I'm in a rather unusual situation.
Client comes and asks me if I can build an app with this and that technology. After we agree on hourly rate and time schedule, they ask me to do a coding challenge before we sign the contract.

We are both, me and the client, LLCs. They have seen my website and portfolio.
Has anyone else been asked something like this before ?



6 Answers 6


Sure, it's happened.

It's similar to if someone said to you, "I will only pay $5 per hour" for something you know they can't get from any other qualified person for less than $80+. Just laugh and keep on moving. The fact you tell them, 'no' could motivate them to skip the requirement. You have to have confidence.

No it doesn't matter if coding challenges are (relatively) common in the full time employment job hunting world. Don't do anything for free for somebody who hasn't even paid you a dollar. To put it all in perspective, there are potential clients who would pay you serious cash just to think about working on their project.


It is reasonable for a client/company to run a practical test before hiring somebody. However, given that such a test takes time and effort, it is also reasonable that you ask to be paid for it - at least a symbolic price. If they ask you to do it for free, assuming that you are desperate for the job or that they can always find another candidate like you, it is a sure red flag about how this company treats its employees.

  • 2
    Thanks for replying. The task they want me to solve takes 5 days. When I asked for their company details so I can send an invoice for 5 days work, they treat me like I'm the devil.
    – r3dm4n
    Nov 4, 2020 at 12:40
  • 2
    I'm not desperate. I told them I'm currently booked for 1 more month, and can't start their project until I finish the current project.
    – r3dm4n
    Nov 4, 2020 at 12:41
  • 1
    @r3dm4n Asking you to do a coding challenge when you are not in the hiring process - red flag. Coding challenge that takes 5 days to solve - big red flag. Not treating you well when you want to send an invoice for a work - another big red flag. Even if you get the contract afterwards it will be a nightmare to communicate with that client. I would suggest avoiding that client if you can afford doing so (and it seems you can).
    – Sanya_Zol
    Feb 20, 2022 at 15:54

Yes, Maximum time the clients and the company do this. First they give you some task and check you, if you can successfully do the challenge. Actually they look for your enthusiastic approach, problem solving skill, communication skill, clean code skill. They do it for long term relationship with you. If you success then they give you Job with nice figure salary and other benefits.

  • This isn't a job. It's a project and contract between two business entities.
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 9, 2020 at 0:37

It'd be useful if you could describe on your post the code challenge which he've proposed to you, sometimes those ones are pitfalls made by your customer to get work done without actually getting you paid. Anyway, be much careful regarding yours agreeds established with your customer in that current way which it's been realized.


I would never acquiesce to this. A client either believes and trusts that you can do the work or they don't, in which case they're free to hire someone else.

This sounds like a way to get you to perform work for them for free.


The request is common enough however, you should weigh the benefits of working for the company. The timing is as was already mentioned there are plenty of people willing to pay you simply to discuss their project with them.

On the other hand for example, and this is an outlier perhaps, but Google does much more than a single test to prove you're worth employing. I'm sure you are familiar to some degree about their and other companies procedures of interviewing a candidate.

This is Feelance so the "pros", the money or potentially the project (experience, personal interest) could make it worth your while.

  • 1
    I am the company, they are the client. I am not taking an interview at Google. They came to my shop asking me to do a coding challenge.
    – r3dm4n
    Nov 26, 2020 at 18:22
  • I understand, and I along with others answered your question that yes, people do experience.this. Google is just an example as I mentioned. This is the Freelance Exchange and although Google may hire freelancers, like you said it's not Google. Since you came to an arrangement already your interest is there. The money must be acceptable to.some degree . If it's enough to to.warrant satisfying your potential customer perhaps do it. Otherwise move on.
    – sativay
    Nov 27, 2020 at 12:29

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