Demo Interview: Is it Fair What Happened To Me?

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reddaj in Somerville, Massachusetts

18 months ago

So I am interviewing for a senior technical consultant position at a startup technology company. The interview process involved a phone screen and an onsite interview to gauge only personality fit. The last step prescribed was a demo to be prepared by me to illustrate my quick learning of their technology. Basically they have an App with a free trial downloadable online. The exercise was challenging, I was to develop an Expense Reporting application using their technology. I was given clear instructions on the features of the App and how it was supposed to work. I spent many hours of 4 days to get this completed and was duly prepared for the interview. During the interview my demo proceeded without a hitch and it seemed to me that the participants were impressed at what I had accomplished. I walked out feeling confident and did not hear from them until late that same week. I was told that the company decided not to go forward with me. The feedback I received was that they had expected me to have learnt more about their technology. WTF?!? This expectation was not set forth in the instructions given to me and my focus was ONLY on the features necessary to deliver the App.

Now I am let feeling cheated. It's not as if there is any value of having learnt their App. Their technology is not widespread like SalesForce or Drupal. All these hours wasted getting up to speed and having indisputably an App that accomplishes what is stated in the instructions. If it falls short short of these I can understand but that I was supposed to go beyond them and add features not in the instructions?!? I am also left feeling suspicious about the company's intentions. Perhaps they were not serious about hiring someone and wanted to exploit job hunters in their sick marketing experiment of how quickly their technology can be understood.

What do you guys make of this situation?

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

18 months ago

Did they at least thank you for the free code you gave them?

I hear the market is bad in that part of the country, saturated with H1B, so maybe that is why you did it, but, I'd think thrice before doing a project like that. The hiring process today, despite what they all say, is capricious and arbitrary. So, you do all that work, and one of interviewers looks at you and thinks "he reminds me of my dad" and it's over.

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