Woman Withdraws Job Application After Being Asked To Do A 20-Hour Project For Free

The project would have taken forever.

Woman in job interview stockfour / Shutterstock

Project-based interviews are nothing new.

Employers know that a resume and references only tell part of the story and many are opting to have applicants submit a project to further assess their capabilities.

One woman recently posted in the subreddit, "r/recruitinghell," to share what she considered to be an outlandish request from a company she had started the interviewing process with.

To start, the Redditor informs readers that she had already been through three rounds of interviews with the organization.


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After the third round of interviews, the employer asked her to complete a project.

After successfully moving to the next step in the process, she was asked to complete a take-home project.

According to her, the team lead said, “Everyone loves the take-home assignment and finds it very exciting.”

The poster found that remark to be funny because not once has she heard anyone say they enjoyed a take-home project.

She also found out that the assignment would take 15-20 hours to complete and would be followed by yet another two rounds of interviewing.


After giving it some thought the jobseeker decided that she was not ready to put in that much work for a position she had not yet secured and rescinded her application.

The assignment was to prepare a series of detailed plans related to the work she would be doing.

The candidate also told other Redditors that she felt the work sample that the business was requesting didn’t seem to align with the role.

She goes on to admit she wasn’t that enthusiastic about the job, to begin with.

Initially, the woman felt a sense of relief after she withdrew her application for the role.

Now she has turned to her peers to find out if she might regret passing it up.


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Redditors shared that she likely made the right decision.

The first commenter wrote, “If it’s a 3-hour take-home at the final stage then you might have, but this would have been a total waste of time. They will likely invite ten people to do it and progress the best three [or] four.”

Someone else agreed, stating, “A big piece of homework AND two more rounds after that? F--k off, this isn't squid game, they're bad at making decisions.”

Another added, “You did the right thing. In 15-20 hours, you can send 15-40 job applications. Doing a project is not an efficient use of your time?”


That person also suggested that the original poster could have asked that she be paid for her time.

That is not a bad idea since there are many companies that pay prospective employees for completing project-based interviews, but there are others who don’t have your best interest at hand.

One commenter summed those organizations up perfectly when he said, “Sounds like they wanted free work out of you.”


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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.