{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I know it’s been asked previously, but worth posting again: what’s your take on doing work (in-house) for free as part of an interview process? I’m being asked to do so by a start up and feeling iffy", "post_id": "5c477eb7199cbe0013cb0f1b", "reply_count": 17, "vote_count": 0, "bowl_id": "5c0824f32252ab00122744de", "bowl_name": "Creative Directors" }

I know it’s been asked previously, but worth posting again: what’s your take on doing work (in-house) for free as part of an interview process? I’m being asked to do so by a start up and feeling iffy

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Hell to the no

likefunny

Your portfolio is your work. Free work for a job is exploitation.

like

No.

like

Did it once. Resented it so much that when they offered the job, I declined. Never regretted that decision

like

“If you’re good at something never do it for free” - The Joker

like

I had this at a fee start-ups, it was weird. I think it’s normal for other roles but gets weird when it’s creative. These people can’t look at your book and get much of a sense, they are from a different world.

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I was interviewing for an ecd job at a small shop. They asked me to tackle a brief for an existing client. My recruiter had told me that the exercise was theoretical since the work against that brief had already been sold. Agency told me that they actually had not sold work through and that my work would go toward this pitch. I refused myself from the position. Absurd

likesmart

Never, ever work for free. Take it out in trade maybe. But don’t give it away. Try asking for free groceries or free rent.

like

Never! That devalues everyone, not just yourself .

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As an aside, on client side/corporate back in the day I was always asked to do a writing test. And when I was hiring people it was the same thing. But never been asked in agency world, where books speak for themselves. Maybe talk to them about it, they truly might not know it’s atypical etc.

like

Exactly what I was thinking. Tried to explain politely how it’s not par for the course

like

Careful with that. Set your perimeters with them. One assignment. One or two weeks of work in your spare time and that’s it. It’s not weird for start ups to ask for that just to see if you understand the brand but that should be it. It’s a careful balance of protecting yourself and showing them your value. If they seem uncomfortable with that then it’s a red flag 🚩

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If that's their opening shot, imagine what comes when you're working there.

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It’s more common with tech companies because of the demand. There’s always someone who will. But I am against it personally. “If you’re not convinced, pay me a day rate and I’ll show you what I can do. Then you only are in for a day rate instead of a full contract. We both get what we want”.

like

Why not just “freelance me for a minute and let’s see.”

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Na

This practice is rampant in the tech world. There are positions that have gone unfilled for years at startups because “candidates” are fulfilling the need — so they never hire. It is equal measures diabolical and genius.

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