Clarifications from dental hygienists about unpaid working interviews

July 9, 2012
Clarifications from dental hygienists about unpaid working interviews (sidebar to analysis of RDH eVillage survey)  
  • I spoke with employer and asked to be paid. The state board certified me to be a competent dental hygienist; therefore I am capable of completing the job for payment. I have provided a service that produced revenue for the office and therefore, I should be compensated as well. I also informed them that I would be reporting them to the Texas Employment Commission for holding/stealing wages (wage/theft). No problems after that.
  • This was several years ago, i called the wage and labor board. They told me that the office I worked at was only required to pay me minimum wage for the hour I worked. I was very upset and felt used.
  • There are many employers who use this as cheap labor to avoid paying the temp agency fee.
  • He offered me the position but I felt it wasn't the right fit for me; therefore, I never mentioned that I did not get paid.
  • I usually ask when setting up an interview how much I will be paid for the day. However, I was only seeing two patients. Since the day was split between multiple candidates I felt no need to ask.
  • I ended up getting hired and then I forgot all about not getting paid for my time during the working interview. I still work for this employer. At another office that I interviewed at several years ago, I received two paychecks for my two-day working interview, but one of them bounced and they never responded to my phone calls.
  • If I hadn't have asked to be paid, I know they wouldn't have volunteered, which to me is very telling of their ethics because that is not only tacky, but extremely rude. They said well, they are still in the "decision process," and if they decide to hire me, they will include that day on my first paycheck. First of all, we all know your first check doesn't come for several weeks on any job. Secondly, how long will the decision process take? That's pretty vague. Thirdly, they prominently displayed a sign for the patients to pay at the time of service. Well, I feel the same way! It's a two-way interview, and I am observing them just as much as they are observing me! I finally said, “Look, I have made a decision to continue my job search.” I just didn't feel it was a good fit for me. I said I'd come by later in the day or the next day for my check. “When would be a good time for you guys?" I finally got paid It wasn't what it should have been. You shouldn't be made to feel humiliated for money you have rightfully earned! Good grief!
  • It was a pedo practice; I shadowed on the interview and did prophies on two children. If it had been the whole day, I would have required compensation.
  • I knew ahead of time that the working interview would be unpaid. I felt comfortable with that.
  • I have worked in dental practice management for a corporation and how they got around not paying dental assistants, receptionists and hygienists was: "If they don't asked to be paid for the working interview, we don't pay." Also, they wouldn't have you work more than 4 hours. In some states, anything over 4 hours they must pay whether you are asking to be paid or not.
  • I spoke with the interviewer and mentioned that if I was producing income for the dentist I should be paid for my time. I was asked to see patients for five hours. Her response was, "Is it really fair to have the doctor pay when he doesn't know what he is getting?" I have 23 years of hygiene under my belt; that is why they called me.
  • I was told I would not be paid if I was not hired, but would be paid if I was. I was ultimately hired and got paid. As with many others during this difficult time to get a job, I was willing to do it just to get my foot in the door.
  • It was my first interview right out of hygiene school 12 years ago. I just assumed it was the norm.

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