TeamBuilder Search, a professional staffing, team building and recruiting agency, delivers tips, advice and guidance to the career and job market search.
You are interviewing for a new job and you are excited about the next steps. You feel like you’ve made a good impression. You’ve done everything needed to prepare for the interviews. You have done your company research, you came to the interviews prepared and maybe you even shared a portfolio of your best work. You find out, that the next step in the interview process is… an assignment.
An assignment?! You heard that right. You have been asked to complete an assignment as the next step of the interview process. What should you do?
We strongly support and recommend assignments during the interview process when appropriate. The job market is very competitive and anyone that has been in the role of a hiring manager knows, some people talk a good talk but they don’t walk the walk. In our experience, employers and recruiters don’t always do a great job of explaining why assignments are given and how they will be used. Unfortunately, there are also employers that have abused the use of assignments.
Here is why we support and recommend assignments during the interview process and why we believe all candidates should too:
- It is the best possible way to get an understanding of the actual work that would be requested of you as well as well as the level to which the company expects it to be done. You want to enjoy the work you will be doing day in and day out!
- This is your chance to ask the company specific questions about the assignment to get an understanding for how they work and how they think about things. You want to make sure that you can have a good collaborative conversation with your manager as well as work with the amount of ambiguity that might surround their projects.
- This is an opportunity to demonstrate expertise and set yourself apart from any other candidates that may still be in consideration. Who doesn’t love to win a competition (in this case the interview process and get the job!) by being the best man or woman for the job?
We don’t limit assignments to just designers. We have done them for PM, PPC, SEO, Analytics, Strategy all the way up to C-Level roles. Assignments can also help gauge so many more things than we mentioned above depending on what an employer is seeking to learn.
While we support and recommend assignments during the interview process, you should not be asked to do an assignment to demonstrate your abilities for a company before having at least a phone interview or brief phone conversation. Assignments should only be used to assess your abilities and not to complete a client project. There are unique instances in which a potential employer may pay you for your work if what they are asking you to do is a more in depth project or even client work. It is up to you as a candidate and potential employee, to determine if this is an opportunity in which you are willing to put in the extra work to demonstrate your abilities. If you are, your hard work can pay off big!
Mark Whitman is the founder and CEO of TeamBuilder Search, a dynamic recruiting firm that specializes in digital marketing, digital transformation, and emerging technology. He is an energetic and fearless adventurer who loves working with other innovative, entrepreneurial-minded professionals. He also happens to be a Sport Jujitsu national champion who literally broke his face in competing for the gold medal in the world championship. To discuss your toughest hiring challenges with Mark, contact him here.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.