5 Examples of Take-Home Tasks for Different Roles | Toggl Hire
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5 Examples of Take-Home Tasks for Different Roles

Juste Semetaite Juste Semetaite Last Updated:

The take-home tasks are much like marmite, coriander, or Hawaiian pizza. Your candidates will either love it or hate it.

The ‘love it’ camp likely welcomes the opportunity to showcase their skills and appreciate the time to think it through versus answering questions on the spot in an interview.

However, the ‘hate it’ group sees it as doing work for free, might already have portfolios of work that give a much fairer picture of their experience level, and resent the infringement on their personal time (regardless of how this might be their dream job).

What we can learn from this dichotomy is that while a take-home assignment is not right for every role, it’s still worth it for some.

In this article, we discuss and examine 5 good examples of take-home tasks that your candidates will (hopefully) love.

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

  • A take-home assignment is an important part of the interview process that focuses on candidates crafting and completing real-world tasks.

  • Incorporating a take-home assignment will give your organization better insight and skill observation over candidates.

  • However, job seekers may see tests as time-consuming, exploitative, or manipulative.

  • The perfect take-home assignment should be structured around providing the candidate with clarity about the role, respecting their time, and ensuring consistent testing criteria.

  • You can use take-home assignments for a wide range of roles, from designers to coders and even managers.

  • Toggl Hire just introduced Homework tasks to the Assessment Library! It’s never been easier to raise the quality of your hires with reliable proof of competence.

building a take-home task vs using a template
Why using a ready-made take-home task is a better option for any hiring team

What are take-home tasks?

A take-home assignment is given to candidates during the interview process to complete in their own time and shows the hiring manager how the job seeker is able to complete a task.

These assignments generally consist of coding tests for developers, presentations for upper-level management, and campaigns for marketers. And they are given to candidates after the first interview round — the success will determine if the candidate makes it to the second round.

Home task typeDescriptionRoles
Coding challengeA coding challenge is a test designed to test the skills of developers. (More info on coding challenges)Developers, Coders, Engineers
Case studyA case study is an in-depth analysis of a specific situation, problem, or scenario in order to understand and evaluate its complexities, factors, and potential solutions.Researchers, Analysts, Consultants, Academics, Business Professionals
Writing testUsed to test if a candidate can construct long form, short form, news articles, or marketing copy.Copywriters, Marketers, Journalists
PresentationShowcase how an individual would communicate a concept or idea to a group of people.Managers, C-level Execs, Customer Success
Sales pitchA sales pitch is a persuasive approach used to promote and market a product or service. It focuses on highlighting the item’s unique features, advantages, and benefits to convince potential buyers and clients that the offering is worth their time and money.Sales Representatives, Business Development Professionals
Marketing campaignA marketing campaign is a structured effort created by a business or entity to advertise, promote, and gain recognition for a product, service, or brand among a specific group of people.Marketing Managers, Marketing Specialists, Creative Designers
Typically, a take-home assignment is a taster of what the role entails

Pros and cons of a take-home assignment

Obviously, there are pros and cons to using a take-home assignment, right?

Of course! So let’s go over the big ones.

Your perfect candidate will be able to deliver an amazing homework assignment.
As with everything in life, there are clear pros & cons

Pros:

Skill observation — It allows the hiring company to understand the candidate’s skills in action and their thought process.

Insight — The take-home interview assignment will allow the candidate to have a better understanding of the position, break any key assumptions, and what the company expects of them.

Supplemental information — If done early in the interview process, an interview assignment allows the candidate’s skills to do the talking as opposed to the hiring manager only relying on the resume.

Less pressure — Because a Q&A interview can be a pressure cooker, the take-home assignment makes the interviewing candidate feel more at ease.

Cons:

Time-consuming — A hiring team may claim the assignment will only take several hours to prepare and complete, but any interview assignment over more than an hour is cutting into the candidate’s personal time and current job.

Ethical concerns and lost earnings — Asking a candidate to complete an unpaid work assignment can be seen as unethical and equivalent to unpaid labor. Some companies may even go so far as to steal the ideas of the candidate, use them, and not give credit or compensate the candidate.

Limited personal evaluation — While the interview take-home assignment can assess a candidate’s skill set, it may not capture important aspects such as personality and behavior.

How to structure a take-home task?

Setting up a take-home assignment can be tricky; it’s crucial for hiring managers to approach their creation with careful thought and attention.

