I was recently submitted to an SRE role for a company by a recruiting agency. The agency provided me with a very high-level overview of what they're looking for, but nothing by way of a detailed job description. Furthermore, the role wasn't advertised on the organization's homepage, or on any job ad. It was apparently 'unlisted'.
Nonetheless, I consented to being submitted with the aims of having a discussion, even potentially an introductory phone call where I would speak with their hiring manager, an individual functioning as a team-lead, or even an HR staffer to learn more about the role, the team, and the challenges that gave rise to the need for hiring a new Site Reliability Engineer.
Let me state that I'm not unfamiliar with technical assessments or the challenges of hiring capable technical talent as valued contributors-having hired, and fired, built and groomed engineering teams over my career.
What did come as a surprise to me, one that has me arching an eyebrow was the first interaction with this organization. There wasn't a phone call where a polite voice introduced themselves, there wasn't an email thanking me for my application for consideration, there wasn't even an acknowledgement of the CV submitted.
What came was an automated email from a no-reply@ address to take a coding challenge on a domain that doesn't even belong to the organization I plan to interview with.
This was my very first interaction with the company.
The automated email did include an address direct to the recruiting department of this organization, in the event that one would not be able to complete the assessment on time. I emailed this address, thanked them for considering my application, but requested an opportunity to first speak with a representative of the company or an individual who would be willing to speak more about the job specifics, the organization, and their challenges that I would be expected to contribute solutions to. I followed this up with the assurance that once that opportunity came about, and only after having the opportunity to learn more about the role and the team I would prospectively be joining, I would be glad to take part in helping the company assess my raw technical ability as an SRE.
Here's my question to you, Dev.to community: was this the right reaction? How would you have responded, and how do you feel about coding assessments being used so early in the interviewing process before even being contacted by your future cohorts?