I’m interviewing for a software architect position at a tech company. After one in-person interview, they have asked me to prepare a detailed, technical presentation on what I think the architecture of their system should be. This, to me, feels like them asking me to do the job I’m applying for, for free, before I’ve been hired. The first interview also involved a lot of very specific questions along the lines of “we’re trying to solve this problem right now; how would you do that?”, which made me feel like they were just pumping me for solutions to their current problems, rather than interviewing me for a job.
My question is mostly whether this is a wide-spread practice, and whether I’m being unreasonable by thinking that this is not an appropriate thing to ask an interview candidate to do. I was a consultant for a while, and made a living doing exactly what they’re asking me to do for free.
Have other lobsters experienced this as part of applying for jobs? Do you think this is a reasonable thing to be asked to do? I’m not new to the industry and this is definitely outside the realm of normal when compared to any other interview process I’ve gone through, but it’s possible that this is normal and I just haven’t experienced it before. The folks there have a lot of industry experience and have been otherwise very professional, which makes me worry that I’m the unreasonable one.