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The Pro's and Con's of Interview Tasks

  • Publish Date: Posted over 4 years ago
  • Author:by Thomas Lennon

You’ve been approached about a job or applied to a new role. You’ve had the initial CV screening, the interview and are now being asked to go back in for a presentation, to present a piece of project work or do a task. So, should you really commit to doing interview tasks?

It’s quite common for employers to ask candidates to undertake tasks as part of the recruitment process. This is to determine if you have the right skills for the role, understand industry trends and also if you’ll be a good culture fit for a certain type of team. Sometimes interviews don’t go as well as we would like them to, so extra tasks give a fair chance to all applicants.

On some occasions with tricky roles, it’s difficult for an employer to make a decision without a task but it’s important that interview tasks be fair and benefit both the employer and candidate.

Pro’s of interview tasks for candidates:

  • It’s a perfect chance to show off what you can do and what the company are missing out on, by not having you on their team.

  • If you don’t like what your being asked to do, or feel you may not be capable of the tests, this is a good chance to decide whether or not the role is for you. However, if you are excited by the opportunity or the task interests you, it’s worth doing to secure the job you want.

Con’s of interview tasks for candidates:

  • Projects or bigger tasks can be time-consuming so it can sometimes feel easier to say no, but if you want the job then you need to decide if it’s worth investing the time.

  • If you are being asked to undertake a significant project that will benefit the company in the long term but there’s no guarantee of securing the position, it’s also a chance to question whether or not you want to give a company your free expertise. All tasks should be ‘dummy’ tasks, so feel free to question this.

Pro’s of interview tasks for employers:

  • As we know employee turnover can be costly. It’s also time-consuming to hire someone who ultimately might not work out or might not have all the skills you require. Having candidates complete tests ensure you’re going to hire the right person each time and it’s not just that they are a good interviewee.

Con’s of interview tasks for employers:

  • If you are setting a task or audition that is too demanding, this can be a deal breaker for candidates. Make sure you communicate to a candidate why the tasks are necessary, or you could end up losing the hire you want.

Whether you’re a client or a candidate, interview tasks should be appropriate and relevant to the role. They shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours and should be able to showcase skills without taking advantage of intellectual property. It’s a balancing act but get it right and both parties will benefit from a great new working relationship.

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