3 Questions to Ask After a Recruit’s Trial Period Ends

3 Questions to Ask After a Recruit’s Trial Period Ends

In a recent episode of the Matticast, one of the topics we discussed was what guilds look for in applications. Once a player gets accepted, they typically undergo a trial process. The period could range anywhere from days to weeks. An application is a start, but it’s during this evaluation period where the recruit’s skill and attitude are truly scrutinized.

The questions vary from guild to guild, but there are 3 big ones that cross my mind.


We’re looking for the technical players. Can we count on recruits to execute? In Cataclysm raids, we want players who can easily understand and respond to the different challenges with minimal hand holding. For Conquest, things like DPS rotations are foundations that are expected before applying. If I give a Rogue a spell or an ability, I expect them to shut it down when paired up with another player. If I give tank healers their assignment, I expect tanks to survive through the worst. It shouldn’t take more than an attempt or two to stay out of fires, dodge discs or deal with any easily avoidable mechanics.

Because if a recruit can’t handle that, then we’re not the guild for them.


The nature of boss fights means there will be players who have to do the crappy job. No one really wants take on these responsibilities because they’re either:

  • Boring
  • Crappy
  • High stress

These are the roles that won’t get you the girl, but it is a necessity all the same.

Taking one for the team and volunteering for these will amplify your value. The guy who says yes to doing the hard stuff looks better. It’s one thing if you can’t actually do your job because your class or setup prevents you  from doing so. But not doing interrupts or dispels because you don’t want to and making the raid jump through hoops is a frustrating experience for leaders because we need to come up with a functional setup that might not be optimal for what we’re doing.

That’s just selfish. It might end up being the reason you get passed over for future raid invites.

Normally, I’m the guy that tackles the dispels . But it’s reassuring to know that another player or two in the raid is both able and willing to tackle the high stress jobs in the event I’m not around.

Especially with playoffs starting today. Go Canucks go!


This is actually something more along the lines of what Kat would say. Although she is the more warm and fuzzy hosts on the Matticast, I would have to back her sentiments on this one (but don’t tell her I said that, I have an image to maintain). While the aforementioned skills and willingness to do the dirty work are important, at the end of the day if recruits aren’t fitting in with the guild, then they need to get cut loose. Not every guild is right for every player. It’s easy for guilds to say yes, you’re in. It is much harder for guilds to say no, you didn’t make the cut especially after a breakout performance. Being able to recognize players who don’t fit in and acting on it swiftly will save you grief in the long run.

It was a difficult lesson for me to learn during the first year of Conquest. I had to make several compromises. I either found a way to work with troubling recruits or we didn’t raid. It took every ounce of diplomacy to maintain an uneasy peace. The two week grace period we have going lets me check out players and see if they fit in both in the raid and outside the raid. I might even join up with them in PuGs or other activities and see how they react to the banter in guild chat. I actually booted a really creepy player a few months ago because he made several members in the guild uncomfortable. But that’s a story for another time.

If you happen to recruit a player who answers positively to all of the above questions, then the odds are in your favour that they’ll be an excellent addition to your guild.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. We also ask our recruits a set of questions before promoting them:

    What are you currently working on improving?

    How are you enjoying the raid style and the folks you are playing with?

    What would you change in our raids if you were in charge?

    This gives us insight both into the new player AND new ideas on how we are perceived by people who have not been with us and been a part of the natural changes that take place in any raid team over time.

    • Emmalise: Has anyone ever gotten those questions wrong? ^^

    • Emmalise says:

      haha.. we have kind of a long trial period. 3 weeks is a ‘cultural’ assessment, making sure folks fit in, are generally decent players (can handle basics like don’t stand in the muck, can do basic things like swim out of lava on Nef or dodge sound rings in Atramedes – essentially using your criteria above, which is spot on). Then we do 5 more weeks that is a deeper performance assessment.

      The point we do the recruit chat is in the 4th or 5th week, so at that point we’ve already determined that we like have the person in our raids and they are comfortable in our environment and with our strats.. so there’s no wrong answers. What we have gotten out of it is the opportunity to explain things the person ‘thought’ they understood but didn’t, to clarify some language in our policies, and to give the person things to work on from a performance perspective, as we ALL have things we can improve on.

      We’ve also run across some red flags for potential problems. As an example, we really stress loot as a ‘means to an end’ and don’t want folks who are too wrapped up in purple pixels. If a recruit is bringing up loot concerns, that’s our opportunity to reemphasize that, and if the person later causes loot drama, we’re in a position to say ‘hey, we warned you about this already, sorry, it’s not going to work out’.

      Often, guilds do a trial period, make the recruit a raider, and really don’t touch base with them again. Our goal is to keep that communication open with ALL of our raiders, but particularly with new folks, we talk with them a second time after that initial interview to make sure we’re getting that fit right.

  2. So true, although the guild I’m in has had to drop back to 10 man raiding due to lack of numbers and competence. You have definitely covered the preferred requirements.

    I do like the ‘willing to suck it up and just be patient sometimes’ type.

    ~resists the urge to waffle about myself~

  3. Normally I just read the blogs and have nothing to add but in this case I had to whole heartedly agree with a part of the post.

    Go Canucks go indeed

  4. I agree with all of the criteria and personally would add ability to learn although I guess that is inherent in the “don’t fail to dodge discs more than twice,” thing. We have had many a player who performs fantastically on the charts but simply cannot change their playstyle to avoid a mechanic. A very simple example would be Thaddius in Naxx shortly after WOTLK release. We had a rogue who constantly mucked up our “Shocking” attempts even though he was one of our top dpsers.

  5. Another one I would add from personal experience is “Can realize that they are the weak link in attempts and will they be willing sub themselves out for it?”. The officers eyes can’t be everywhere and see everything no matter how great that would be and starting out only the player knows if they are not preforming up to their standard of play.


  1. […] recently read on World of Matticus a post about the three most important questions a guild can ask a recruit after their trial period.  I thought the questions were direct and […]

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