I have applied for a Junior Product Manager position at a mobile gaming company (in Germany). After a standard phone screening, I was sent a test by email to complete in order to go further with the process.
The tasks consists in creating a roadmap for one of their mobile games with "at least 3 new features and a bunch of improvements to the current features in the game". It also asks to make estimations for the features/suggestions, and create a diagram to split up the work over the different teams. All suggestions should be well explained and motivated. There is no set deadline, guidelines on the time to spend on the test or on the length of the deliverable.
Now, I have nothing against interview tests. I am actually very in favour of them, and try to stay away from companies that hire fast without really checking a candidate's abilities. I came from a developer background, so I have often been asked to do coding tests for interviews.
However, this test took me by surprise because:
The scope seems huge. Even cutting it short, I don't see how it would take me less than a week to do this properly.
It is real work for the company. I can't even be sure the company isn't doing this just to get lots of ideas out of people. Why not have the same test but regarding a competitor's game, or an hypothetical one?
I'd like to hear other opinions regarding this. Is this kind of test common practice? Is it reasonable? Are they trying to exploit me with free work? And if not, how do I approach the company? Should I suck it up and do the test, just drop this and not go further with the process (I'm actually pretty interested in working for them), or try to communicate my doubts to them? How?
Thank you all for the responses. I wanted to give you an update on my decision.
After posting, I read some concerning interview experiences on Glassdoor. 2 artists who applied and were rejected after their test, then saw artwork very similar to the one they had submitted being used in the game updates. I then contacted the company asking if I could do the test on a competitor's game instead, and if I could reduce the scope. They told me both weren't possible, as they need to use the same test for all applicants for benchmarking.
I also got to learn that the final stage of the hiring process (in case I passed the test and 2 more interviews after that) would be a 2-days unpaid trial in the company.
So... yeah... I'm not going to move forward with them!