Full Stack Developer Assessment Test: Hiring Guide

An image of binary code written along the floor and back wall with an overview of a computer icon and the words Full Stack Development.

When looking to fill a technical position that includes some aspects of programming, the candidates must understand full stack development. Full stack developer assessment tests can help your recruitment team identify the best candidates for your open position(s) and weed out unqualified candidates faster. Read on for a guide on identifying the best candidates for your next full stack developer opening. 

What is a Full Stack Developer? 

A full stack developer can work on a web application from start to finish. They do this by developing both the client and server side of the application, which puts these developers in very high demand. These developers must practice multiple skills and have an aptitude for learning new technologies and techniques. 

What Skills Should a Full Stack Developer Possess?

When analyzing a full stack developer, several skills must be assessed to determine the candidate's level of experience. 

Qualified full stack developers will have practice in these areas:

  • Speed Development
  • Fundamentals and Design
  • Web Architecture
  • Version Control System (VCS)
  • Soft Skills

“Soft skills” are of extreme importance for full stack developers. Developers need patience, problem-oriented thought solutions, and time management skills. 

Reading through the candidate's resume provides an understanding of each candidate’s skill set. The interviewer should tailor specific questions to the candidate they are interviewing. For example, if a candidate's resume shows that they have great time management skills and get assignments done early, the best question would be: how would you handle a project that was assigned late and due shortly after? 

Unfortunately, recruitment teams don’t always have time to review resumes and pick out each candidate's skills. Artificial intelligence (AI) can screen candidate resumes in a fraction of the time a human would be able to. The AI can then send the recruitment team the skills each candidate possesses, and depending on these skills, the team can offer an interview or not. 

Successfully Implement a Full Stack Developer Assessment Test

By using a full stack developer assessment test, you can ensure that your candidates have the skills and knowledge needed to perform the job successfully. The test must be thorough and encourage candidates to be clear in their thought processes for recruiters to understand the candidate’s talents. 

Creating a full stack developer assessment test can be difficult. Some things to remember include:

  1. Make the questions specific. Open-ended questions can hinder a candidate’s capacity to answer.
  2. Use real-life examples and scenarios to judge the candidate’s hands-on experience.
  3. Write your own questions, so the candidate has to apply some relevant knowledge and would be unlikely to find the answer on Google.
  4. Assess generalized technical knowledge and specific technical knowledge. 

It’s also important to split up the assessment into parts. Qualified candidates should be able to answer multiple-choice questions and short-response questions. Start the assessment off simple with a take-home test that can eliminate unfit candidates and move on to harder questions that use applied knowledge to narrow your pool down to a few potentials. 

Take-Home Test

(Alt text: Coding Candidate hands selecting answers to a multiple choice question test online)

Coding Candidate hands selecting answers to a multiple choice question test online

When giving a take-home test for part of the full stack developer assessment test, there are a few things that must be taken into account. To quickly get through the assessment, the take-home test should utilize automatic grading features, recorded answers, and multiple types of questions. 

Multiple-Choice Questions

Since the take-home test will have the most candidates being assessed, it’s important to use automatic grading that sends the results to candidate profiles for the recruitment team to analyze. It’s a waste of time and resources for recruiters to read through every multiple-choice question when it can be easily run through artificial intelligence. Although it’s not recommended to use cutoff scores, since each batch of candidates and tests will vary differently, there should be a baseline of what is an “acceptable” grade.  

The multiple-choice questions that go through automatic grading should still obligate the candidate to use applied knowledge. Give them some variety. You can write the questions as fill-in-the-blanks, coding simulations, multiple-choice answers, etc. 

Here are some examples to ask a full stack developer candidate:

  1. Read through a snippet of code and select the answer that gives the correct output.
  2. What is the default format of data response from the Web API service? 
  3. What is a “closure” in JavaScript? 

Recorded Answer Questions

Take-home tests for full stack developer assessments should also implement recorded answers. This will help candidates clarify their answers and provide insight into the candidate’s thought processes. After all, written answers often don’t showcase a candidate's accurate knowledge in real-time.

Recorded answers also eliminate the opportunity for fraudulent answers or having someone else take the test for them. 

Recorded answers will demonstrate a candidate's communication skills and other soft skills, along with their technical skills. For example, ask candidates to describe processes, algorithms, and techniques. Some examples include: 

  1. What is the NaN property? What is its type and how can you reliably test if a value is equal to NaN?
  2. What does SOAP and REST stand for? What do each do and what type of data does each transfer?
  3. How do you decide when to upgrade an existing technical system or install a new system?

Live-Coding Interview

 Developers huddled around two computers. One works on the code while the others watch

A live-coding interview is another important part of a full stack developer assessment test. Save this part of the assessment for the best-fit candidates. After these candidates have passed the take-home test and proven their personalities and skill sets will be valuable in the team with the face-to-face interview. Therefore, they will move on to the live-coding interview. 

Testing Environments

This part of the full stack developer assessment gives candidates a project to complete over video conferencing with the development team. It’s essential when giving this assessment to provide an integrated development environment, so all the candidates are tested fairly. It’s also useful to save the code they write to their candidate profiles for further review. Artificial intelligence data-driven recruiting technology can automatically save the code and interview recordings for you. 

Since full stack developers need to be tested on frameworks and design, a virtual whiteboard for the candidate to draw wireframes and diagrams will help the recruitment team determine if they fit the role. 

Test Scenarios 

When giving the scenario for candidates to work through, it’s important to select real-life scenarios. This gives the candidate a realistic portrait of the job and provides the recruiting team the insight they need to determine the best-fit candidate. 

Example scenarios to give in full stack developer assessment test live-coding interview:

  1. Easy: In Java, create a button widget and give it functionality so that the user can move between one page and another.
  2. Medium: In HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, create a resume and portfolio website of yourself that allows users to download a fake transcript.
  3. Difficult: In PHP, create a sign-up page that asks for a username, password, and email. Make sure the email has not signed up before, hash the password and send the data to PHPMyadmin. 

Filtered: Data-Driven Recruiting For Full Stack Developer Assessments

When planning a full stack developer assessment test, it’s important to utilize all available technologies. With the right technology, your recruitment team can find the best-fit candidate before the competition. Features to look for include:

  • Automatically grade take-home tests
  • Resume screen with artificial intelligence
  • Save code to candidate profiles for later review
  • Provide integrated development environments and virtual whiteboards
  • Ensure identity verification
  • View talent analytics 

Look no further! Filtered can give your company all these features above and more so then you can get ahead of the competition and hire the best full stack developer for your open position(s). 

Filtered is a leader in skills-based hiring. 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 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.