A Firm wants me to attend an interview before starting an assignment. What should I do?

We normally advise you not to attend. Over the years we have been dealing with locum assignments we find that the vast majority of interviews like this are a complete waste of time, both for the client (the law firm) and the locum. Firstly the locum has to take time off work, which is a headache for most if they have to give up valuable hours to do this. Secondly, there is not really any reason for interviewing – the beauty of using locums is that the locum can be asked to leave at any time – you are self-employed – so if there is something wrong with your work the firm can get rid of you at any point. Thirdly we have had some really, really bad experiences of the following occurring:

  1. The firm tries to get the locum to agree to a discount on their hourly rate and spend the interview time haggling.
  2. The firm tries to get the locum to agree to a salary rather than an hourly rate in order to save money.
  3. The firm cancels the interview at very short notice after the locum has driven 100 miles to their offices – after all – it is only a locum role and nothing important (this was the reason given by the law firm in question).

Naturally, we are happy to arrange interviews if locums want to attend them, but we really think they are unnecessary and time-consuming… Telephone or Skype interviews can deal much more efficiently with any queries that need to be discussed and save everyone time and effort.

Think carefully before agreeing to travel for interview.