I spoke to the CTO of a YC startup yesterday. We had a nice, 20-minute chat, and then he said he'd send me a coding assignment to do.
He sent it right after. The assignment is to create a Django app that does some basic CRUD operations. I haven't used Django before, so I'll need to do that. I'll probably need to spend more than the 2-3 hours he said I should spend on it.
My question is, how long do I have to send this assignment back to him? I have a Big Tech interview coming up in a week so would rather study for that. Can I send the CTO the assignment a week and a half after he gave it to me? 2 weeks?
I can obviously ask him, but I'm not sure I want him saying, "oh, send it in the next couple of days." So if I don't ask, he might be fine with me sending it in whenever.
I can obviously ask him, but I'm not sure I want him saying, "oh, send it in the next couple of days."
In this case, just ask him this: "Your time is valuable, so I want to make sure we're aligned on the interview timeline. Can you give me a due date on when to turn this in?"
It has all the classic ingredients for good communication: The nice words at the beginning, the tentative language so it's not a direct order, and a clear ask.
No need to overthink things: Just ask.
Source: I am a YC founder and I know many other startup founders, and we all appreciate clear and to-the-point communication.
Here's some other resources I recommend about effective communication as well:
I hope you crush the interview!
Got this back:
"We usually like to see a turnaround time within 72 hours. We know that people have busy schedules, so the latest is a 7-day turnaround time. Hopefully that answers your question."
That answers it for me!