What's your thought on design tasks for a job application?

5 years ago from Anmol Bahl, UX Designer - Feminist | Say hi@anmolbahl.com

  • Andrew C, 5 years ago

    I generally disagree with the majority here.

    Design is the only profession in tech that seems to give a shit about this. While I realize spec work is a thing being asked to do an exercise as a work sample is the same kind of test a programmer typically takes (pair programming, an algo, etc) or a PM has to take (work structure breakdown, onboarding teardown, user outreach, etc). It's usually beneficial to you in the end—because it means you're working with people who live up to their resumes. If you want the job, that's the reward.

    It's different if you're freelancing and looking for work that way, of course. But if you applied to a promising company looking to be their product/ux designer... that's a fair task to be asked of you.

    We designers like to bitch about A LOT of stuff that other people wouldn't think twice about.

    16 points
    • Tim Kjær LangeTim Kjær Lange, 5 years ago

      Agree. I would see it as a red flag if a candidate asked for compensation for doing an assignment that could land them an interesting, well-paid job.

      3 points
      • GOOD LUCKGOOD LUCK, 5 years ago

        Kindly disagree.

        As a candidate, we should be careful with companies who didn't offer some money for that kind of "tests". The "we'll pay you for the time" should be included in the first sentence of the conversation. And no, there is nothing wrong with the tests itself, they help evaluate how the candidate thinks.


        1 point
        • Andrew C, 5 years ago

          Genuinely asking: Why should you be compensated for this? It's a simple demonstration of your ability the same as anyone else does?

          If it's an assignment that can't be used afterwards there's zero risk of it being spec work.

          1 point
          • GOOD LUCKGOOD LUCK, 5 years ago

            Hey! sure, I will try to explain my perspective.

            Let's start from that I have no issues if the results of those test will be used or not, I would even prefer that someone can use them in some way (a small satisfaction at least).

            Doing job tests for free is no different than participating in "popular" competitions for 99designs (and similar websites). Same rules, one winner (fulltime position | job for $100), multiple players. In both cases, people's time is taken from their lives.

            What if this is the "opportunity of a lifetime"? For me, a simple answer - NOPE!, because I know already who I dealing with and I definitelly don't want to be part of that organization. But I understand some people doing the opposite, there are lots of different contexts.

            So, as an employer, you show a lack of respect for the future employee, doing the same thing what your clients doing to you (SPEC prospect jobs). It is a circle that needs to be stopped or at least minimalized.

            By offering paid tests you show that your intentions are serious (we are really interested in you) and give positive vibes to the future employee, who definitely appreciate it and willing to give you better services in the future, as well as the tests results. What you showing is that you respect people and their time, and this beneficial in many ways.

            Since the test might be a good way to evaluate candidates, I feel the proper way is to take the person and put it in the team for a couple of weeks, only then it will be clear if this is a good fit or not. The "how he thinks" might be ok (evaluated by tests), but "how kind of person he/she is" might be a totally differetn story.

            Hard subject as you know. For me, free tests are the RED light. Fortunately more and more companies doing this in a proper way by paying people. ;)

            I wish all of us can experience that kind of treatment in the future. Peace!

            0 points
    • Gokhun GuneyhanGokhun Guneyhan, 5 years ago

      This. Exactly the same thing what I told to a friend who spent 2 days on a task after a very positive interview and got frustrated after he was rejected.

      If you're a freelancer, it's a different thing - but if it's a fulltime position at a company you really want to work for, then it should be ok unless you spend more than a day or two. It's also good for the designer to see what kind of tasks you're going to deal with when you get the job. It's annoying to get rejected even if you deliver something good, but well, shit happens.

      I personally try to give tasks that wouldn't take more than a day. Sometimes it turns out (especially with less experienced designers) the designer comes up with a better design than I expect compared to her/his portfolio and I immediately stop my search to hire her/him.

      The important bit is to measure if the position/company is worth your effort. If it's the right company, they'll pay you back in experiences that are more valuable than 8 hours of your life.

      4 points