After reviewing my CV, they issued a technical test. They would not proced with the interview process until the technical test was done.

The technical test was to build a production-quality fully-functional web app from scratch. This includes reviewing specs, designing the interface so it's presentable, writing the code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript framework, pagination features), and testing the app. While the app itself isn't too big, if I did that task in a workplace to the upmost of my ability it would take almost a week. Someone could slap it together in a couple of hours but that's not good. It took me 4 days to do it and about 12-16 hours. Let's be honest, we all have to tweak and polish things before you want the world to see it especially the styling.

Then I passed the technical test so they did a 1-hour on-site grilling about everything on my CV. The recruiter said it could take more than 2 weeks to get any feedback from the interview. The interview was abruptly cut off at the 1 hour mark because the interviewers had to go to another meeting. I felt really tired after the interview and I got very little information about what they like, value, and are about but on the other hand I didn't see any obvious bad behavior etc.

I don't mind to do some technical tests but I think that such a large test before you have even talked to them is a big investment on my end and zero on theirs.

What does this process say about a company/role?

  • 2
    Seems like they have little respect for you time but if it was a scam for free development they would have no need to bring you in at all.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 14, 2017 at 15:08
  • 2
    I would say it was unprofessional and unorganized. If they ever do get back to you, you should consider if you'd want to work for them anyway.
    – PeteCon
    Mar 14, 2017 at 16:22
  • VTC as opinion-based. Assuming any element of the hiring process "says something" about the company or role is somewhat foolish. It might mean X, it might mean Y, there's no way Internet Guessing is going to help you here. It's also unclear what problem you are trying to solve with this question - looking for reasons to dislike them and bail? Bail if you want to bail, you don't need emotional support from us to do it.
    – mxyzplk
    Mar 14, 2017 at 18:20
  • Welcome to my world Audra. As others have said, its your call if you want to proceed with the coding challenge. It really does say they do not respect your time in my IMO but what you do next is up to you. The tech scene is a laboratory of trends and unfortunately, hard working engineers like us are the lab rats. Good luck.
    – Daniel
    Feb 16, 2019 at 22:07

5 Answers 5


Although the other answers are good, I don't think this is a scam, but instead a poor interviewing process. The person who designed this interviewing process probably doesn't know how long doing the exercise takes. Or maybe this person does and he or she expects the candidates to spend a week on it.

It's up to you to decide whether to do this kind of exercises or not. I usually try to estimate how much an interview test is going to take me, and if it's more than 2-3 hours, I'll politely decline and explain why.

Remember an interview is a two-way process. In other words, you are assessing the company as well. If you think they are not respecting your time or have unrealistic expectations, maybe it's not the right place for you.


What does this process say about a company/role?

It says they don't respect you or your time. As others have suggested, there's a real possibility that you just got scammed.

If it wasn't a scam, consider that you're looking at a company that places unreasonable demands on people, doesn't compensate fairly, doesn't communicate well, and is emotionally draining.


In my mind, any technical test that takes longer than 2 hours is not a test, it's a scam.

In reality, the test is less about proving you can do the job, the CV should do that. The test is about seeing if you can, in a resource-limited environment, produce readable code, present a decent interpretation of the requirements and work in a logical and methodical manner.

Unfortunately, I think you got conned.


It might be a scam. It happened in the past a few times - you will do the task and they will just use for their own purposes. Free labour...

You already got a few point:

Vagueness about the role Technical task too big Not interested interviewer

I would say it raises some red flags. Be careful.


It remains to be seen what this says about this particular company. These kinds of tests are more common these days along with temp-to-hire practices. Hiring developers is difficult. Having a portfolio of work from side projects could help more developers avoid this. It wouldn't be that difficult to look at your code and ask a few questions to determine if you actually wrote it. In defense of those hiring, you have to show you can do the job in some way. If the job requires building web sites, then you show you can build a web site.

What you should be thinking about is how are you going to use this to your benefit when applying for others jobs. I think it is fair to ask for an opportunity for you to learn more about the company, position and your direct supervisor before committing several hours (more than 3) to a coding test. This way you get to decide if the effort is worth it.

Use this experience as a reason for pushing back a little on your next potential employer. You have every right to be leery of these types of requests since you feel you may have been scammed by this particular employer. You're going to have to stand up for your rights and look for employers that play fair.

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