Hot answers tagged

247

You can push back via the recruiter, sure. The recruiter may or may not pass on your feedback, and it may or may not result in a different outcome. Your feedback should be pretty polite though - so lose that "junior developer graded it" stuff, and explain in detail your answer to the SQL queries you mention. You might want to ignore the nit-picky stuff ...


123

What's fair or not is going to depend on everybody's definition of fair and ultimately it doesn't matter. That company has a process, and it sounds like they make everybody go through that process regardless of credentials. Whether their process is good or fair is a separate discussion. You felt it was excessive so you decided to move on and pursue other ...


110

Ask the interviewer Some will be OK with it, some won't. Anyone worth working for or with will be happy that you clarified it with them rather than making assumptions.


86

The hiring process is a two way street - you are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you and life is too short to be spent in jobs that make you miserable if you have a better option. You don't say much about your current situation so I don't know how badly you need a new job but if you aren't desperate I'd say the number of personal red flags ...


86

This is one of those cases where you need to view the entire interview as a 2-way street. You're interviewing them just as much as they're interviewing you. If you'd really like to work here, then it may be worth your while to draft a response to the recruiter and interviewer indicating why you gave the answers you did and (gently) indicate why you ...


83

To paraphrase Cracking the Coding Interview: Most companies are aware that their tests will result in some false negatives. Particularly at the bigger-name companies that get hundreds and hundreds of applicants-- they're fine with that. What they want to avoid more than anything is false positives. A false positive means that they're wasting their money on ...


79

You said, I don't know what to do here The best thing to do is probably to move on. Focus your mental and emotional energy on other opportunities. Either: The employer is right - the test is not impossible, and you just screwed it up. But if that's the case, following up won't really get you anywhere, because they've clearly passed you over at this ...


63

If I gave a developer a task such as 'Create a responsive horizontal nav bar', I'd be very disappointed if they spent hours creating it from scratch when there are so many viable and correct solutions already out there. You don't have time in the real world to create the perfect solution every time,


53

Is it fair to test like this? Is it sensible? I don't know. Is it fair? Yes, it's fair. If the others are asked to do the same thing. It's fair. After all, the point of a test is not necessarily to ace it. It's to compare your performance to the performance of others. In that sense, it's fair. If someone used to code with google and someone can just ...


48

Open a question on Stack Overflow. You might get some kind of surprise answer and then you'll feel dumb and move on. You might get a million veterans on your side telling you that you were correct and then you can just say "well, screw that company then" and move on. Be sure to give as many details as you can. Some sort of web-portal mechanism processed ...


34

I think the test is valid and you failed it by completely focusing on the irrelevant part. Your task was (only!) to implement the 'functionToWrite'. The 'gets' function is a part of the system that someone else wrote and that you have an (implicit) documentation for. You see that this function gives you a list of numbers (and to compute the length of the ...


28

Is it fair to ask someone for a non-human coding test if they have lots of demonstrable material online? Yes, it's fair. How do I know that it didn't take you a year to create that HelloWorld project on Github? How do I know that you created it in the first place and didn't copy it from somewhere? How do I know that your coding skills are current? (maybe ...


28

To pass the test, you had to ignore the line that said DO NOT CHANGE THIS CODE. You didn't do that. This left you with one declaration that just doesn't compile, and one highly dangerous line of code (google for "gets dangerous"). So the right thing to do and to pass the test was to ignore that line, rip out what was there and replace it with something ...


27

A big take-home project is not uncommon especially when you're interviewing at a startup. Whether you do the project or not depends on how much you want the job and if you think they're not just trying to get free work out of you. To me, if the project is testing you on something you don't even want to do (red flag) and way too much work for the time given ...


25

You probably dealt with a HR employee who wanted to print out the candidates CVs and code to discuss and select in a meeting with the manager and/or tech lead, or something like that. It's a bit silly, but not necessarily indicative of the overall quality of the company. Perhaps this company doesn't hire a lot of programmers, or the person was new. You can ...


25

I've never heard of a "pre-employment" test that involves you being on site, carrying out tasks for 1-3 weeks. The only pre-employment tests I've ever heard of outside of interviews have been tasks that can easily be completed outside of working hours, therefore without your current employer knowing, and shouldn't take more than an evening or two to ...


19

Well these tests are part of their hiring process so yes I'd say if you want to get hired by them you have to do them. Certainly that's been the case whenever I've been giving tests as part of a hiring process. I usually give some sort of coding test to prospective candidates (although I tend to keep them small 30 mins to an hour) and if a candidate ...


19

Am I exaggerating and this is normal? Isn't this abuse in a way? Like what's the limit to this "abuse" so to say? Personally, I agree with you. Essentially, a company that makes you take a programming exam before they will even speaking to you is trying to demanding a lot of your time before they'll even look at you. Obviously, the company is within its ...


19

This test is OK. They do not want to test your ability to search in internet about the things. They want to test your way of thinking. Because programming is to understand the requirements and implement algorithms (IMHO). Errors in the source can be corrected later but if you can't think like programmer you are (probably) not applicable for this position. ...


17

In short: Yes, it's legal to use intelligence-based testing in a hiring decision, provided that certain requirements are met. As Criteria Corp, a pre-employment testing company, summarises: Like all the other elements of a company's hiring process, pre-employment testing is subject to a series of federal laws governing hiring practices. The most ...


16

You were absolutely in line. Note: this answer might not apply to most people. Specifically it's what's been working for me after getting "points" on Stack Overflow / GitHub. YMMV. Hey, so from the privileged place of someone with quite a bit of "points" in GitHub and Stack Overflow I'm going to disagree with most answers here: The fact you are even ...


16

I don't know what to do here. It is driving me crazy Your best course of action is to simply move on and forget about it. If the task is truly impossible then that is indicative of a company with unreasonable expectations for their employees. You should be thankful that you will not be working for such a company.


15

Been on the other side of the table a few times. When giving candidates coding challenges, there is sometimes more to it than just writing code. When a candidate writes code at my request, I pay careful attention to how they handle the situation. Do they ask questions? Can they accept critique? I once had a candidate argue with me. The worst candidates ...


15

If you estimate the work would take a week to properly do, and suspect they're looking for free labor, then you basically have one of four choices. Do the work, but make it lack value. This shows you can do the work, but doesn't further the goals of the company. For example, you could take a different game, one that has nearly no value, and show how you'd ...


13

should I just move on even if they offered me a retry? Absolutely not! If they offer you a retry, they're clearly OK with it. Why second guess what they might or might not really mean? Of course - it might be that they don't offer you a retry, for whatever reason. If that's the case you'll just have to chalk it up to experience and move on.


13

The test contained invalid code [...] the webpage had glaring issues and refused my answers for one of the other questions [...] How should I help myself move on? Don't just move on from this, take it as a learning opportunity. When presented with a less-than-ideal situation, your (potential) employer expects you to make the best of it. There are ...


12

One thing that you must check before you use open source software is the license. If the company normally releases closed-source software, they will never let you use a program or library that is released under the GPL for a real programming task, because if they did they'd be forced to open source their software too. Chances are that they'd forbid the use ...


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