Recently I interviewed for a couple of jobs and I haven't been posting much because I didn't want it to get back to anyone I worked with. The first job was with The University of Texas, as a graphic designer for their recreational sports department. It was almost an ideal job for me, with the exception being I would have to move to Texas. The interview went well but they decided to go with a local candidate.
The second was with a local competitor and from the start there were some red flags. I wanted to see where it might go and figured it would be good practice if nothing else. So, I aced the phone interview, aced the panel interview and they called me yesterday and asked me to "move on to the next step in the interview process and complete a project for them." Alert! Alert! Alert! went the little red flags, but I waited for the assignment before reserving judgement. Basically, they wanted me to research, concept and design a product line (6 pieces) in 2 days and then present it to the panel.
Ummmm, if this were an accounting position would you ask me to balance your books for you before you give me the job? I asked just about everyone I know what they thought and the general consensus was "Run. Far and Fast. Just get the hell out of there."
So, I did. I called the recruiter back and told her, as politely as I could, that I felt it was inappropriate of them to ask me to design a line for them without pay and while under the employ of a competitor. I let her know that this project was no different than what had been covered in my portfolio, resume and interviews and that I was withdrawing my candidacy. And that's that.