Assesing test - job interview

Hi guys,
I’m having more and more companies asking me to make a test for them remotly.
Most of the time the test last only 30 minutes, but recently one company asked me to create a banner and I’m pretty sure that they will use it.
This test last for 1 hour approx.

Do you recommand me to put a copyright on it, to avoid them using it ?

Did you had similar request in the past?

If it were me, I would assume the employer thinks they can keep whatever work you do in the test, whether they hire you or not. If so, they probably won’t care about a copyright statement on it. I guess you could watermark it, or put “Draft” across it so it’s not usable.

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If they use it, turn down the job offer. They would NOT be someone you want to work for anyway. It’s a good way of vetting a future employer IMO.


I don’t necessarily agree with this and I’ll plead my case.

At my current job (the one I’ve been at for three years) they asked me to design a flyer after a second interview. It was clear the company was interested in me after two interviews and how successful they went. I designed the flyer and was offered the job, and we ended up using the flyer for a promotion shortly after. My company was impressed enough with the flyer that they wanted to use it; this isn’t a bad thing.

Maybe I misunderstood what you were trying to say PD, but I wouldn’t turn down a job offer if the company wanted to use my design from the test they gave me.

The difference in your respective scenarios seems to be whether the test work gets used before the hiring happens.

It stands to reason the test output could become fair game and subject to further development under the employer’s ownership after you’re hired.

I’m not sure how I’d imagine PD’s scenario playing out; they “use” the design while you wait to hear back from them?

No, I wouldn’t recommend that. Doing so would come across as you thinking they’re untrustworthy. In other words, go ahead and do this if you want to squelch your chances of them hiring you. If they do use what you’ve done without hiring you, well, it might be highly irritating, but so what? It’s not like you’d really be out anything at that point.

I don’t agree with the notion of requiring applicants to complete time-consuming assignments like this without some kind of compensation, but it’s not an uncommon practice. I would tend to give them the benefit of the doubt on it. If they steal it, it will be a good indication to you that it’s a place where you wouldn’t want to work anyway. And if you really want to, if they do steal it, you can always write a scathing Google review of their company saying what happened.


It would be very sketchy if the company wanted to use the work prior to a job offer.

However, some companies may not know what good design is and want to make sure that the design will be effective before investing in a future employee. While I don’t agree with doing free work, it would be difficult to turn down a job offer if you trying to get started as a graphic designer.

Why are you pretty sure? Did they say they would use it?

I don’t know exactly, just a feeling, they were really specific. they provide the logos and the colors that match their brand, even the date that I should put are for May18. It don’t really know but it didn’t feel right. Even when exchanging with them I could feel the urgence of the test.

Have you done any research to see if they are a legit business?

You could assume the urgency is the need for the ad.
Or you could assume the urgency is because their designer left precipitously and they need a new one stat.
They may be testing your ability to understand a Brand standard and your ability to work under the pressure of a due date.

Remember, a job interview works both ways. You interview the potential employer just as much as they are interviewing you.

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