job hunter speaking with caption 'Companies are giving out unpaid assignments and calling it an 'interview' (l) woman typing on laptop and writing on notepad with pen on white desk (c) job hunter speaking (r)

Stock Rocket/Shutterstock @its_just_talia_/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Companies are realizing that people are so desperate for a job’: Job hunter says company requires 3-part unpaid assignment from applicants

'This is like legit work. They're asking you to do work for them.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 25, 2023

A Los Angeles-based TikToker shared a job posting that many are speculating is just a means for the business to glean free work from hungry and hopeful job applicants.

Talia Landman (@its_just_talia_) stated that she was shocked to see a company required a three-part assignment, along with a five-minute introductory video from candidates, in order to be even considered for an interview for a job posting it put online. “That will take hours to do. I am at a loss for words,” she said in her video, which received 70,000 views in a day.

Landman said she’s encountered similar job postings in the past and that these other companies have blatantly used work that she did for them without any sort of payment.

She was stunned to see the amount of work that would have to go into this assignment, which was labeled as a “challenge” by the company. “The ‘challenge’ was literally an unpaid assignment. An unpaid work assignment,” she said.

@its_just_talia_ Companies are realizing that people are so desperate for a job that they can literally get them to perform unpaid assignments. #exploitationawareness #jobsearch #jobinterview #workinginterview #hiringbelike #jobmarket2023 #thisisbananas ♬ original sound – Talia

She said the position is for a freelance role that pays $20 per hour and shared how she responded to the company’s request. “Thank you for the opportunity to potentially interview for this role. I was truly excited about it until realizing there are multiple unpaid assignments included before getting to the interview. I am a professional with over a decade of marketing communications, content creation, and copywriting experience, I do not partake in assignments in the interview process unless paid my hourly rate,” she said.

“Companies are realizing that people are so desperate for a job that they can literally get them to perform unpaid assignments,” she added in the caption.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Landman via email for further comment.

One commenter said they, too, responded to job posting requests like this in a relatively similar manner. “I always reply to those with. I’d love to do this work at my contract rate of X dollars an hour,” they wrote.

Others shared how they handle these types of requests. “Match the energy and send an invoice for your day rate,” one said.

“This just happened lol. I had chat gpt write them a decline the assignment email. No,” another claimed.

A commenter who said they are a job recruiter gave their advice regarding how to deal with postings like this. “DON’T do it!” they wrote.

Someone else said they knew of someone who has a pretty ingenious method of catching a company tricking job applicants into providing free work for them. “I heard someone did this and watermarked their work then the company stole it and she was able to prove copyright for stolen work,” they shared.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: May 25, 2023, 10:44 am CDT