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The best interview I had was a few hours of friendly conversation about the details of my resume.

Then I was hired under probation, as everyone there was, and the understanding was that I could be easily dismissed if it was clear that I wasn't working out.

There is no way in hell I'd ever sign up for that. To be expected to quit your current job on the hope that the probationary period works out is insane.

Much of the States is at will employment, and probation is standard practice where I am.

It's rare that people fail probation; so long as you apply for work you are actually capable of doing...

Also the UK the first 2 years are effectively at will

Yes, I've learned that the hard way. Provided they give you payment in lieu of notice, they don't need much of a reason to let you go.

Myself and a co-worker were once let go for "performance reasons" at 10 months - just after project completion (successful). It was beyond my probationary period, and no issues where raised in the 2 performance reviews.

Their notice period was just 1 month. We were effectively cheap contractors.

My advice now is to treat offers with a low notice period (of them telling you) as a red flag. The norm is 3 months, after probation.

Rather than just make you redundant on statutory terms - doing you on performance risks an industrial tribunal.

The norm where I am, in BC, is two weeks for notice. It increases slightly the longer you're employed.

That's common in Switzerland. But it goes both ways, i.e. you can leave the company any time if you don't like it without breaking the contract.

This would make me damn uncomfortable and stressed out once I started the job, and I'd likely take any other offer over this.

You've had this condition at every job thus far. The real interview is always the work you do.

This is only true in the most extreme case. Many companies have formal procedures around firing people for performance issues. Short of hr violations or literally refusing to do anything, I can't imagine someone being fired before 6 months.

I am confused by the world you live in.

Yes, above a certain size, companies typically have some formal procedures. But typically those are a fig leaf.

In many labour markets, there's a legal 90-day probation or equivalent. You bet your boots some people get dismissed at 80 days. Or the job was contract-to-hire, and the contract doesn't "get renewed".

But on top of that, literally every company I've worked at or any of my friends have worked at (including lotsa startups, two of FAANG, and some in-betweens) will terminate when they want to terminate. In most non-European labour markets that I'm aware of, there's a penalty for doing so, and the company just pays that penalty and gets on with it.

Sometimes there's more security than that, I've heard (but not experienced). And sometimes the company puts in large effort to cultivate the underperforming employee first (had that happen to me once; they tried and I tried but it didn't work out). But the overwhelming majority of cases of my first-hand and second-hand experience, dleslie's summary is about the whole story:

> The real interview is always the work you do

Most places I've worked at in the US have a 90-day probationary period. There's still red tape, but not as much. More common now, however, is to hire people on as contractors for 3 to 6 months. If you work out well, they'll fast-track you to becoming full-time without a second thought. Otherwise, your contract is up and they choose not to renew it. Which makes things less dramatic if there are issues.

Probationary periods are industry standard here in British Columbia.

Fair enough. It's to some extent a cultural thing (there's no need for explicit probation in the US since most employment is at will), but I too wouldn't necessarily like a probationary period, even though I don't foresee it actually being an issue.

In the US there often is a formal probationary period at larger companies which mainly accomplishes one thing: reduce the HR red tape if a new hire isn't working out. During the probationary period it's generally easier to make a case (i.e. little or no documentation needed) that 'they're not working out' and HR will be OK with it vs. after the probationary period, you typically have to 'document' them out of the company.

I'm in the USA, and this (probationary period) has been the case with every job I've had in the past 30 years. I've never heard of a company not doing this in fact.

Same here. Though many mid-size / smaller companies might not advertise this fact (their HR policies are often a bit more ad hoc than larger companies if they haven't been involved in as many labor lawsuits)... but pretty much if there's an HR department, the probationary period exists.

When done well it's great for everyone. A healthy employer wants you to succeed, after all your success is their success.

Thus, probationary periods can be a time of training and growth for the new employee.

I'm not sure how much this is considered but in my state, which is an at-will employment state, being unable to preform job tasks due to lacking the knowledge or technical skill is explicitly defined as NOT a demonstration of cause for termination that would absolve the employer of their financial responsibility toward unemployment compensation.

This is how all hiring works by law where I'm from. It's fine.

Sounds like you may also be from a country with a decent social net along with it?

I guess you could say that.

I suppose you do sort of feel a little stressed during the trial period but I've never seen anyone fail it and it applies at every company, so there's no escaping it anyway. When it was introduced some people got quite upset but I can't really say I think it's had a bad effect.

I guess from the companies perspective if they realize they made a grave mistake they can back out of the hire, but they are still very careful and rigorous in the hiring process just like always. It also allows the candidate to bail if they realize the company wasn't what it said it was. It goes both ways. Again, in practice it seems mostly harmless.

Perhaps the US wouldn't do so well with a similar policy maybe even just due to the crazy healthcare situation going on over there. I couldnt say.

> I suppose you do sort of feel a little stressed during the trial period but I've never seen anyone fail it and it applies at every company, so there's no escaping it anyway.

I'm not sure what you mean by "it applies at every company". Getting hired and then fired a week later is virtually unheard of. This is not a fear I have, at all.

But if you told me it's probationary, that is totally a fear I'd have, I'd get paranoid, so I'd rather work somewhere else. You're basically telling me it's not a real offer in my eyes, and I should not expect stability.

> Again, in practice it seems mostly harmless.

It's extremely harmful in a place with poor labor protections that is the US, for reasons that I don't feel like expanding on and that you can educate yourself on if you wish.

By "it applies at every company" I mean it's part of the contract no matter where you work because by law the employer is allowed a 90 day trial period, so they all put it in the contract, so one offer is just as real as the next and it's just something you have to go through and yeah I guess it's probationary in nature.

Not everyone likes it or agrees with it, and I can only comment on the software industry here and not other industries but it's not the end of the world and the sky doesn't at all fall. When they introduced it a lot of people tried to make arguments like it would be abused etc and as far as I can tell there hasn't really been any drama. YMMV depending on country.

The best I had was a guy asked me to bring in my laptop and show him some code. We talked about it, he asked me to add a simple feature. I think it worked well for both side. Not much of my time wasted. No gotchas because of some configuration issue of setting up a project for the first time.

Yeah, I think 1-3 month probation is really the only way to do it.

I had perhaps the most amazing interview experience recently where it was an open discussion. It wasn't a technical drill down but more a Q&A where you discuss topics relevant to the area you claim to have knowledge of and how it relates to the job you're interviewing for. It was the complete opposite of code this technical problem and a missing semicolon will get you a flat out rejection.

What clicked was I was finishing their sentences and knew precisely what they were asking. It was an incredibly rewarding experience which led to a same day offer.

Sounds great for first job out of college not so great if you already have a good job.

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