The End of the Job Interview?

Here's a new trend that could change how we get hired -- the "try before you buy" arrangement. LinkedIn blogger Hunter Walk says that he's seen trial periods replace the interview process at several startups in recent months, with everyone from executives to product managers opting to work in advisory or temporary basis before taking the plunge.

"Increasingly, I'm hearing about talented folks and sought after startups ditching the interview process as final arbiter of employment and instead opting for some sort of 'try before you buy' arrangement," he writes. "If structured in a clear and respectful way, it makes perfect sense and can also serve to activate more passive candidates."

The pros of this are pretty clear: It enables both employers and employees to figure out if they can work together before committing. It's also much closer to a real-world scenario than job interviews, which can feel notoriously artificial and give a poor understanding of what both parties are getting themselves into.

On the con side, Walk points out, it can feel like being "half-pregnant." "No one is really committed but they're trying to make themselves fall in love," he writes. And the arrangement provides little security for employers, who could still see their prospective employee get poached, or for employees, who will have to fish or cut bait eventually before having anything approaching job security.

What do you think? Would you ever work for a company on a trial basis?

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