A friend recently went on an interview for a graphic design position and she was asked to do a design assessment. She thought the assignment was extensive and asked me if she should do it. Below is my response.
Design assignment is like spec work. I wouldn’t do it unless they pay for the time that I spend on it. If they can’t make a decision based on the design in your portfolio and what you have presented at the interview than you might not be the right fit for them.
With that said, I did spend the entire weekend (day and night) working on a take-home assignment for my current job. They wanted to make sure that I was able to import data into the database and display the information on the web page. They also wanted to know if I could access the server through the command line. Even though I did some web development prior to this job, I never had to touch the database and never had to use the command line. I reached out to some of my developer friends for help and I didn’t sleep until I got it to work.
It was very hard, but I wanted the job. I also wanted to challenge myself and I learned quite a bit doing it.