Your hiring team will need to consider all of the following:

What to considerWhy?
TimingAssign the task after the interview to provide candidates with sufficient context about the role and the organization.
ConsistencyMaintain a consistent structure for all take-home task examples to ensure fairness and enable a fair comparison between candidates. (hint, this is especially relevant if you want to establish blind hiring in your organization)
ClarityCreate comprehensive and unambiguous instructions, ensuring candidates understand the task requirements fully.
Task DescriptionProvide a concise yet detailed task description, outlining the goals, objectives, and specific deliverables expected from the candidate’s work. Basically, make sure it makes sense.
TimeframeClearly communicate the anticipated time needed to complete the task, allowing candidates to manage their time effectively and not spend hours on the take-home assignment.
Deliverable Format and GuidelinesSpecify the preferred format for the deliverable and offer any necessary guidelines.
ResourcesEnhance a candidate’s chances of success by including helpful resources such as internal insights, reference materials, datasets, or relevant links.
Due DateEstablish a reasonable deadline for completing the task, enabling candidates to plan and allocate their time accordingly. Keep in mind that a candidate might have other commitments that prevent them from completing the task in one sitting.
Information AccessibilityCommunicate the level of prior knowledge expected from candidates, distinguishing between information they should possess beforehand and details that can be withheld until the task is assigned or until a candidate asks follow-up questions.
Evaluation CriteriaPre-determine the criteria and weightage for evaluating different aspects of the task, ensuring a fair and consistent assessment.
Task CreationWhen creating the take-home task, it’s vital to design it around authentic real-world scenarios that will take place in the potential candidate’s new job.
How to structure a take-home task for any role
Easily evaluate take-home tasks in one place
Applying structured evaluation criteria will help you avoid unconscious biases

What are the common mistakes?

In this section, we’ll explore common blunders to steer clear of when designing and implementing a take-home assignment during the interview process, ensuring fairness and an effective evaluation process that respects candidates’ time and effort.

Appropriate Task Alignment — Avoid assigning tasks that aren’t directly relevant to the role.

Reasonable Task Length — Create a take-home assignment that can be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Providing Sufficient Context — Avoid requesting candidates to answer or solve company-specific problems without providing adequate information.

Ethical Treatment of Work Requests — Refrain from asking candidates to produce work for free that the company may later exploit, such as writing a blog post for publication.

Timely Introduction of Tasks — Including a take-home assignment as an early screening requirement can discourage candidates. Do this after their first interview.

Constructive Feedback — Don’t miss the opportunity to provide candidates with constructive feedback on their completed tasks.

Balancing Mandatory and Optional Tasks — Avoid making the take-home assignment mandatory for all applicants, as circumstances may prevent some candidates from completing it.

Conduct post-assignment interviews — Once you have received a few tasks back from candidates, we highly recommend that you schedule a take-home assignment interview to better understand any pain points the job seeker may have had.

5 Thorough examples of take-home assignments

Now that you better understand the how, the when, and the why of take-home assignments, we’ll show you five examples.

The example take-home assignments will cover tasks for:

  1. Developer – fixing a broken site
  2. Product manager – redesigning a feature
  3. Marketing lead – creating a marketing campaign
  4. Designer – redesigning the onboarding flow
  5. Customer success executive – running a mock QBR

Example #1: Take-home task for a Developer role

This challenge is geared towards a mid-level developer who can identify and fix errors and optimize the code of an e-commerce website. The goal here is to see how well the candidates understand debugging techniques, approach problem-solving, and how they will communicate with the rest of their team.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Task: Fixing a Broken E-commerce Site

Introduction

Your mission is to debug the broken e-commerce site, fix errors, and ensure it runs smoothly. Customers are unable to place orders due to the significant increase in errors.

Requirements

  • Identify and fix all of the errors on the site.
  • Ensure that customers can place orders without any problems.
  • Optimize the site to improve its performance.
  • Document your approach and explain your reasoning behind your changes.

Instructions

  1. Clone the repository from the following Github URL: https://github.com/debugging-challenge/e-commerce-site.git.
  2. Install all the dependencies by running npm install.
  3. Start the development server by running npm start.
  4. Debug and fix all errors.
  5. Optimize the site to improve its performance.
  6. Document your approach and explain your reasoning in a README file.

Evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Identification and fixing of all errors
  • Site optimization
  • Completeness of documentation and reasoning
  • Code cleanliness and adherence to best practices
  • Clarity and organization of documentation

Submission

  • Submit your code as a ZIP file.
  • Include the README file that explains your approach and reasoning.
  • Send the ZIP file to the hiring manager by email.

Example #2: Challenge for a Product Manager

Our next example focuses on testing Product Manager candidates on how they approach problem-solving, communicate with customers, and conduct user research while implementing open-ended questions.

In a sense, how well they’ll actually do their jobs in a product management role. This assignment is bound to produce better product management interviews for your organization.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Task: Redesigning Filma’s Collaboration Features

Introduction

You are the Product Manager for collaboration features at Filma, a leading collaborative design platform. Recent feedback from customers has shown that they are not happy with how collaboration features work on the site. Your mission in this product management task is to redesign the collaboration features to better meet customer needs and preferences.

Requirements

  • Review the problem statement and develop a list of open-ended questions to better understand the issue.
  • Conduct user research to validate assumptions and identify pain points and user needs.
  • Develop a new design for collaboration features.
  • Prioritize features and functionality based on customer needs and business goals.
  • Outline the implementation plan.
  • Document your approach and explain your reasoning.

Instructions

  1. Review the problem statement and develop a list of open-ended questions to better understand the issue and customer needs.
  2. Conduct (mock) user research to validate assumptions and identify pain points and user needs. Schedule a call with a team member to role-play a customer interview. Include data points such as user feedback, user behaviour, and competitor analysis in your research.
  3. Develop a new design for collaboration features. Identify the key features and functionality of the new design, and prioritize them based on customer needs and business goals.
  4. Outline the implementation plan. Include a timeline, resources required, and technical feasibility.
  5. Document your approach and explain your reasoning in a presentation or document.

Evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of open-ended questions and user research.
  • Soundness of the new design and prioritization of features and functionality.
  • Clarity and feasibility of the product management implementation plan.
  • Completeness of documentation and reasoning.
  • Clarity and organization of presentation or document.

Submission

  • Submit your open-ended questions, presentation, or document as a PDF or PowerPoint file.
  • Send the file to the hiring manager by email.

Example #3: Testing Marketing Managers

Let’s now explore an exciting Marketing challenge that aims to find a candidate who can skillfully design an innovative user acquisition growth loop. This task involves leveraging valuable market research insights to craft a robust strategy that showcases a deep understanding of growth concepts.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Task: Designing a User Acquisition Growth Loop

Introduction

You are the Marketing Lead at a Product-Led Growth (PLG) company that provides a collaboration tool for remote teams. Your team has conducted market research to identify target customer segments. Your mission is to design a new user acquisition growth loop based on the insights gained.

Requirements

  • Review the market research insights provided by your team.
  • Design a new user acquisition growth loop, with a structured approach, based on the insights gained.
  • Identify metrics to measure the effectiveness of the growth loop.
  • Document your approach and explain your reasoning.

Instructions

  1. Review the market research insights provided by your team. Use the insights to identify areas where a new user acquisition growth loop can be designed.
  2. Design a new user acquisition growth loop based on the insights gained. The growth loop should identify key stages, such as awareness, interest, and activation, and prioritize them based on customer needs and business goals.
  3. Identify metrics to measure the effectiveness of the growth loop. The metrics should be tied to the key stages of the growth loop and should be used to track progress and optimize the loop over time.
  4. Document your approach and explain your reasoning in a presentation or document.

Evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Soundness of the new user acquisition growth loop and prioritization of key stages
  • Creativity and effectiveness of the growth loop design
  • Identification and feasibility of metrics to measure the effectiveness of the growth loop
  • Completeness of documentation and reasoning
  • Clarity and organization of presentation or document

Submission

  • Submit your presentation or document as a PDF or PowerPoint file.
  • Send the file to the hiring manager by email.

Example #4: Take-home test for Designers

This challenge is centered around an intriguing Product Design assessment designed to narrow down a candidate who excels in analyzing user recording sessions and crafting an improved onboarding flow design.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Task: Redesigning the Onboarding Flow Introduction

Introduction

You are a Product Designer at a web-based Product-Led Growth (PLG) company that provides a collaboration tool for remote teams. Your team has recorded user sessions for the past 3 months to help identify areas of improvement for the onboarding flow. Your mission is to redesign the onboarding flow to improve user engagement and activation based on the insights gathered.

