So.... Design tests being part of the hiring process. How does everyone feel about these? I’ve run into them a few times while applying for work and spent weekends working on them with no hire by the end of the process. In a way I can see why they do it - but I’m also weirded out that my portfolio just isn’t enough. What’s everyone’s take? And does anyone do this in their hiring process?

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The portfolio should speak for itself. If they’re really that mistrusting of their candidates, I assume it’s not a great company to work for.

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Great point. A company pulling those moves are most likely filled with inefficient creative leads that overwork ADs because they don’t know what they need until they ‘see it.’ 🤦🏻‍♂️

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I think if it's an entry level position it's fine, but if your portfolio clearly shows you can design and have multiple years under your belt, then I would ask them to explain what type of work/experience they are looking for that isn't in your book.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

Already shows a lack of trust at the onset. As others have said, your book is basically your design test and if free work is being asked of you to get a foot in the door then steer clear.

I also find it interesting how basically other jobs don't have these tests and design receives a whole lot of slepticism and doubt from employers. Where is the account management tesy? Strategy test? Math test for finance departments? Hell, empathy tests Bladerunner style for HR/talent prospects?

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ugh, hate them. I take them as a red flag, if they put more value on their silly test than my degree and portfolio then I don’t know if that’s a great place to work at

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I haven't been asked to do one in awhile, but I hate the practice.

Your portfolio and experience should speak for itself. If they are that concerned about a candidates qualifications hire them on as freelancers first to see if it's a good fit. there is little to learn from a single random spec exercise

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I think they’re dumb and a red flag. That said, I recently completed one for a job because this climate, etc. ... 2.5 weeks after submitting, I get an email addressed to someone else that I didn’t get the job.

Trust it is not worth it and as someone else said a sign the higher ups will only “know it when they see it.”

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Never experienced a design test. Unless you desperately need a job I would steer clear of anybody asking for this, it’s a sign of things to come.

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Work is easy to steal, so I kind of get the thought behind it. But… I decided long ago that if my book and my experience weren't enough, that's what an in-person set of interviews are for. Getting the right people involved to vet a candidate over a couple interview screenings is better than design tests any day.

Don't jump through hoops of fire unless you wanna get burned.

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That’s what portfolios are for. Any agency requiring a test should pay the applicant a full freelance rate.

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I’d also be leery of doing free work. I applied at a litigation graphics company about ten years ago, and pretty sure I got taken for a ride. Consider submitting low-rez, watermarked jpg proofs.

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I generally haven’t been bothered by “tests” in my career under a few qualifiers:

1. cannot be used for business or serve a business-purpose.

2. I’m not bothered by “tests” if there are no designers or few designers on staff. People don’t necessarily know what to “look for” in a designer and if a test helps build some trust then that’s okay with me.

3. The “test” shouldn’t be anything too elaborate. A one-pager or something capped at about an hour of labor is okay with me personally.

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I understand arguments for and against design tests. I hired designers and more than one of them had very impressive portfolios and couldn’t design worth shit. I always said if I hired a new one that I would give them a test (nothing that would take longer than a couple of hours) just to see how they handle hierarchy etc.

Now, I had to do one yesterday for a job I applied for an I’m like really? Why am I doing this?

But if I was a hiring for a company again- I’d give one. 😅 prob not a helpful comment LOL

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Agree. I think there are some questions about thought processes that can get you to the same place as a design test. My favorite one that always seems pretty telling it to discuss a specific project and ask ‘how long did it take you to do this project or this aspect of this project’ i find that question always leads to some telling answers.

I was paid for my design test at an hourly rate, 3 hours total. Showed me that they liked me enough to pay me my worth at the time! And yes, they did end up using the client work I’d done.

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I see the purpose but let’s be honest... if I can look at your book and see your skills, I really don’t care how you get there. Shortcuts and efficiency can be taught. As some people alluded to, it may be a sign they really don’t care about your growth as a creative by investing time to teach.

I was at a startup. The VP’s position was we need to make the product as widely accepted as possible, as quickly as possible even though the product is focused on a narrow niche. Alignment wasn’t there from the start. The work went from being informed from site data/user interviews and collaboration with engineering to “how is Amazon/Apple/OtherBigCompany doing this? Let’s look at their site and do that.”

Definitely part of hiring process. The test is a great method to see how the designer works, how quickly the project takes, if he/she followed the assignment, were details caught, and to see the designer’s creative side. I’ve seen excellent portfolios but once hired, the designers were poor and could could not keep up with the workflow. My company has countless projects, and a team of designers.

I just told a company to fuck off bc of the way they setup their homework as it's a telltale sign they don't know wtf they are doing. If you are investing a large amount of time in homework specific to that company only and not overall portfolio or deck, then they are missing the entire point of a design excercise.

It should be done real time during the interview to present thinking, communication and collaboration styles. If those three things cannot be graded AS IT HAPPENS, then they are noobs.

Tests are consulting cheese, that somehow got into industry and then into some creative shops.

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