Beyond the Code Test: What a Job Simulation Looks Like

technical job simulations examples

Nearly all talent acquisition leaders and HR professionals would agree that you can’t identify top technical talent from interviews alone. 

The best way to prove the technical ability of a job candidate — especially as more companies move to skills-based hiring processes —  is via skills assessments or tests. 

Code tests aren’t the answer. Enter: Job simulations

One challenge for today’s employers is that the traditional code test just doesn’t work anymore. 

Simple code tests — like the example below — have long been integral to the technical interviewing process. But they are becoming obsolete. 

coding assessment

It’s pretty easy for any developer to find answers to the above on community sites (like LeetCode) or via Google. 

And now, generative AI can make quick work of these types of questions (as shown below), by enabling candidates to copy/paste code and complete basic tests without showcasing their problem-solving skills in any meaningful way. 

python challenge chatgpt answer

The answer, for hiring teams, isn’t to discourage technical workers from using the tools they rely on for their work. That includes generative AI, which the majority of developers are using today. And the answer certainly isn’t to proclaim candidates that use these tools as “cheaters.” 

And if you ask developers, the answer certainly isn’t more code tests. In our recent survey, more than two-thirds of technical job candidates told us that simplistic code tests aren’t a good measure of their abilities to do the job they interviewed for. 

One-third said they’d leave an interview process with irrelevant code tests. Meanwhile, more than half said the most important factor in choosing a job is understanding the tech stack.

The answer — for candidates and hiring teams alike — is job simulations.  

As we wrote on our blog recently, it’s time to “ditch the code test” in favor of assessments that better simulate the actual job. 

Because the best way for candidates to showcase their talent and for companies to find the best fit for their needs is to let them problem-solve in the same way they would on any given day at work.  

In this post, we’ll offer a practical example of how our assessments can help your company authenticate the talent and skills you need by simulating the job environment — and moving beyond the traditional code test.

Where simulations fit into the technical interviewing process

First things first, it’s important to understand the goal of our skills-based technical interviewing platform. We aim to tackle two pain points:

  • Candidates and companies have long complained about the length of some interviewing processes. Even in best-case scenarios, most hires take a month. One recent study pegged the average time to hire an engineer at a whopping 53 days
  • Most basic code tests are only capable of reducing the candidate pool by about 25%. That means hiring teams carry the time burden of assessing the remaining candidates through extensive, multi-round interviews.

The traditional technical interview process looks something like this: 

traditional technical interview timeline

However, our customers have found that  Filtered’s job simulations and video interview features eliminate the bottom 75% of candidates. 

This important first step spares the hiring team hours of interviewing time and shortens the hiring process to as little as 7 days. Our customers’ typical process starts with the simulation, and looks something like this: 

technical interview timeline filtered ai

Now, let’s jump into an example of what a simulation looks like. 

Simulating the job of a front-end developer

Imagine you’re hiring an entry-level front-end developer. Here are the required qualifications you might find in a sample job ad:

  • Experience with modern JavaScript frameworks including ReactNative
  • Fluency in HTML & CSS
  • Experience with native mobile application development (iOS/ANDROID)
  • Articulate, persuasive communicator with the ability to build trust
  • Results-oriented, executing across a wide range of initiatives/programs.

To screen candidates for this position, we’ll ask them to build a simple weather app on a mobile phone.

First, the candidate will sign into our platform and authenticate with LinkedIn, Github, Bitbucket, or Gitlab — which helps verify that they are who they say they are.

tech candidate identity verification

Next comes the real test.

Candidates must use a variety of provided tools in a browser-based  environment that reflects an employer’s tech stack. 

Each candidate can showcase their capabilities and thought process in a real-world situation.

In this case, candidates will need to show proficiency in all required technical skills to build the weather app — React Native, HTML/CSS, and iOS/Android. In the end, there are a series of milestones that candidates are scored on, including whether the app works: 

software developer assessment insights

After the simulated task is complete, the candidate must explain their work using our built-in video interface. 

This gives hiring teams the chance to further evaluate a candidate’s technical proficiency and soft skills such as communication.

video technical interview

Candidate performance interface 

When setting up the simulation, hiring teams can define benchmark performance levels that determine whether candidates progress to the next phase of an interview. 

Typically, those involve cumulative scores from different tests — e.g. the “Frontend” test shown above. But they might also involve the speed at which candidates complete those simulated exercises. 

Employers can also see an individual candidate’s performance through our analytics interface: 

tech candidate skills insights
software developer skills test insights

But what about fraud detection? 

Especially with an increasingly remote global workforce, validating a candidate’s identity and intentions is a growing challenge. 

We’ve built machine learning into our platform to help identify and block fraudulent behavior. 

While the candidate is participating in the Filtered simulated job assessment, advanced fraud features are flagging any suspicious activity:

technical candidate fraud detection signals

If there is suspicious behavior, our platform can also track browser activity. 

This tool can also help hiring teams learn how candidates approach the work and what they search for during the assessment.  

fraud detection tools


In-demand tech skills are changing and so should your assessments

As hiring managers begin to prioritize different types of skills, it’s important that your assessment process evolves to meet those needs.

Ensuring that adaptability enables the hiring teams to verify the skills through advanced candidates insights and make confident decisions throughout the entire technical hiring process.

It helps candidates make confident choices as well.

Top tech talent doesn’t last long on the open market. Making sure your interview process includes skills-based assessments the work they’ll be doing is crucial to keeping their interest in the role with your company.  


Ready for a demo? 

Want to see how Filtered can level up your technical skill assessments and land top technical talent? Schedule a demo and we'll get in touch right away.