Design Interview Ethics

over 5 years ago from , Product Designer (UI/UX)

Hello Fellow Designers, What do you do when you find out that a design assignment which was part of a job interview process, turns out being implemented in production without offering the job or crediting the designer?


  • Daniel De LaneyDaniel De Laney, over 5 years ago

    The first thing to do is name them here.

    7 points
  • Matt C, over 5 years ago

    Write a review on Glassdoor.

    5 points
  • Brendan Appe, over 5 years ago

    Unfortunately I don’t imagine there is much you can do other than tell your fellow designers who might be applying to avoid them. It’s a shortsighted business practice that won’t get them very far.

    5 points
    • Shashank Kumar, over 5 years ago

      True, it is a very shortsighted and an underhanded manner to justify their need of a designer. Even the lines between a visual / interaction / user experience / product / creative designer gets blurred out here. Hopefully the reviews at Glassdoor would warn the designer community here in Bangalore.


      0 points
  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, over 5 years ago

    It is, of course, unethical for them to have you work for free with the lure of a job and then turn around and use it.

    I think the most ethical (and useful for spotting good candidates) design challenge for interviews should be:

    1. Unrelated topic area
    2. Paid
    3. Reasonable deadline that doesn't ask them to drop everything, or forces them to consider taking time off their current job

    Optional/Good to think about 3. Total hours and deadline limited to 2hrs a day. 4. Allow them to present their work. Not a blind submit & response 5. Provide proper context & resources

    3 points
    • Matt C, over 5 years ago

      Number 1 is an important point for seniors and managers reading this - always make your design challenge something totally off the wall and unrelated to your core business. You alleviate the fear that you're fishing for free R&D, but more importantly it makes it so much easier to critique the candidates work since you'll be free of all the institutional knowledge and preconceptions you have from basing the challenge on a product you work on everyday.

      6 points
    • Shashank Kumar, over 5 years ago

      Point #1 is so vital and IMHO, the only prescribed way to test the design skills and capabilities of any design candidate (entry / lead / managers).

      Apart from set deadlines and a chance to present/defend the design solution, I believe that the initial brainstorming of the open challenge should be done along with a few of the decision makers of the interview process. This step helps in understanding a possible working relationship, and also claims investing time from both parties.

      Thanks for the valuable points.

      1 point
  • Mitch Malone, over 5 years ago

    I usually refuse these types of assignments. Unless they are for a completely different domain or the company is willing to pay me for my time (on the condition that it doesn't lead to an offer).

    It would be a cool side project to keep tabs on companies that do these kinds of assignments and how well they execute them.

    2 points
    • Shashank Kumar, over 5 years ago

      Haha .. that is going to be my side-hobby from now on. Hopefully the list of such companies doesn't get too long. :P

      0 points
  • Levon Cross, over 5 years ago

    The only thing that can be done is learn from the experience. Decide how you will handle this situation in the interview process in the future.

    Are they going to hire you after doing assignment work? Is this ethical? Are they looking for free work? Should you not be hired based on your previous experience, portfolio work, and expertise shown in the interview process? Are you willing to invest time that you may not get back?

    There is a big difference between giving demonstrations of your work process and working for free.

    Alternatively to doing an assignment you could suggest showing examples of the different stages of how you approach work. I always include photos of sketches, flow diagrams on whiteboards, dot voting exercises, grayscale wireframes, high fidelity designs with style guide, and finally the live website.

    2 points
    • Shashank Kumar, over 5 years ago

      If I have to learn from experience, I will have to refuse any company-specific design tasks being offered henceforth. Could be a tough task, because most of the companies here are seemingly looking out for free (or cheap) design solutions.

      I need to point out that the designer community out here in Bangalore is pretty strong and super talented.

      Shout out to all the designers from Bangalore + India!

      As for showcasing design process stages from my previous projects, I'm currently working on my portfolio website for the same.

      Thanks for the helpful comments.


      0 points
  • Jim RenaudJim Renaud, over 5 years ago

    Send them an invoice.

    1 point