I had a phone screen with the hiring manager (VP of Engineering), and my impressions weren't very favorable. Some of my basic questions were answered vaguely or at best, with answers that I didn't really like.
For example, I asked "what's a typical work week", and at first he talked a bit about how they have flexible hours, and they try to avoid fire drills, and so on... And finally when I asked point-blank if it's 40 hours a week, he said "40-45. There probably are some people who do exactly 40...".
Then I asked "how many people would I be working with" and I didn't really get a clear answer. He told me how many people are in the department, but this role isn't a pure software developer role (it's more on the data side), so that answer didn't really help.
Additionally, this role doesn't have a defined manager yet. It sounds like other candidates apparently have had some confusion about what the role entails.
Overall, this role sounds like it has a lot of ambiguity and would require well over 40 hours/week. (I'm not at all interested in a job that's over 40 hours a week.)
The problem is that I know this role would be an excellent opportunity to get into a serious mid-level role, rather than a junior role where I am currently.
In theory I'd just proceed with the process and make that decision later, but they want a coding assignment done in advance (before calling me in for an interview) and I'm also pretty tight on time (both at home & at my current job) because I'm interviewing with two other companies right now, as well.
Are phone screens (especially with a senior developer) truly reflective of a company's reality? What are some considerations for when to proceed or not to proceed with an interview even after you're unimpressed by a phone screen?
Since he's the VP of Engineering, I'd expect much more from a phone conversation with him, unless this place really is as a big of a mess as it sounds... Of note, I like my current job but I'm looking for more opportunities and higher salary. So switching jobs is not urgent at all for me currently.