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Interview homework is becoming more common and people aren't happy about it

Homework is mostly associated with being in school, but more job candidates are reporting take-home assignments from interviews
Interview Homework
Posted at 8:50 PM, Dec 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-27 23:05:46-05

CINCINNATI, O.H. — Homework is mostly associated with being in school. Sometimes in the workforce you may find yourself taking some work home with you. But when it comes to the interview process, having homework may seem a little odd.

Glassdoor found mentions of take-home assignments in reviews for job interviews went up 86% in the third quarter of 2023. That's compared to the same time in 2019. Fifty-six percent report having a negative interview experience, which is up from 37% in Q3 of 2019.

So why are companies sending candidates home with assignments in the first place?

"The goal of that is, let me see an example with what you do by asking you to do something that mirrors what we'd be having you do here," said Julie Bauke, a career expert with The Bauke Group.

But with the recruiting process getting longer, sending people home with more work after a lengthy interview, is a big turn-off.

"It's always the people with the most options who will pull out," said Bauke. "So you're actually losing the people with the most, who are sought after the most."

Bauke suggests some alternative ways for companies to know what a job candidate can do without having them do extra work. First, is asking if there's any previous work a candidate has done that will demonstrate their skills.

"And then, of course, references and LinkedIn recommendations. Go on someone's LinkedIn profile, read their recommendations, what are people calling them out for for being good at," said Bauke.

If you find yourself in an interview process with take-home assignments, Bauke also suggests asking if any alternatives can be a substitute.