- This topic is empty.
November 20, 2013 at 10:01 am #156670
I’ve got a job interview for the position of a Web Developer in a University and have been set a pre-interview task that I’d like to ask people’s opinions on.
I have been tasked with designing an enhanced means of engaging the leaner on Equality and Diversity using any tools I like. I will be judged on my:
- design capabilities
- technical skills
- rationale for choosing my approach to this task.
There’s so many options out there, that choosing the right platform will be key. My initial thought is to design an interactive mini site that guides the user through a journey where they learn something new along each step. However I wasn’t sure if this would be a bit too advanced or ambitious for the interview which is only 2 weeks away.
I’d welcome any thoughts/advice.
Many thanksNovember 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #156682
I think it’s a good way to see which candidates can back up their CV’s with practical expertiseNovember 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm #156683
I think that sounds a bit too advanced. I’m not fully on @janet4now’s side that it’s always unethical to ask for a pre-interview assignment, but it depends a little bit on how useful it seem to be for them, or if it’s just a way to get a controlled view of how you work.
I would not put down more than 8 hours on the assignment.
As someone who got her job based on at least partly the assignment, I know how good they can be. It gives the employer a chance to see how you work, how you think, and innovative you are, as well as how organized you are. However, it should be clear that that’s the purpose, and not that they want to “crowdsource” something they actually need.November 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm #156684
Hi Melindrea, thanks for your advice. I agree that what I have suggested seems a bit advanced, as it would take a long time to create an interactive website.
Basically I need to create an online resource that shows off my skills, but do you have any suggestions as to what that resource could be?
ThanksNovember 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm #156699
Having just done some research into the best eLearning tools, Adobe’s Captivate gets a lot of coverage. Does anyone have any experience of using Captivate?November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm #156701
I don’t think it’s too advanced, I think it’s way too broad: “designing an enhanced means of engaging the leaner on Equality and Diversity“.
What does that even mean? A website? A web page? An infographic? You’re being asked too much. They want you to brainstorm and come up with ideas and a plan, AND come up with a design, AND come up with a site structure, AND do the implementation. In the real world, there’s a person (or a team) for each of those steps in the process.
If the position is for a Web Developer, you should be given more. Usually, this means getting a design and/or wireframes, with functional specs, so that you can create the site. And that’s all you should be doing if that is what the job is.
As for ethics… I’ve applied for jobs where they asked me to show my tech skills (mostly HTML/CSS/jQuery) by providing me with a one-page design that included an accordeon for example. I didn’t mind doing that, cause it was THE way of showing them “hey, this is my skill level for those languages“.
Spec work however, is a totally different thing and I agree that’s unethical.November 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm #156707
Hi, basically they have online learning tools for staff, designed in eLearning software that results in a presentation followed by a quiz ensuring that you can demonstrate what you have learned.
The task is to create an enhanced version that engages the user. So I’d say they’re looking for me to re-develop the existing content into something more interactive and user friendly. In doing this, I need to demonstrate my technical ability, design skills and rationale for the tools used.November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm #156708owlinargyleParticipant
I have to agree with Janet on this one. Asking for any actual work to be done pre-hire is unethical. If during the interview, they posed the question as to what you WOULD do if given this assignment, that is one thing, but to get you to actually design something is completely another. This is essentially a free demo for them.
If they want to see what you’re capable of they should be looking at work you have already accomplished. I assume you are presenting a portfolio to them, correct? If so, that should be sufficient. I would also state that you are uncomfortable providing them with work without having been paid for your services. I know you want a job, and a lot of times we will do whatever it takes to get hired, but that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice our principles to get one. (Trust me, after working for a company who convinced me to do that for 8 years, I’ll never do it again.)
You wouldn’t request a doctor to perform exploratory surgery on you for free, just to see if you like his technique, and so you shouldn’t be asking the same of a developer. That is what the 90 day window after hire is for. =/November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm #156709SenffParticipant
Ah well that’s a lot more clear. I guess you should focus on creating a quiz that’s just a bunch of questions with multiple answers. I’d do it in jQuery so you can maybe add a few bells and whistles (animation between questions perhaps).November 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm #156710owlinargyleParticipant
Were I in this same position, I would be asking myself the following: What happens if I do all this work, and they decide “Hey this is great, but we can find someone who is cheaper who will do EXACTLY the same thing??” Then I’ve done all this, they stole it and I STILL don’t have the job. =/
That’s why I wouldn’t risk it.November 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm #156711
That’s great. Senff, would you design something in JQuery from scratch or use something like Adobe Captivate and just add some custom code and design to it to enhance the interactivity?November 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm #156713__Participant
I think janet and @downcasteyes have pretty much covered it. Reasonable alternatives would be looking for similar work in your portfolio, or pair programming with you during the interview. If they really want more than that, they ought to be taking you on for a week or so as a contractor or provisional hire.
The task is to create an enhanced version that engages the user. So I’d say they’re looking for me to re-develop the existing content into something more interactive and user friendly. In doing this, I need to demonstrate my technical ability, design skills and rationale for the tools used.
Honestly, this seems more like they want to see you solve a problem* more than simply demonstrate your technical skills. Obviously, it’s important that you have those skills, but the ability to grasp problems with UI/UX, and solve them, might be more important.
If so, then “should I use technology x?” would not be the right approach—that’s what you need to do when someone hands you a spec and says, “do exactly this.” This sounds more like they’re asking you to create the spec, too, not just the end product.
* that is, a real problem, one they have now and are supposedly hiring for, which makes it seem all the more unreasonable to expect you to do it for free as part of the interview process.November 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm #156717
Yeah, getting more details on it I think I’ll echo the others. Make sure it’s not a case of them trying to get unpaid work done. You should get credit for your ideas and such, not giving them away.November 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm #156719
Thanks, I think they mainly want a demonstration to show what the candidates are capable of. It states that they are not concerned about whether the product is complete or not, they just want it to be presented and talked about for 10 minutes before the interview
- The forum ‘Other’ is closed to new topics and replies.