Another way in which an interviewer can put your skills and experience to the test is to put you on the job before actually hiring you. While this is different from the portfolio interview, in that you do not have to show any direct proof of your skills or work, be assured that every question you ask or suggestion you make is being noted and evaluated.
In a shadow interview, you will be asked to come into the office for an agreed-upon amount of time (anywhere from an hour to an entire day). Once there, you will sit with a selected member of the team and follow this person around. When she gets a phone call, you'll listen in. When she has a meeting, you'll attend. When she eats lunch, you'll eat, too.
Shadowing gives your potential employer an opportunity to evaluate you and introduce you to your potential coworkers. The shadow interview has definite benefits for you, too. It provides you with a rare close-up look at what it would be like to work at the company before deciding whether or not to accept the job if it is offered to you.
While you're shadowing your team member, pay particular attention to the size and space of the office cubicles. Employees value--and fight!--over every inch of space; the larger the space, the more important the individual working in it. You can get a good idea of the relative importance of the job when you see the one your team member occupies.
Far too often, employers and candidates alike are on their best behavior when it comes to the interviewing process. Both parties are wearing their finest clothing and putting on their best act. A shadow interview offers you one of the best opportunities to see what happens behind the scenes when a company isn't putting on its best face.