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Contractor Interviews and Testing?

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  • perplexed
    replied
    Originally posted by Hobosapien View Post
    Wow. That's a lot of work for a one-off contract position with no guarantee of even getting an interview and securing a contract.

    To mitigate this my approach is to create a demo of the tech stack I am wanting to secure work using and put a public link to it on my CV, then I can talk the client through it at interview with details of what's hidden 'under the bonnet' so they can assess my skills in a more relevant way.

    Allows me to re-use the same effort for multiple contract applications and prove I can do what is on my CV.

    Similar approach to non-IT freelancers that use a portfolio to demonstrate their capabilities and previous work.
    Yeah, that sounds an interesting approach.

    I actually had a more senior agent at the agency ring me today, wanting to query why I wasn't going forward. He assured me that the Indian consultancy weren't actually involved, just providing bodies for the end client. The test was for the client, not the Indian consultancy. I had to point out the test was sent by the consultancy, requiring detailed estimates to also be bcc'd to the consultancy... behind clients back.

    He didn't argue the toss to be fair to him, suspect he'd had much the same response from others.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hobosapien
    replied
    Originally posted by perplexed View Post
    Yeah, agree there.

    Rejected out of hand so for sh1ts and giggles reading the full details of what they wanted doing.

    Full stack with a tech I'd never used before and had said I never used before. Back end had to have persistence layer with a db not used before, so installation time needed there.

    Wanted a guestbook system where guest could login and upload a comment, either text or an image... can read comments... oh and admin functionality, full CRUD.

    Even better - before doing the test, I would have had to have mailed estimates to the actual end client for how long it would have taken, bcc'ing in 3 members of the consultancy...

    Eh, I think I'll pass.

    I think it's safe to say in this consultancies case, tests are needed to baseline as they are too crap to effectively interview.
    Wow. That's a lot of work for a one-off contract position with no guarantee of even getting an interview and securing a contract.

    To mitigate this my approach is to create a demo of the tech stack I am wanting to secure work using and put a public link to it on my CV, then I can talk the client through it at interview with details of what's hidden 'under the bonnet' so they can assess my skills in a more relevant way.

    Allows me to re-use the same effort for multiple contract applications and prove I can do what is on my CV.

    Similar approach to non-IT freelancers that use a portfolio to demonstrate their capabilities and previous work.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyUserName
    replied
    A few years ago I was interviewing for a power company. Before the first interview they sent out a test which was to write a program which took a number of chess pieces on a sized board (all specified at runtime) and then report all of the possible placement permutations where no piece could capture any other.

    The kicker?

    You could not use any language on your cv.

    I spent a day or two thinking about it and then phoned the agent and told him I would not be proceeding with the application. He did not even argue the toss.

    Leave a comment:


  • perplexed
    replied
    Originally posted by siphr View Post
    In my experience most of these middle-man indian consultancies are the culprits. I used to roll over quite easily for testing requests in the past and most of these were probably more than just a simple test. No more! Running a business here and that is quite different than applying for a position. Most good contracts I have had have been without testing anyway. Not a single test has resulted in a contract for me, conversely all untested contracts have resulted in a happy client and a good relationship with the business. So my experience supports my rant.
    Yeah, agree there.

    Rejected out of hand so for sh1ts and giggles reading the full details of what they wanted doing.

    Full stack with a tech I'd never used before and had said I never used before. Back end had to have persistence layer with a db not used before, so installation time needed there.

    Wanted a guestbook system where guest could login and upload a comment, either text or an image... can read comments... oh and admin functionality, full CRUD.

    Even better - before doing the test, I would have had to have mailed estimates to the actual end client for how long it would have taken, bcc'ing in 3 members of the consultancy...

    Eh, I think I'll pass.

    I think it's safe to say in this consultancies case, tests are needed to baseline as they are too crap to effectively interview.

    Leave a comment:


  • siphr
    replied
    Originally posted by perplexed View Post
    Agent pushed client to get a tech test sent to me, wanting the interview process ASAP ( had to take time off for parental reasons, having to deal with very complicated situation caused by elderly mum burying head in sand... ).

    Turns out there's a consultancy in between agency and client - an Indian consultancy. Looking at the test, want to write full stack solution, using very specific technology. Let's see... time to install, time to have think about a clean design, writing tests, coding... nah, f that. For that effort, I want to be paid.
    In my experience most of these middle-man indian consultancies are the culprits. I used to roll over quite easily for testing requests in the past and most of these were probably more than just a simple test. No more! Running a business here and that is quite different than applying for a position. Most good contracts I have had have been without testing anyway. Not a single test has resulted in a contract for me, conversely all untested contracts have resulted in a happy client and a good relationship with the business. So my experience supports my rant.

    Leave a comment:


  • perplexed
    replied
    Agent pushed client to get a tech test sent to me, wanting the interview process ASAP ( had to take time off for parental reasons, having to deal with very complicated situation caused by elderly mum burying head in sand... ).

    Turns out there's a consultancy in between agency and client - an Indian consultancy. Looking at the test, want to write full stack solution, using very specific technology. Let's see... time to install, time to have think about a clean design, writing tests, coding... nah, f that. For that effort, I want to be paid.

    Leave a comment:


  • BR14
    replied
    what's a keyboard shortcut?

    is it a mouse?

    Leave a comment:


  • pauldee
    replied
    I find testing works both ways - I can see what they're looking for, and if they're looking for the right things then I know I want to work there. If they pick me up on stupid things like not using enough keyboard shortcuts then I know to look elsewhere!

    Leave a comment:


  • dx4100
    replied
    For me testing a contractor is mindbogglingly pointless....

    99% of contractors will do a good job for you and the ones that don't you can turf out with no notice anyway. The whole point is you can turf us out at any point.

    I find it kind of lazy - CV / Interview easy enough to find someone who should be capable of doing the job.

    You are not going to learn anything from a test you can't find out on the first day on the job. A bit of trust wouldn't go a miss at times either. If you think you can test and discover who will be good at the job 5 days in I think you are fooling yourself.

    First day is trial day and then just get on with it - stop wasting everyones time

    People do it though - I guess its some sort of comfort blanket to the box tickers....
    Last edited by dx4100; 24 April 2019, 13:00.

    Leave a comment:


  • perplexed
    replied
    Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
    Yeah. I saw it on LinkedIn and she's posted a follow up article attempting to backtrack and completely watering down what she so strongly put in her first one. I don't think she'll be rolling that one out again.
    Best one I saw on LinkedIn was this US financial advisor. Saw a woman filling up tank, all she could afford was $3.12 of fuel so he flagged her down and paid for a full tank. One of those "pay kindness forward" type things designed to make the poster look like a saint.

    The problem was, he put up a photo of the "$3.12" on the pump. What was also visible on the pump was "please replace nozzle" - so he clearly did not see her drive away, photo was taken before. Which would tend to indicate it was a setup photo.

    Leave a comment:

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