Requirements

  • Analyze the user recording sessions to identify user needs and preferences.
  • Develop a new design for the onboarding flow.
  • Prioritize design features based on user needs and business goals.
  • Ensure that the design aligns with the company’s minimalist, intuitive design philosophy.
  • Document your approach and explain your reasoning.

Instructions

  1. Analyze the user recording sessions to identify user needs and preferences. Use the insights gathered to identify areas for improvement in the onboarding flow.
  2. Develop a new design for the onboarding flow. Identify the key stages of the flow, and prioritize them based on user needs and business goals. Ensure that the design aligns with the company’s minimalist, intuitive design philosophy.
  3. Prioritize design features based on user needs and business goals. Identify the most important design features that will enhance user engagement and activation.
  4. Document your approach and explain your reasoning in a presentation or document.

Evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of analysis of user recording sessions and identification of user needs and preferences
  • The soundness of the new onboarding flow design and prioritization of key stages
  • Alignment with the company’s minimalist, intuitive design philosophy
  • Creativity and effectiveness of the prioritized design features
  • Completeness of documentation and reasoning
  • Clarity and organization of presentation or document

Submission

  • Submit your presentation or document as a PDF or PowerPoint file.
  • Send the file to the hiring manager by email.

Example #5: Testing Customer Succes

Our final challenge example focuses on a Customer Success assignment. The perfect candidate will showcase their expertise in defining success metrics for a simulated account, devising impactful tactics to drive feature adoption and enhance metrics, and effectively presenting their approach and results in a mock Quarterly Business Review (QBR) presentation.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Task: Driving Feature Adoption and Improving Metrics

Introduction

You are a Customer Success Manager at a PLG company that provides a project management tool for remote teams. Your mission is to work with a mock account to define success metrics, develop tactics to drive feature adoption and improve metrics for Q2, culminating in a mock QBR presentation.

Requirements

  • Define success metrics for the mock account.
  • Develop tactics to drive feature adoption and improve metrics.
  • Document your approach and results in a mock QBR presentation.

Instructions

  1. Define success metrics for the mock account. Assume that the mock account is a remote team of 20 people that uses your project management tool for all their projects. Assume that they have been using the tool for 6 months, and that they have expressed interest in increasing feature adoption and improving metrics related to on-time delivery, collaboration, and budget management. Use your own assumptions to define success metrics that measure the impact of the product on their business.
  2. Develop tactics to drive feature adoption and improve metrics. Use the success metrics to identify the actions needed to increase feature adoption and improve metrics, and assign responsibilities to your team. Use customer success best practices, such as regular check-ins and training sessions, to ensure that the tactics are on track and that the mock account is engaged and satisfied.
  3. Document your approach and results in a mock QBR presentation. Create a deck that’s less than 10 slides, with consistent title and object placement, fonts, font colors, and different ways of visualizing insights. Use the mock QBR presentation to realign on the mock account’s goals, review their performance, present the tactics and their impact on the success metrics, and recommend the next steps to improve product performance next quarter.

Evaluation

Your submission will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of success metrics defined for the mock account.
  • Soundness of the tactics to drive feature adoption and improve metrics.
  • Collaborative execution of the tactics with your team.
  • Clarity, organization, and persuasiveness of the mock QBR presentation.

Submission

  • Submit your mock QBR presentation as a PDF or PowerPoint file.

  • Send the file to the hiring manager by email.

Try a Homework Assignment by Toggl Hire

So, why not try homework assignments in your hiring process? Our Homework assessments provide invaluable insights for hiring managers evaluating candidates‘ ability to solve job-specific assignments.

Take your interview process to a new level with our ready-made take home task templates

Designed to test the hands-on skills necessary for day-to-day work, these assessments offer a glimpse into a candidate’s potential future job performance. With over 500 pre-built tasks available in Toggl Hire’s library, you can quickly implement comprehensive tests that align with your hiring needs.

Toggl Homework assessments are highly flexible, allowing for either integration with other assessments or standalone use. This means you can customize the evaluation to fit your needs. Toggl Hire’s extensive library supplies assessments for many different skills, helping you to select the best tests for evaluating candidates for any role or industry.

Juste Semetaite

Juste loves investigating through writing. A copywriter by trade, she spent the last ten years in startups, telling stories and building marketing teams. She works at Toggl Hire and writes about how businesses can recruit really great people.

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