Exactly. A couple of times I’ve solved the dumb, senseless quiz that employers have given me with no concern for how predictive it would be of my actual work results that evening or the next day and emailed them to show them that I can do it. Does it count? No. The one-shot and then it’s over interview culture is ridiculous.

Here’s one example:

  1. Imagine you have 20 years of working software engineering experience. As a project lead, you have just been asked by the stakeholders to lead a difficult project over the weekend which involves you and six other people. You have 4 days to do this, including organizing the efforts of the team to go over a project-checklist you put together to democratize the way projects are lead and ensure success with a living plan document which learns from every deployment. Then you get a call from megacompany. It is a person 20 years younger than you, who asks you to write a program to spit out particular nodes in a binary tree. Sure, you studied binary trees in college 30 years ago — and you remember how fun it was back then to do this kind of exercise. But you just got pulled out of a real world problem of which your experience would indubitably benefit megacompany, but they reject you because you couldn’t frame-shift into meaningless binary tree solving mode from real-life work experience mode. However, had you been given a chance, you could have told them about the many industries and problems you have solved in your career which required recursing trees to find nodes. So yes you can do it, but no- not right now.
  2. Imagine you got through the initial screening call, then the tech screening puzzle call, and then you got through the boss screening call. All of this is on coffee or lunch breaks while working an incredibly demanding job with a toxic work culture. You take a day off to attend the in-person. Then the interviewer gives you a trivia quiz on specific Unix commands which you have never needed to use. You remember the problems, go home, solve it in 30 minutes looking the answers up on Google. You also get asked if you know AWS. This is confusing since you were asked that on the phone, and you said no back then. Would you think this was a vacation day well-spent or a sad expression on how the tech world treats even its privileged workers?

Resident of Frogpondia.

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