Recently I had two interviews focused on programming language X. For most of the past five years, that language has been my professional and personal focus.
The first interview took place in-person with a tech lead and senior developer. At the end, the tech lead told me that it had gone well. Having worked as a developer almost 10 years, i.e. having gone on multiple interviews in my life, I know that it went well. Lastly, I had taught them a new technique in language X that they had not heard of previously. A few days later, I got a reply from the company that they'd like to take the next steps with me.
The second interview was a background and technical phone screen with a tech lead. The role is looking for someone with skills in language X. I answered every question immediately and accurately. At the end of the phone call, the tech lead stated that he wanted to proceed to the next steps.
In both interviews, I fully expected the next steps - given my read of the interviews' successes.
However, both companies want me to complete a 4-hour exercise in language X. When communicating over email to company 1, I had informed them of 5-6 GitHub repositories where I've contributed OSS and personal side studies in language X. For company 2, at the end of the phone interview, I was told that I was expected to complete an exercise in language X. I respectfully pushed back - asking, would it be OK if I linked you to my GitHub repository, which includes 5-6 projects demonstrating my skill in language X? However, the interviewer still wants me to complete the exercise.
In short, here's my objection to completion of these exercises:
- I have solid evidence of proficiency in language X by pointing to my side work (on GitHub) over the past three years, spanning 100's of hours of my own personal time.
- Given my desire to convey myself as a rigorous, test-heavy software engineer, it will likely take me ~6-8 hours to complete the exercise. In other words, to put my true face forward, I don't expect to complete the work in ~4 hours unless I give it less than 100%.
- To be honest, I'd rather use my personal time to continue studying my current "curriculum" of side projects, namely more advanced features and OSS in language X.
How can I respectfully, but boldly, convey my interest in the company, but decline to complete exercises given the above three points?