On Friday, someone I follow shared a post about the kind of application process a Product Designer can expect when applying to Monzo:

Over the last three years we’ve hired 11 product designers. And with each new member of the team, we’ve learned something new about how to hire designers.

For other companies who are starting to scale their design teams, and designers who want to work at Monzo, we thought it’d be valuable to share what our hiring process looks like and the things we look for in a product designer.

The process: an application form, a phone interview, a design challenge (which they review with a feedback call), an in-person workshop (with an engineer, a designer and manager), a general interview (with 2 people “disassociated with product or design”).

This must be expensive and time consuming for the company (none of my business), but also the candidates. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they pay for people’s time for the design challenge…

They say the design challenge will probably take “an evening or two”. The kicker though:

it’s fine to take as much time as you need to think about the problem

Emphasis mine. Here’s what they are expecting for your couple of evenings, plus thinking time:

We’ll send you a brief, and in return we’re looking for an end-to-end design of how you think this could look and work. Your app can be designed for iOS or Android, and we welcome any amount of research that helps you come to your solution. The ultimate result we’re after is a set of functional, polished screens with a clear write-up of how your solution works and the choices you’ve made.

OK. I wonder how much we would charge for this process at work or how long we would take to do a good job? A couple of evenings is 5ish hours. Seems tight… Either way, we certainly charge for thinking time, because that’s the job.

Sounds like Monzo want to hire people with time on their hands.

Does the task give a good insight into your candidates? The issues with design tasks are plentiful. This post by Faruk Ates articulates a lot of the issues with design tasks, better than I am able to.

I can’t help feeling the time and effort being asked of candidates (and Monzo) seems to be to avoid hiring the wrong person, rather than the right one.