Is it ethical to ask a potential hire to redesign an existing website for the company?

For context, I've been sent a static image of a dashboard for a major bank. I've been given no information about the dashboard or its purpose, so it seems like they simply want a visual redesign, which is also concerning since this is supposed to be a UX design job, not a visual design job. However, if all they want is, in fact, a redesign of the visuals, what's to stop them from taking my work and using it without paying me? This also seems like a waste of time if I don't end up getting hired, especially since I already have a portfolio that they can look at for samples of my work.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about user experience. – maxathousand May 24 '17 at 21:42
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    The question might fit better in The Workplace SE. – Alvaro May 24 '17 at 21:44
  • I agree with @KenMohnkern. The hiring process should be assessing your skills and evaluating how well you'd be able to handle the job. This sounds like they're exploiting this process. – maxathousand May 24 '17 at 21:45

I don't know about the ethicalness, but I see the same red flags you do. They're asking you to do free work for them with no guarantee of them offering you the job, and it appears the job isn't even a UX job. How can you redesign something without doing user research and getting an understanding of the users' needs?


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NEVER DO FREE WORK! It is a waste of your time. If they want to find out your process for solving problems then they can find that out during an on-site interview. I fell for this trap and learned the hard way.

There are plenty of companies who actually know how to spot talent.

Seek them out.

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