How many of creatives get asked to do a ‘test brief’ when interviewing for jobs? Is this normal?

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No. It’s not. Kindly refer them to the portfolio you’ve spent years building, and maybe offer to do it at your normal freelance rate. No decent creative shop would ask for this.

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I turned down an (in-house) gig because they wanted me to do a copy test. If they need me to prove my proficiency at English despite the fact that it has literally been my job for 16 years, how is the rest of that assignment going to go? I offer to provide whatever relevant writing samples they need beyond whatever is in my book, and yes I’m happy to discuss the job itself to see if I’m right for it - I don’t want a job I’m going to suck at any more than they want me trying to it. But I have zero patience for boondoggles because THEY don’t know how to evaluate creatives and definitely no free work.

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I'll expand a bit... very, when the product or client is complex. I've been in B2B for years and always tested before hiring writers in the past, and we test at my agency now.

Depends, if it’s a startup it’s helpful for them to evaluate candidates. They want to see how motivated and effective they really are because a startup lives and dies on its talent in early stages. Or maybe it’s a tech company thing—I believe Facebook does that too. But the test shouldn’t be more than 4 hours. Also some people do really well in interviews (extroverts), and others can be shady with their books, putting in stuff they barely touched or did something minor on (it’s insane to see how often that happens) - so interviews are hard to evaluate. I don’t necessarily agree with the practice (esp if it’s a normal agency - no way), just providing context.

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