Why you should not offer free services as a job bait

The interview went well. Your experience and qualifications are a perfect fit for the position and you definitely established a good rapport. There exists a healthy professional chemistry between you and your interviewers who would be your direct supervisors. There’s just one challenge; they want you to serve an unpaid two-week trial interview.

This may just be something you’re up to if you are not currently employed. If, however, you are in meaningful employment, I do hope that you would think of your relationship with your current employer, how it would augur for you to take time off to work elsewhere for two weeks, whether or not you would be open about why you need the two weeks and if you would keep it a secret then hope to hibernate within the trial interview office so no one you know sees you for two whole weeks.

You may also want to consider praying and fasting that no one you know in your current capacity works there or has relatives and friends who are known to you that work there. Sigh with me at this point if you haven’t already done so.


I don’t know about you but every time I come across those buy-one-get-one-free sales gimmicks, my radar goes right up. Maybe I am just a mistrusting person but I immediately wonder what the catch is. If I am offered one free for buying one, I have to wonder about the quality of the product and whether it really is worth the price-tag in the first place.

It probably is bordering expiry which means it really is not a deal — a seller is simply offloading on me. That’s not a compliment to any buyer.

This is also the reason I do not offer those popular “free consultation” with every enrolment as a coach. Any potential client with half a brain can tell what’s going on there. The price or fee for a product or service is what it is. Unless I am addressing a charity case, anyone looking to buy has the money to do so and if they are looking for freebies, they are not serious about buying in which case they are not my target client.

I work on the premise that if I have to coax someone to work with me, I am not gaining a client with whom I can enjoy a mutually beneficial business relationship with for the long haul. I am taking on a responsibility— to keep that client constantly feeling that they are getting something for free to keep them with me. Business means profit. Freebies are an unsustainable way of running a profit-making concern.

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Look, our minds act like sieves. There is always a lot going on around us so our minds take in more than can be processed at any one time.

They have mechanisms to sort and process new information.

To process new information efficiently, our minds want to disregard or file away as much as they can as quickly as they can.

Our minds recognise something as a version of another that they already know and quickly stores it away in the known category, that is, the junk category.

You quickly get stored as junk in people’s minds. To prevent your interviewers’ brains from doing that, you want to be confident in your credentials, experience and work ethic.

Reject such an arrangement. It prevents your interviewers from identifying you as a buy-one-get-one-free-type professional. They know these types of sellers and they quickly place you in their “junk” folders. That’s not where you want to be.


Look, if a prospective employer finds you a good fit, they will hire you. That is it. No ifs, no buts, no trial interviews, no stalling of any kind. If they are not sure, they must not require you to risk your current employment relationship by engaging in a so-called “trial interview”.

Either they can gauge your person, qualifications and experience at the interview or not… and if they cannot, you really must do yourself a favour and ask yourself how many other trial relationships they are currently engaged in in the various aspects of their business. Is that an organisation that you would like to join?

Whether you are employed or not is immaterial because signing up for a “trial interview” is worse than the buy-one-get-one-free.

You’re saying free worker for hire. All right, I just made this up but think about it, why would anyone hire a decent, qualified, experienced professional who is able, ready and willing to work for free for a whole two whole weeks?

TheFounder Magazine

Made Of Founders

TheFounder Magazine is an online business magazine that focuses on starting, running and growing a business in Kenya today

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