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So I applied for a job at a company and a recruiter reach out to me via email as they wanted to proceed with the interview process. The company didn't do a phone interview with me, instead they scheduled me for a panel interview with 4 people, a technical/BI (behavioral interview), coding interview and HR back to back on the same day. Before my panel interview they had me do a take home assignment and behavioral assessment which I completed and emailed to them.

One the day of the panel interview via Zoom, I was interview by 2 people for the technical/BI. They asked basic technical/BI questions, it wasn't anything complicated. After 30 minutes into the technical/BI, the interviewer stopped the interview and told me that they felt I wasn't ready to work for the company. So I didn't proceed with the 2nd and 3rd interviews. I wish I would have asked the interviewer why he felt I wasn't ready to work for the company. But I will never know as I didn't think of asking them at that time.

I feel a bit angry after the interview as I spent time doing their take home assignment just to be told during the first part of the panel interview that they feel I wasn't ready to work for the company.

Do you guy think it professional for a company to end an interview earlier, especially after making the interviewee do a take home assignment?

Edited: I kept seeing a few comment asking me the same question like, so you would rather go through the entire interview process even though they have already decided not to hire you. So to clarify it, my answer is yes. I would rather go through the entire interview process even if the company has already decided not to hire me. I am a new college graduate and with the tech layoff and hiring freeze, it even harder for me and many other new graduate to land our first job while competing with the other tech people who been layoff and has way more professional work experience than us. So going through the entire interview process is a good learning experience and also I can learn from my past interview mistake so that I would at least have a chance of landing that first job.

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    So long as your attitude didn't suck on the way out the door, you can still ask for feedback from the interview. You might not get it, but you won't lose anything by asking. Jul 22, 2022 at 19:54
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    It was via zoom. I just thank them and close zoom.
    – user135986
    Jul 22, 2022 at 19:59
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    Would you have felt better finding out that they'd wasted another half hour of your time asking you questions when they'd already decided not to employ you?
    – Gh0stFish
    Jul 22, 2022 at 20:45
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    Yes I would. At least that way I get to go through the entire interview process and learn from the experience rather than stopping the interview half way.
    – user135986
    Jul 22, 2022 at 20:53
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    I've been in the interviewer's position here, except I wasn't the one who would get to make the call. It felt disingenuous and mean to have to finish the interview at a reasonable length when it was already clear halfway through that there were serious gaps in the technical skills. Jul 23, 2022 at 12:51

7 Answers 7

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Do you guy think it professional for a company to end an interview earlier especially after making the interviewee do a take home assignment?

Absolutely.

Once they decided that you weren't right for the job, it makes sense to end it there. That saves your time and their time.

It's unfortunate, but better to stop at that point rather than waste more hours of their time and your time.

It goes the other way, too. I have been in interviews scheduled for a half-day with four people, where I told them it was clear the job wasn't the right fit for me after the first half hour of discussion with the hiring manager. They thanked me for my honesty. I shook their hand, thanked them for the opportunity, and walked out.

Now that you have edited your question and indicated that this will be your first job out of school, I understand your disappointment and frustration. It hurts to be turned down. Over time you will learn that this sort of thing happens. You will see that the employer wants to spend their limited time finding and hiring good employees. They don't tend to spend their time helping candidates learn how to interview better.

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    Thank for the reply. I'm guessing from now on, I won't be interviewing for company that required a take home assignment.
    – user135986
    Jul 22, 2022 at 20:05
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    @Waeyo that is a decision you have a right to make, but may limit your options in the future if that is a common practice in your industry.
    – Seth R
    Jul 22, 2022 at 20:59
  • @Seth R it isn't a common practice in my industry.
    – user135986
    Jul 22, 2022 at 21:01
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    @Joe Strazzere The point of a take home assignment is to assess your skill and for you to explain your answer to the interviewer during your interview. So when my interview was cut short, I end up doing all those work for pretty much nothing. These take home assignment do happen from time to time, but this isn't a common thing in programming so I won't be missing out on some good job.
    – user135986
    Jul 23, 2022 at 2:10
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    @Waeyo Well, they must have at least liked your code; otherwise they wouldn't have invited you to the panel interview.
    – BSMP
    Jul 23, 2022 at 4:40
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Do you guy think it professional for a company to end an interview earlier, especially after making the interviewee do a take home assignment?

Yes. It would have been unprofessional to continue it.

But you're not really asking us that, you're asking us to validate your feelings and your wish that they had continued the interview process. You're looking for that one person to agree with you so that you can feel validated in your feelings about this event.

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  • I'm not looking for validation, I'm looking for opinions. Thank you for your opinion and have a good day.
    – user135986
    Jul 23, 2022 at 19:21
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    @Waeyo Be aware that "asking primarily for opinions" is considered grounds for closing a question here. Jul 24, 2022 at 1:13
  • He has clearly stated he is a graduate and that he had a lot to gain by completing the interview. The interviewers would've been aware of this fact, not to mention the preparatory work. It's not a matter of validation it is a matter of respect and courtesy which is a two-way street. People on this site seem to forget that it is an interview for a contractual agreement, not a goodwill gesture or a favour
    – user311438
    Jul 30, 2022 at 10:45
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So I didn't proceed with the 2nd and 3rd interviews. I wish I would have asked the interviewer why he felt I wasn't ready to work for the company. But I will never know as I didn't think of asking them at that time.

