There are a bunch of options available, and I am only stating the ones I have personally used before.
Ask for more time or another take home test task
This is something that is easy to do, and you should have the skill to regularly do it in your job anyways. Make an estimate of the time you will need to complete the work, and ask for more time. Or, ask for another task that will be more suited for your circumstances.
If they want you, they will grant the request.
I have asked for more time (14 working days) on a 3 hour task, and they easily granted it. All it took was one (1) email. I was done by day five (5). I ultimately declined to advance in that interview process, because after phone calls I found out there was a language barrier that I could not overcome (they were in a very different geographic region of the same country, and English was not the language of communication verbally).
I have asked to work with another tech stack (python) instead of the one they asked me to use(ruby or Perl) , and it was granted after a little back and forth. I did advance in that round, so I do not think it affected me very negatively.
Ask for a live interview
State that you desire a live test, in person or over the internet. Do ask that they provide an environment for you to work on the test, or provide an online environment or docker image.
It has the added benefit of having the opportunity of meeting team members and getting better data of whether you want to work with them. I have done this before, and it gave me the opportunity to meet the CEO and decide I did not want to take the offer they gave me—because I would have no scope for professional development there or any opportunity to move upwards with promotions, even if the team members seemed good people to work with.
Why these options work
As an employee, you would ask for the things necessary to complete your work. As an interviewee, you should do the same. It gives you visibility into the company's responsiveness to your needs, and the ability to observe how they react to someone asking for help.
Ultimately, in an interview, you should ask for what you are comfortable with so that you may maximize your chance of doing your best work.
- I have not interviewed for nearly 2 years now, so this advice might be invalid due to passage of time.
- The companies I interviewed and used theses options with were well established and non-FAANG, not startups. I have no experience with using these options while interviewing with a startup.