I Got $75 For This Dashboard But Not A Job

Takeaways from a controversial data science interview practice: The take-home assignment.

Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

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Shortly before I entered graduate school, I conducted my own version of “Dirty Jobs” as I looked for remote “gig” work. Already having a day job and a part-time job, I was looking for that elusive mixture of low-effort high return. So, I applied to a posting from a transcription company and after what I’m sure was a cursory glance at my resume, was immediately given a practice assignment to be completed on my own time.

Unpaid.

The recruiter assured me that I would only need to do 2 hours of transcription before they could consider me “accepted” and start paying me for work. Unfortunately, what they neglected to inform me (and every other applicant) was that 2 hours of transcription work != 2 hours of work.

With the amount of pausing, pressing my earbud deeper into my ear drum and “shh-ing” my surroundings, the time came out to roughly 2–3 hours per file. In an effort to game the system, I searched for the mp4 file I was given, found it on YouTube and copied/pasted the auto-generated transcription.

Needless to say, I was not hired.

This plus a few other instances of “play before pay” sourced my attitude toward any…

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Zach Quinn
Pipeline: Your Data Engineering Resource

Journalist—>Sr. Data Engineer; helping you target, land and excel in data-driven roles.