3

It seems recently it has become more popular for some companies to send pre screening technical tests to the candidates.
It seems like hard work for the candidates as they usually ask for several hours commitment, whereas it takes max 10 mins for them to review the code.

Most annoying are the recruiters who try to explain to me why it's a necessary step in the hiring process.

What would be the maximum time I should spend on doing that test? How should I explain them when they leave it vague regarding the time spending on the task?

5

These tests are designed to prevent the company wasting interview time on people who are not qualified. Having both written these tests and sat them, I can say that they are incredibly valuable. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they make the company seem more competent, professional, etc.

  • I would agree if I know about the company after talking to them, but if it comes from a recruiter and I don't even know I want to work for that small company why should I? – Peter Tree Oct 20 '16 at 12:46
  • 4
    Well, because I assume that you want a job... – JohnHC Oct 20 '16 at 13:49
  • I learned my lesson about taking hours long test just to get an initial interview. I now just simply pass it with a message that states I do not wish to potentially waste hours of my time without knowing if I would even get a "first" interview. The only time I do these tests is when I first meet the interviewer, then get an idea if I like to pursue it and they seem genuine. – Dan Oct 20 '16 at 16:37
  • @Dan totally agree with you, but after not looking for a job for a while when you start looking again you forget how some companies/recruiters are time wasters. – Peter Tree Oct 21 '16 at 22:45
1

What would be the maximum time I should spend on doing that test?

You should spend no more than 1 hour, 48 minutes on the test. On a more serious note, that is a decision entirely for you to make based on how much you value your time and how much getting to the next round of interview matters to you.

Most annoying are the recruiters who try to explain to me why it's a necessary step in the hiring process.

There is an easy solution to this: simply stop engaging with such "annoying" recruiters.

How should I explain them when they leave it vague regarding the time spending on the task?

There is also nothing you need to explain here. You could simply tell them that you are willing to spend no more than a certain number of hours on their test. Be aware though, that they too could simply tell you they don't want to consider you further in the interview process.

While you probably have genuine reasons for your irritation with the pre-screening tests, you should also realize that the companies have their own reasons for those tests. You may not agree with those reasons, but if you want to work for such a company, you don't have much choice other than to follow their interview process. Of course, you could just restrict your job search to companies without tests that annoy you.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.