You can still ask! There's no guarantee that they will respond, but you have nothing to lose by emailing with something along the lines of "Hi, thanks for interviewing me last week, if you're able to give me any feedback that would be helpful for future interviews I'd very much appreciate that."

Do you guy think it professional for a company to end an interview earlier, especially after making the interviewee do a take home assignment?

Yes. If it is clear to the panel that they're not going to hire you, it is quite reasonable for them to cut the process short at this point.

From the interviewer's side: recruitment is a time-consuming activity. Last time I was on a panel it meant taking several weeks out of my regular work in order to help draft the ad, review written applications, write interview questions, interview candidates, and write up our recommendations.

Further, recruitment usually happens because we don't have enough staff to cover our existing workload. In the long run we hope that recruitment will help with that situation! But in the short term, it means a big time commitment for people who are already overloaded. Last time I was recruiting, I ended up interviewing 16 candidates in two days because of time pressures; this is exhausting!

From the panel's side, when it becomes clear that a candidate isn't suitable, cutting the process short can recover a little of that time. Even 30 minutes saved can be a relief.

I have never cut an interview short, but there have been times when that would have been a better choice.

(Caveat: I am assuming that the take-home assignment was a good-faith test of your skills. Some orgs use this kind of thing as a sneaky way to get job-seekers to do unpaid work that the company will use, which is unethical, but you haven't mentioned anything to suggest that this was happening here.)

Edited: I kept seeing a few comment asking me the same question like, so you would rather go through the entire interview process even though they have already decided not to hire you. So to clarify it, my answer is yes. I would rather go through the entire interview process even if the company has already decided not to hire me. I am a new college graduate and with the tech layoff and hiring freeze, it even harder for me and many other new graduate to land our first job while competing with the other tech people who been layoff and has way more professional work experience than us. So going through the entire interview process is a good learning experience and also I can learn from my past interview mistake so that I would at least have a chance of landing that first job.

This is a very reasonable preference. You are very sensible in wanting to get as much interview experience as you can! But the panel doesn't owe you that experience. It might be worth looking for other opportunities to practice interviewing - for instance, check whether your college has a careers centre that can give mock interviews.

It's also not a universal preference. Some people would prefer to stop as soon as they're out of the running, and from the interviewer's side we can't tell what you'd prefer.

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One the day of the panel interview via Zoom, I was interview by 2 people for the technical/BI. They asked basic technical/BI questions, ....

After 30 minutes into the technical/BI, the interviewer stopped the interview and told me that they felt I wasn't ready to work for the company.

I don't think you had serious technical problem. If so, they should be able to find out you have technical problems in the code assignments. In that case, you would not have that panel interview

It is possible that they had found something you said or did during that 30 minutes do not fit into their company workplace. In other words, you may have failed the behavior interview.

This may not be your fault. You are a fresh college graduate. You may have said or done something you were not supposed to due to your inexperience.

Try to remember what you have said or done during the interview. Talk to a job search counselor or ask another question on this site to see what you did or said was wrong. Next time, avoid that kind of mistake. You may get an even better job.

Good Luck !

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Do you guy think it professional for a company to end an interview earlier,

It depends. You said that they gave you a lot of home assignments both technical and behavioural, how much information did you give about yourself in the behavioural assessment?

If it were a genuine recruitment process, terminating the process as soon as they reached a conclusion is the right thing to do. It is way better than going on and create false expectations. But if the recruitment process were just an excuse to profile people and gather data the judgement would change drastically.

Unfortunately you will never know the truth, but you could discuss with other people both the questions contained in the home assignments and the questions made during the interview. If according to others you did not make big mistakes answering those questions and the information you gave in the behavioural assessment did have a value then you have some reasons to suspect the worse case.

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Consider this practice and not wasted time. This goes for the interview as well as the take home assignment.

My guess would be that the interview was to confirm the suspicions about your technical skills that they had from looking at your work. You said they asked technical/BI question but "not anything complicated". You may be wrong there, and you didn't give the answers they were looking for and they concluded you oversold yourself in your application.

Landing a job is hard, especially the first one, and especially when you really need one and is emotionally attached to not getting it, so you may have to practice to make perfect.

I would suggest you revisit your assignment, preferably with an experienced programmer, to see if you can learn anything valuable from it.

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If we consider interview to be a two - way selection (employee evaluating candidate AND candidate evaluating company) then unilaterally concluding the interview early could definitely raises some eyebrows.

With our corporate training material one of the things that got emphasized a lot is that we are interacting with "the public" and should paint the company in the best light possible during the interview. Even when we have made up our mind that candidate failed the interview, they should still have some good air time to learn about our work, our culture and our expertise. The community is small enough that people definitely cross path a lot in different circumstances. Even when candidate might not go forward with us they might be impress and, one day, decided to hire us instead. Life is hard to predict sometimes.

I'm sure those who have "never burn bridges" mentality could at least see what I'm talking about here.

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