How many job tests one needs ?

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  11 November 2012
I once did an series of animations as a test for a relatively big games studio a few years ago and all in all it probably took me 40 or so hours over the course of a week to do them all (a full time job in and of itself). They then replied with notes on my animations and asked for revisions. REVISIONS ON A TEST! I made the revisions to all the animations and resubmitted 3 days later. Despite emailing them and even posting on their site forum for help, I never heard back from them after sending in the revisions.

I don't think I'd waste my time doing anymore 'tests'. Either you like my reel or you don't, but don't make me jump through hoops for the off chance I might change your opinion.
"Have you ever just stared at it.......Marveled at its bee yooty?"
  11 November 2012
Yeah, in that type of case it's obvious they're using you.
The Z-Axis
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by zzacmann: I once did an series of animations as a test for a relatively big games studio a few years ago and all in all it probably took me 40 or so hours over the course of a week to do them all (a full time job in and of itself).....

So basically they used you and got a weeks free work from you! Some people would have gone to the press with that story. Me, I think I would have gone back to the place, found the scumbag that had made a fool of me and kicked a weeks worth of daylight out of him.
I like to learn.
  11 November 2012
Sculpt all the busts they want and at the end use a huge alpha with your name and stamp the piece with it to ensure they dont use it

On a serious note, i'm still not lucky enough to get called for interviews but i guess it depends on how much you want/need that job? Personally, after so many resumes sent and zero calls back i'd be jumping for joy for a test
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by LuckyBug: What would be polite way to avoid such thing...

Don't be polite.
Long time a go, I refused to do any test, for any company (and your portfolio is waaaaay better then mine). What's the point of the test if you already have a portfolio and a job history? Especially, if you're already busy with other work.

I found pretty insulting that many companies don't give any guaranties to people who did test perfectly, like some mentioned above.
That being said, it would be good if someone (with lawyer knowledge) could write us an NDA in which is required that company must employ the worker who did the test, or give them a financial satisfaction if they don't employ it.

They give you a test, you give them a NDA.
Now it's the time to be extreme!
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf: Don't be polite.

Why not? Just be the bigger man and BE polite. I once had a job interview (on a 4 week freelance gig, mind you) and when it came to payment discussions, they offered me a quarter of my usual rate. And I politely said "Sorry, I can't do that"... funnily enough they didn't expect such a response and where flabbergasted (obviously no one ever did that) and we agreed on a more appropriate rate. So, there's no reason to be impolite.

Regarding the topic at hand, of course it highly depends on how much you need the job. If the company seems interesting to work at, no matter what their hiring procedure is, go for it - maybe it pans out. If they work like they hire, stay away. Also you can always quit a job if you don't like it. Also: Just ask them about the tests... why exactly they're doing them and so on. Sometimes companys don't act like they do just to screw you over, but just because they always did it like that.

Last edited by Laserschwert : 11 November 2012 at 09:21 AM.
  11 November 2012
Ive mostly seen this by game companies. The last time someone asked me to do a test i simply told them i had two other job offers and Id really like to move forward with the interview because time was running short. They understood and moved me forward without needing the test. I would NEVER be rude or short with another company who asks for a test. Thats never a proper way to handle your affairs. I havent done a test in years and never will. I had a friend who spent a week on a test. he was stressed and worked HARD on it. never amounted to anything and they never contacted him back. hed lost a week of his life that he will never get back. tests are ridiculous and the practice should be shut down. thats what demo reels, resumes and references are for.

as a side note, i always thought it to be strange that salary is the LAST thing discussed. tests, interviews, lunch, etc. should be the LAST thing to be done. after all, if the pay rate wont be satisfatory, then nothing else matters.
nietzsche - "God is dead"

God- "nietzsche is dead"
  11 November 2012
I think some might be surprised how many reels exaggerate the contribution of the applicant to the shots shown in the reel, especially with generalists.

In the case of animators I think our company sometimes sends a small test scene as an animation test. In the end it's up to your own judgement if you do a test or not but I certainly wouldn't dismiss them out of hand as there are genuine reasons for a company to do them. It can be really difficult to get good people.
  11 November 2012
I was asked in the past to make an old man or woman head, sculpting and texturing, as a test. I though it was a funny idea and would have done so with pleasure but got a contract the day after and had to decline. I think it's a good way to test employees skills but I would not hesitate to refuse if I had anything better to do.

Quote: I think some might be surprised how many reels exaggerate the contribution of the applicant to the shots shown in the reel, especially with generalists.

I totally agree. Some people have crazy CG shots but only did the roto on it... or worst: recently we interviewed a girl with a nice all Disney portfolio for a motion design position. Only after the second interview she admitted being the "art director". She barely knew anything about animation or any softwares. You have to be careful.
So long and thanks for all the fish

Last edited by earwax69 : 11 November 2012 at 12:12 PM.
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by earwax69: You have to be careful.

Sure, but tests aren't the cure. The cure is the probation period where you can quickly sort this out, that's why this was invented. And I take it an employer has a good list of runners-up who could fill that job position very quickly if things don't work out anyway.

I was thinking about an example of where a test would be appropriate. To me this would be if you feel the candidate seems to fit and has strong skills judging by his portfolio, but it's different from what you as an employer do. If this candidate lives far away, then a test could be the answer.
  11 November 2012
No art tests, period.
  11 November 2012
I recently did a test for a FT position, modelling a couple of high detail car parts for a company that advertised on here. Before starting, I was in contact with a senior artist via email. It was obvious that a lot of work went into it, and the models were good. I got a blanket, unsigned email, saying that I wasn't successful. So over the course of a few weeks, I sent a couple of emails, politely asking for some feedback on the work. I got no response.

I've done a couple of art tests that I didn't get a reply to. The way I see it, is that I'll only do them if I get something worthwhile out of it, other than the job opportunity. eg. a solid portfolio piece. I wouldn't do them otherwise.

I really don't understand that mentality, when people put a lot of effort into these tests, and companies won't take any time to leave feedback, or even respond. It's very unprofessional and I think that those who do it, try to justify it because of their own past experiences.
  11 November 2012
We do tests here. We just want to make sure you actually know your way around the application you say you know how to use. It only takes a few minutes and it usually happens while the interviewee and I are talking about the studio and how we work. It's all basic stuff too like create a new project, go through a couple of shortcuts, few minor things here and there, and when done they erase everything they did so it does not clutter up the local HDD. When you are gone we talk whether you were comfortable doing the simplest of things, review your past work, and see if you can hit the ground running.

Some of the tests I am reading in this thread, though, are just ridiculous. A week of work? Sorry, but you need to get paid for that. Even if it is the bare minimum for an entry freelancer in your industry.
j00 r3? H??
  11 November 2012
I did a 3 day arts test in my old company a few years back and then the new one wanted a week, I gave them a day which I took as holiday and then completed the project at home which amounted to at least a week. I didn't realise art tests were so frowned upon. I don't know if it's the norm in Germany, in the past 6 months there's been 3 people who have given a weeks free work!!
  11 November 2012
I am curious why people are so opposed to "art tests". If you cannot do basic tasks using software you claim to know, you shouldn't get the job. Period.

We do the same thing when interviewing software engineers. If you cannot show on a white board you understand fundamental programming concepts we will not hire you. We don't require syntactically correct code but if you cannot write some pseudo code on a white board to solve a simple programming task you are probably not ready for the job.

Intimidating; probably. But companies are choosing you. If you are talented enough to be choosing the company, you probably won't care about a simple test.
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