HR_working interviewIn my last article, I went over the best ways to combat the halo/horn effect when hiring new staff members. Within that article, I briefly touched on the concept and benefits of a working interview.

A working interview can be extremely helpful when hiring for technical positions to assess how a candidate interacts with you, the rest of the team and the patients in your practice.

When it comes to a working interview, I always recommend paying the person for their time.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. In my opinion, the most important reason to pay someone for their time is to show a gesture of good faith towards the future employee. If you set a precedent that you are willing to nickel and dime them from the get-go, you cannot expect to attract and retain the best quality talent.

  2. The Department of Labor (DOL) is starting to take a closer look at any unpaid work due to the abuse of unpaid interns. While working interviews live in a gray area and have not been included in these recommendations, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

  3. This is a small investment to make compared to the cost of a bad hire. If you bring two candidates in for four hours each and pay them $20 per hour, your total cost is $160. The average cost of replacing a bad hire is 150 to 200 percent of the employee's total compensation. For assistants this cost can inflate, since they are crucial in improving case acceptance when they ask the right questions during the initial exam. You can view more on this in the Staff Training section of Digital Suite. Watch Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 on the New Patient Exam to see how to incorporate the assistant specifically.

In future articles, we will dive deeper into specific interview techniques that will further improve your ability to assess talent.

Adam McWethy, MA-HRIR, SPHR, is the Human Resources Manager for Spear Education.


Commenter's Profile Image Mihaela D.
September 23rd, 2015
This is contrary to a Dental Economics article that states you should NOT pay for the working interview, although a gift card may be a better choice.