Recently, a recruiter from my dream company reached out for an interview.

I showed my interest and he responded with two emails 3 days back, one with an online programming test and the other asking for things like the reason for the change, current salary, and expected salary etc.

I attempted the online interview test and it didn't go well. I did it half correct. I haven't replied to the other email yet.

What can I do to salvage the situation after that bad test attempt? Is it professional to write an email with salary expectations (asked in the other mail), which are in the upper range of the company, when I was not able to perform well in the test?

  • 2
    They asked for your expectations, so give your expectations. Or don't - if you "failed" the test, it doesn't really matter one way or the other. Don't overthink it - no-one's expecting perfect interaction. – Bernhard Barker Dec 16 '17 at 18:19
  • 2
    Do you know that you did poorly on the test? Maybe half correct is better than they were expecting, or that the half you did get right were the questions they actually cared about for the position. – Seth R Nov 6 '18 at 18:15

The recruiter made two requests of you: take this test, and answer these questions. The poor test result might doom your application, but you have an opportunity left to make a positive impression regardless. If you don't respond you won't get the job -- not only did you do poorly on the test but you failed to follow through on the other part. It sounds like you want this job, so why not spend a little time on a response instead?

Answer his questions. Acknowledge the test score and, if you can do it without making excuses or lying, say in a sentence or two why you hope he'll still consider your application. Maybe you have some specialized skill that is interesting to them, for example.

Don't burn bridges with someone who can affect your prospects (not just now but if you should re-apply in a year or two). Not answering his questions is burning bridges. As long as you're answering anyway, do any credible damage-control that you can. It can't hurt and it might help.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks, @Monica. The idea of failing in following up made me ask this question. But what if the recruiter was thinking of contacting me but didn't do after seeing my high expectations? Is there a way I could avoid expectations in the mail or should I straight away tell them? – Advicediso Dec 18 '17 at 12:09
  • 2
    Thanks, @Monica, I followed up with the recruiter on phone and avoided the question for expectations. I got the next round scheduled, it turned out doing one question incorrect was acceptable to the company as the questions were tough. It seems following up and to drop a mail is always a good idea. – Advicediso Nov 6 '18 at 7:20

Should I revert back to the interviewer with the details asked in other email or wait for the interviewer to come back or forget about the company?

If you blew the programming test, then I would consider this position dead and buried. If you're actively looking for other work, I would continue to apply for other positions as you see them.

The best piece of advice I can give you is that it is almost always easier to find a job while you're employed and to keep applying for positions that interest you until you have a written offer and have met all the conditions included in it.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    So you're saying OP shouldn't give the recruiter what they asked for? What if they just think they blew it, but actually did sufficiently well? – Bernhard Barker Dec 17 '17 at 8:15
  • 2
    To give an idea of how true this is, even blowing the programming test because their third party testing partner's servers were down still means you're out of the running. It isn't fair, but that's why you apply to more than one employer. – Edwin Buck Dec 18 '17 at 23:01
  • OP's been edited but I would also note that 'revert' does not mean 'reply'. – jcm Jan 12 at 8:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .