I'm a newbie web developer and looking for a junior position. Recently I submitted my resume to position for a company that were looking for a candidate with:

  • Required: knowledge of HTML, CSS, RWD, JS, jQuery (I know this)
  • Preferred: knowledge of angular 2 (I don't know this)

In the phone interview, I told them that I don't know angular 2 at all. After the interview, the company asked me to pass a "test": code a one-page website based on a .PSD mockup, using angular 2. This is a fairly challenging task for someone of my skill level, especially since I have to use a technology I don't know,

I have a feeling that they are simply looking for someone to build them a page for free. What should I do?

Some options I have thought of:

  • Build the page using angular 2 as best I can
  • Build it without angular 2 (there is not a lot on the page that depends on this technology)
  • Build the page, but do not send it to them; instead, show the code and the rendered page in a video
  • Tell them that if they want me to do work for them, they should pay me

Which of these is the most professional course of action? What's more likely to get me the job?

  • They require somebody with knowledge in a programming language you don't know, so either learn it and perform the task showing you got the analytical skills to learn something you don't know, or walk away from the interview because you won't get the job unless you do the task
    – Donald
    Mar 19, 2017 at 15:29

2 Answers 2

  1. If you tell them to "f-off" you won't get anything from them. They don't owe you anything for the 2-days of "coding" The test is a pre-requisite to get a job, if you choose not to do it you don't get the job. It's up to you if the time spent is worth it.

  2. I'm guessing there is a reason that they're asking you to use angular-2, it's likely critical to their business and/or products. If you don't do the test the way they require it then you might as well not do it at all. If you don't know it and can't perform what's needed for the test then you likely need to look for another position.

If you are capable of becoming comfortable with angular-2 to complete the test that could be a good feather in your cap that you weren't familiar with it before, but learned what you could on your own to perform for them. That will prove to the employer that you're flexible and a quick learner.

Take a look here: http://www.angular2.com/ they have a lot of resources to help learn.

  • 1
    "it's likely critical to their business and/or products" - but it's listed as "preferred", not "required".. Mar 20, 2017 at 15:15
  • It's my understanding that Angular-2 is a framework for web and mobile development, it's probably listed as preferred because experience with development or a similar framework would likely give an employee a good base of knowledge and learning the specifics of angular-2 would be fairly easy. By saying that a specific piece of knowledge is "required" severely limits the candidates that apply for the positing, and they might miss a great potential employee that might not have specific angualr-2 experience but otherwise is a great developer.
    – Pork Pants
    Mar 20, 2017 at 15:49
  • @EdwinLambregts - apparently it's not as optional as they say. Oct 30, 2017 at 16:17

Fair or not, tests like this are common (especially for junior-level roles, but that may be my perception). Some of those can be very time-consuming to complete. Whether this is a contrived test or something that eventually makes its way into production code shouldn't really matter - it's the same amount of work for you either way.

In terms of using Angular 2, if you simply don't use it without discussing that with them first it'll look like you don't follow directions. With that said, at some companies, it may be possible (but possibly risky) to negotiate which technologies you use to do the test.

One more point to consider: Angular 2 is good to know anyway. You can expect to learn it if you get the job, and even if you don't it'll still be helpful to you for other interviews and job applications.

Truthfully, if you want to pursue this job, your best option is to simply grin and bear it.

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