He didn't get the job and was understandably fuming for days afterward that they got free work out of him.


I've heard of this happening to other people as well.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-22 4:15:42 AM  
So im guessing that the brits dont have laws against working for free?
 
2022-05-22 4:26:01 AM  
Every time I hear interview horror stories I am increasingly glad that I work for myself.  I think the earliest I had heard of ridiculous interviews was Google.  Google was notorious for this throughout the 2000s.  Trick questions, puzzles, a zillion interviews, a lot of garbage that essentially guaranteed you were only going to get one particular type of person.   A number of early (and very good) google employees admitted they would not have been hired had that been in place at the time.  I've heard they have dialed back on it a bit.

Combine that with AI resume analysis, AI interviewers, video interviews where they try to assign a score to your reactions, facial and voice characteristics and other such BS and you'll end up with a whole sub-class of people who are unemployable despite being perfectly suited for the job because their eyebrows tripped up the AI or they put the wrong keyword in their resume.

If a company won't take the time or have the decency to interview me with a live human being and do so in a reasonably prompt fashion, what does that say about how they value their employees?  What else are they doing once you've gotten that job to dehumanize your workplace experience?

The best jobs I have ever had were through networking and never formally interviewing.  "Oh hey, we're doing this cool thing, you have a thing you do that you're good at and we could really use your help."  It's like accidentally falling in love when you're not looking for it. In just about any vocation, networking is key.   And not in a douchey "Here's my rounded corner semi-transparent business card" sort of way, but forging genuine friendships based on a common interest of profession.
Also, as a general rule, the larger the company, the more it sucks.  20 people or less have been the most enjoyable for me.   Once a company gets large enough to hire an HR department, it starts to suck.
 
2022-05-22 7:43:39 AM  
Brewdog is infamous for this. They've stolen a tremendous amount of IP from interviewees and then didn't even hire them. In fact, they stole the "Punk af" marketing campaign from a firm being interviewed. Really "punk" of them.
 
2022-05-22 7:46:04 AM  

harlock: The best jobs I have ever had were through networking and never formally interviewing.


Same here.  I've been in my line of work for more than 20 years, and from time to time I'll get a random call asking if I'd like to come work for them.  It's mostly freelance gig work, so they know my reputation and just call when they need me.

Just last week that one day of work included lunch at one of the best restaurants in town...
 
2022-05-22 7:54:06 AM  

lifeslammer: So im guessing that the brits dont have laws against working for free?


The US has this law? And there's not a simple workaround to screw someone. Thwt doesn't sound very American
 
2022-05-22 8:26:42 AM  
I did that once for an unpaid internship position in college (I ultimately declined the offer).

This was for a one-man shop who forecasted crop yields. He gave me some data and asked me to provide my own forecasts. It was obvious that he wasn't expecting my forecasts to come anywhere close to his, because if I beat him I could have literally put him out of business.

I came close to beating him, though, when I used Weka (which I had just learned, and have not used since). He was nice enough to tell me I almost beat his forecasts. I was smart enough to tell him I used "data mining" with no context.
 
2022-05-22 8:33:36 AM  
Also, this whole "work during the interview" is prevalent in parts of academia, but it's not a perfect parallel. A lot of research grants will want to see results upfront. So you do >50% of your "new work" using old grant money, then use the new grant to get started on something else. It's fine once you actually get started, but totally screws over the early career scientists who didn't essentially hide some of their PhD research only to be "found" at proposal time.
 
2022-05-22 9:41:17 AM  

Cajnik: lifeslammer: So im guessing that the brits dont have laws against working for free?

The US has this law? And there's not a simple workaround to screw someone. Thwt doesn't sound very American


If you do anything that would be paid work by the company, its illegal to get it done without paying the person doing the work. Which happens to cover 95% of internships in the country

People who have enough of a spine in them to actually do something about this however, is almost 0, because they value the "exposure and connections" more than they value themselves
 
2022-05-22 10:04:05 AM  

TheBlackrose: Chief Superintendent Lookout: In the world of software, I tell people not to play the technical interview game.

