I recently interviewed with a medium sized company. The job description was very general, one requirement was:
Upon arrival I was presented a test. I was asked to start a web-server using Ruby on Rails by using all the necessary steps (installation, initialization, creating a basic hello world page, making it accessible on local host and also handling a error along the way they had prepared). The timespan was very short. Since I had no prior knowledge of Ruby, I just started google, reading a quick tutorial on the official Ruby resource. I had completed the task about 40% - 50% when my time was up.
I was asked why I was unable to finish and I explained that I had no prior knowledge of ruby whether as a developer or in regards to dev ops or administrating a Ruby-based web server.
I was told the exercise was explicitly about seeing how I would handle technology which I know nothing about and the timeframe was intentionally too short. It was designed to see how the applicant would act under stress faced with an unlikely task.
However, I was later explained that my test would be graded “F”. I was disappointed and asked what would have been expected. I was informed that the grading was analogue to how far you have come with your solution. Since I was under 50%, I was graded F. I then asked how the result should have been for passing the test (being A and B in this case). A would have been the task fully completed, B would have been like A, only missing the last implementation of displaying the actual “hello world” message.
I may be wrong (since I have never worked with Ruby etc), but I feel like this test was very unfair since on the one hand side it was pretty much designed to struggle and fail, however it was graded like a normal test where the applicant would be able to implement the solution within the given time because he should know these basics.
During the following interview part my “bad grade” was referenced a few times. What would have been a professional response to this?