A code test interview is a great tool to zero in on what matters in technical hiring: skill and expertise. Too often, skills become obscured by appearance, background, or education. A good code test interview demonstrates what candidates can do, not what they claim to do. Here’s how to use a code test interview to find the best candidates in your applicant pool.
Depending on your technical hiring process, a candidate may take a code test interview in different ways:
Live Whiteboarding. Candidates use a whiteboard to write code and solve a problem, typically with an interviewer or team leader supervising their work. Whiteboard tests can be conducted onsite or online with a specifically designed technical interview platform.
Take-Home Coding Test. Candidates are given a coding challenge they can complete at home and on their own time. This form of coding test usually takes the longest depending on the difficulty of the challenge.
Pair Programming. Candidates are paired with a programmer from the employer's team to solve a coding challenge. The pair usually share a common coding platform to complete the task under the supervision of the interviewer.
Once you have decided on the coding challenge and how the candidate will take the test, take these steps to ensure the code test interview is ready for your applicant:
No interview template will fit your company’s hiring funnel perfectly. But continuous adjustment and improvement will eventually make the code test interview reliable and repeatable for your technical hiring process.
Interviewers should provide candidates with adequate coding tools and a conducive environment that mirrors those on the job. Ideally, candidates should be focused on writing code on the day of the test instead of figuring out how the assessment platform works. One solution is to share the platform and coding tools with candidates beforehand. If this is not possible, prepare a walkthrough video or other resources to help familiarize candidates with the coding test platform.
HR and recruiters should also be ready to assist candidates with troubleshooting technical issues should they arise during the test.
Lastly, both the interviewer and the candidate should check the stability of their Internet connection before the code test interview.
After the test is completed, candidates’ output should be scored and ranked for comparison. The best practice is to have a predetermined standard for evaluation instead of relying on one’s own judgment. Subjective standards for assessment can change during evaluation, sometimes for reasons unrelated to the skill test. Below are some guidelines to build an evaluation standard for code test interviews:
By using a code test interview score as a beginning point instead of a CV or resume, recruiters and employers can find the best caliber of applicants for their teams. Code test interviews can be taken onsite, online, or at home, depending on the company’s technical hiring process. Candidates should be supplied with adequate coding tools and the environment they need to perform the challenge. A code test interview should be moderately difficult and mirror real-life challenges at work. HR and recruiters can also build a positive candidate experience by setting a reasonable timeframe for the test and providing feedback afterward.
Choosing the right tool for code test interview assessments is essential for a valid evaluation. Filtered offers expert coding challenges with support for 30+ languages. Our tests are designed to cover multiple skill levels within major engineering disciplines. Our platform is also equipped with fraud detection so that you can hire technical talent with confidence.
Filtered is a leader in skill-based, data-driven recruiting technology. Our end-to-end technical hiring platform enables you to spend time reviewing only the most qualified candidates, putting skills and aptitude at the forefront of your decisions. We’ll help you automate hiring while also applying objective, data-driven techniques to consistently and confidently select the right candidates. To get started, contact our team today or register for a FREE demo.