I've had a mixed bag when it comes to the technical interview game. Granted I learned how to play it pretty well, but one led to a very pleasant conversation that turned into about two years of work until my (now former) boss deep sixed that relationship. But most do tend to go how you mentioned.

If there's some sort of test or work involved, I ask for the scope of the work involved. If it crosses a certain threshold (namely if I get the feeling you're asking for free work or this is something about a week's worth of time), I will tell you to rot faster than if you happened to pull out a whiteboard and started asking me about bloody linked lists. People need to stop doing this at the interview and realize this is why new-hire probationary periods exists.


I should correct my statement about technical interviews.  I don't have a problem with a technical interview so long as it's a discussion.  The part I refuse to play are coding exercises, take home assessments, etc.  The excuse is always, "We went to see how the applicant thinks."  What the hell does that mean, and what does it matter?  There's a company in my area where they play this game under the guise of "giving us insight".  Again, it's the narcissists and the people full of themselves who defend this practice.  I know a guy who straight up stated he would discuss the assignment in abstract terms but absolutely would not code a solution.  The interviewers took umbrage with his response, but he's 100% in the right.
 
2022-05-22 10:43:22 AM  

Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.


They gave you a ridic turnaround to light a fire under your ass, so you put in a part-time week proving to them how gullible and desperate you are. For this you go to college?
/no wonder you people think tradesmen should work for free, too.
 
2022-05-22 10:56:38 AM  

Cajnik: lifeslammer: So im guessing that the brits dont have laws against working for free?

The US has this law? And there's not a simple workaround to screw someone. Thwt doesn't sound very American


It's complicated:https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/71-flsa-internships
 
2022-05-22 10:57:24 AM  

ThighsofGlory: Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.

They gave you a ridic turnaround to light a fire under your ass, so you put in a part-time week proving to them how gullible and desperate you are. For this you go to college?
/no wonder you people think tradesmen should work for free, too.


yea, I am trying to switch fields, so I am learning some lessons in lumps.

my favs so far was being asked to code a solution to a Multiple Restraint Optimization problem that "normally" takes people 20 mins. That one felt like the interviewer being a bully.

next one was being asked to code something in sql and getting interrupted or errant suggestions throughout the whole thing. Never really had a minute to think about the algo before I needed to start typing. That was after the middle part of the interview where one panelist said I could easily do this job, which seemed to challenge the other guys on the panel prove her wrong.

tech interveiws seem to be all over the place.  Some want you to research things you don't know, others state that you should receive no outside help. Yet those instructions are never given.

"How you think" is what I hear people say in podcasts when hiring, I wonder if they know how to measure such things. They are all cognitive psychologist coders right?
 
2022-05-22 11:02:26 AM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: TheBlackrose: Chief Superintendent Lookout: In the world of software, I tell people not to play the technical interview game.

I've had a mixed bag when it comes to the technical interview game. Granted I learned how to play it pretty well, but one led to a very pleasant conversation that turned into about two years of work until my (now former) boss deep sixed that relationship. But most do tend to go how you mentioned.

If there's some sort of test or work involved, I ask for the scope of the work involved. If it crosses a certain threshold (namely if I get the feeling you're asking for free work or this is something about a week's worth of time), I will tell you to rot faster than if you happened to pull out a whiteboard and started asking me about bloody linked lists. People need to stop doing this at the interview and realize this is why new-hire probationary periods exists.

I should correct my statement about technical interviews.  I don't have a problem with a technical interview so long as it's a discussion.  The part I refuse to play are coding exercises, take home assessments, etc.  The excuse is always, "We went to see how the applicant thinks."  What the hell does that mean, and what does it matter?  There's a company in my area where they play this game under the guise of "giving us insight".  Again, it's the narcissists and the people full of themselves who defend this practice.  I know a guy who straight up stated he would discuss the assignment in abstract terms but absolutely would not code a solution.  The interviewers took umbrage with his response, but he's 100% in the right.


