Interview tasks and should you take the time to do them?

10 June 2020

Interview tasks are often a topic that I find causes much debate, and to be frank I see no right or wrong answer to the question of completing them.

For me, the answer depends on a number of factors that could influence your decision to act:

  • How much do you really want the job? If you really really really really really…. really want the job then you may as well give it a go. If it’s the gateway to that once in a lifetime opportunity, then it could be worth it.


  • BUT, before you jump right in, think about the task you are being asked to complete. Is this just free work… Often this is the biggest gripe for people. If it’s something based on the business’ current workload are they just going to use it and not hire you?


  • Do you trust the hiring company and hirer? If the answer is yes, and even point 2 is true, then it may not be the case that they will simply use it for their own gain. Most people are honest and won’t be trying to trip you up.


  • How long will it take? Being asked to do something in your own time that’s going to take a day or 2 is often something that I would suggest questioning.


  • Back to point 1… It really depends how much you want the job. If it’s the only way in the door you might just have to do it.


In my opinion, tasks can be a great test of seeing how well you fit and are not all bad.

Lots of companies set a task in an interview, which is great. Others set tasks based on a competitor and ask you to review what’s good and bad. Others may even ask you to simply put together a 10 min presentation. These are all great tests of ability and suitability for a job and well worth considering if you’re a company looking to hire.

So to finalise, (as I could go on for a while) not all tasks are to be sniffed at and it really does depend on who is asking you to complete it. If you have concerns don’t be afraid to voice them to decide if you are prepared to do it but don’t just flat refuse to do it as it may end up being your dream job!

Have you had any experiences with being asked to complete a task for an interview? I’d love to hear from anyone who has, good or bad.

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