More Job Hunters Are Now Being Asked to Do This for Free

job candidate
Photo by ViChizh /

Your next job search might be more work than past searches.

That’s because more interviews entail an extra step — homework, CNBC reports, citing representatives of multiple staffing firms.

Thomas B. Moran, CEO of Addison Group, tells the publication that 20 to 30 percent of interviews now involve take-home assignments. That’s at least double what it was a year and a half ago.

Examples of these assignments include analyzing a ledger or turning in a writing sample — tasks intended to help an employer evaluate a job applicants’ skills. As a part of the interview process, this is not paid work.

The time required to complete an interview take-home assignment can vary widely, depending on how reasonable the employer is and the point in the interview process at which the applicant is asked to do the work. CNBC continues:

“A modest request early in the interview process might include a 20-minute exercise, such as a personality test. Meanwhile, a more demanding project that will take up a couple of hours might be more reasonable when the company has already met you and you’re further along in the process.”

The falling unemployment rate is to blame for the rising trend of job interview take-home assignments, CNBC reports.

According to the latest monthly unemployment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in April after spending six consecutive months at 4.1 percent.

At 3.9 percent, the unemployment rate is now lower than it has been in more than a decade, according to BLS data. The current rate is also less than half of what it was when it peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, a few months after the Great Recession technically ended.

A low unemployment rate is a good sign for the economy. It also means a tight job market. And that is spurring companies to give these homework assignments. As CNBC reports:

Though employers are digging deep for workers to fill positions, they’re trying to ensure that the candidate can handle the workload before making an offer.

What’s your take on this news? Have you ever been asked to do a take-home assignment as part of a job interview? Share with us below or over on our Facebook page.

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