I really like the last interview I had. They showed me an ad for one of their products and then asked me to do the system design for it. They limited me to 30 minutes to do the whole design and then we spent 30 minutes going over it and looking for flaws. It felt like a real design meeting and their product already worked, so it wouldn't make sense to steal what I came up with.
 
2022-05-22 11:22:07 AM  
I have a family member who does this, but with jobs around the house.

Instead of hiring an interior designer, they find a window covering place that does in-home shopping. Then they go through samples and get the salesman to design it all. Then they don't order anything... They just find something near it online.
 
2022-05-22 4:11:52 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: TheBlackrose: Chief Superintendent Lookout: In the world of software, I tell people not to play the technical interview game.

I've had a mixed bag when it comes to the technical interview game. Granted I learned how to play it pretty well, but one led to a very pleasant conversation that turned into about two years of work until my (now former) boss deep sixed that relationship. But most do tend to go how you mentioned.

If there's some sort of test or work involved, I ask for the scope of the work involved. If it crosses a certain threshold (namely if I get the feeling you're asking for free work or this is something about a week's worth of time), I will tell you to rot faster than if you happened to pull out a whiteboard and started asking me about bloody linked lists. People need to stop doing this at the interview and realize this is why new-hire probationary periods exists.

I should correct my statement about technical interviews.  I don't have a problem with a technical interview so long as it's a discussion.  The part I refuse to play are coding exercises, take home assessments, etc.  The excuse is always, "We went to see how the applicant thinks."  What the hell does that mean, and what does it matter?  There's a company in my area where they play this game under the guise of "giving us insight".  Again, it's the narcissists and the people full of themselves who defend this practice.  I know a guy who straight up stated he would discuss the assignment in abstract terms but absolutely would not code a solution.  The interviewers took umbrage with his response, but he's 100% in the right.


Yeah. I find the open discussions on a subject to be the most interesting. Interviews are very much a two way street, so both sides being able to get the feel for something without going to a whiteboard or an IDE can be rather pleasant. I don't mind tests either as long as they don't tick my previously mentioned issues. But once the whiteboard starts coming out asking about things I have not used since college, or someone talks about a take home project with data that looks fishy, it's an immediate red flag.

I'm glad that it's starting to get pushback in a number of public places. The current state of the technical interview is crap.
 
2022-05-22 7:26:45 PM  

Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.


It was a tech Interview?
"A good powerpoint takes an hour to craft"

Tech Interview failed.
 
2022-05-22 9:05:24 PM  

squegeebooo: Hyjamon: how long should a technical interview take then?

Recently had one technical take home test with a week turnaround. They said the average candidate took four hours. It took me over 20. Analyze sales data and present your findings. Now a good powerpoint takes an hour to craft, let alone orienting oneself with a data set you have never seen before. I cannot see how anyone could say it should only take four hours to do all of that.

Apparently I did a good job, they just couldn't offer enough to beat my current gig.

My opinion, tech screens should take about an hour.

It was a tech Interview?
"A good powerpoint takes an hour to craft"

Tech Interview failed.


care to share why you have that opinion? 30 min powerpoint was the target. genuinely curious.
 
2022-05-22 10:22:08 PM  

hubiestubert: This is why you don't ever take a cooking position that asks you to do a stage or commis.

Either hire someone, or don't, but don't expect someone to do work for you and NOT get paid. It's a sign of disrespect for your skills and your word. In other professions, the idea of an unpaid internship is equally f*cked up. And again, it shows you the value that they put on your work. And that they put on you.


French Laundry is notorious for this.  Plus they would seek out illegals who wouldn't speak up or out.  Kitchens who use illegals can rot in hell.
 
2022-05-22 11:06:01 PM  
When you are asked to provide a legal analysis of the impact of developing international law and trade agreements on state A and state B and company C, when it's clear that it's China, Mexico, and Exxon, and the company you're interviewing for is an Exxon law firm, it's pretty damn clear what's going on.
 
2022-05-22 11:11:53 PM  
Rule #1 of Employment:

If you do something well, never do it for free.
 
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