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I think something people tend to miss is when these problems are appropriate. If you are hiring from a pool of recent graduates for a junior position, or any such situation where you have a demand for the position, then this might be a good idea as a first step.

For more senior people this kind of test might even be more appropriate, because they are not always working on exactly the same type of thing in recent memory but in their own time will come up with a good solution quickly. However, for more senior people this type of test should certainly not be one of the first steps of the interview process.

You should ideally have much shorter and simpler technical tests during the first interviews to try to weed them out while also giving them exposure to what kind of environment they can expect to be working in, but also tell them this kind of task will be coming and why you are doing it. Once they're more committed to actually wanting the position they will be more likely not mind spending their personal time doing this kind of work exercise, or you could even offer to pay for their time on it to show you are not the kind of company that expects them to do work for free.

If you don't do this, you'll only come across more senior people who are desperate enough to jump through these hoops, which is rare and you better know for sure why they are desperate.




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