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Most of the top employers in the market have similar types of interviews so you have to study anyway unless you want to rule out all of them and any time spent preparing for such interviews amortizes across all of them. Meanwhile, a take-home test is almost always a one-off and takes much longer on a marginal basis and rarely is even used to make the final decision - every time I've done a take-home, I've also had to go through the full interview loop.

Also, "an hour of my time programming a solution to a problem" is likely not an actual work-sample/take-home - it's likely a replacement for a phone-screen that doesn't require an engineer to conduct, thus can be given to many more people to keep the top of the funnel large. The only time I've done a real take-home in less than 10 hours, it was rejected for not being polished enough.




> The only time I've done a real take-home in less than 10 hours, it was rejected for not being polished enough.

Because you were competing with folks who were unemployed and probably invested 30+ hours in it.




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