Creating an Online Skill Assessment Test That Grabs the Right Candidates

May 24, 2022
An online skill assessment test should be designed to showcase candidates’ job-specific skills for the role

There is no single template for the perfect online skill assessment test. But with a few best practices in mind, interviewers and team leaders can create a technical test that focuses on finding the right person with the right skill for the job—while simultaneously creating a positive candidate experience and speeding up the hiring process. Let’s take a closer look below.

A Turning Point in Technical Hiring

The technical hiring process typically goes through several application stages, meetings, and initial interviews before the candidate is given technical challenges to solve. No matter how well (or poorly) a candidate does up to this part, their performance on a predetermined test will be the turning point of the hiring process. Therefore, technical interviewers must prepare the right test to identify the right person for the position. Here are a couple of guidelines to get started.

Pick the Right Online Skill Assessment Test

Technical interviewers must begin by picking the right challenges. This selection process would depend on the level of the position in which applicants are applying. Technical tests should be:

Designed to showcase candidates' thought processes. A good online skill assessment test clearly demonstrates the candidate’s problem-solving approach. While scoring rubrics help in objective assessment, it can’t always quantify a creative approach. Look for signs of creativity and experience such as documentation, small code functions, and speed of deployment, among others. Better yet, ask for best practices from your team to use as a benchmark in the hiring process.

Interviewers can follow up with a post-test interview to let candidates explain their methodology and check their communication skills. Team leaders can also gain insight into candidates’ thought processes by observing them solve challenges in real-time or on recorded video. 

Designed to fit the job role. When taking the online skill assessment test, applicants should get an idea of the actual duties and responsibilities of the job role. If you are hiring for a front-end position, ask candidates to build a clone website or a web application. If you're hiring for a data science role, challenge candidates to analyze and visualize data sets. Or task them with building a sentiment analysis system using survey responses, online reviews, and other sources. Whatever test you pick, make sure it closely resembles projects related to the nature of your company's business operations. 

Designed to mimic real-world challenges. Challenges focused on general, theoretical questions rarely test candidates’ job-specific skills. It’s best to provide challenges that require tools and environments one would typically encounter on the job. Team leaders and interviewers need to set up an online skill assessment test platform where candidates can take the challenge. Interviewers can also consider using dedicated skill assessment platforms to test candidates where specific tools and environments can be provided. 

Remember, general challenges give a general idea of candidates’ capabilities. Specific challenges that use real-world environments give interviewers a specific idea of how a candidate would do in the position. 

Make it Short and Interesting

Even top-level candidates can get frustrated with unnecessary long tests. Time is a critical component in technical hiring as challenges require applicants to invest hours in completing a test. The clock is ticking for applicants searching for a job and employers looking to fill a critical position. 

Therefore, an online skill assessment test is best kept short and efficient. This strategy keeps candidates engaged and enables interviewers to narrow down the field and secure top talent quickly. 

Not Too Hard, Not Too Easy

Tests are enjoyable when sufficiently challenging but still passable. If they are too basic, talented applicants may feel the test is demeaning. On the other hand, impossibly difficult tests can hinder good candidates who otherwise fit the role perfectly.

To keep tests in the Goldilocks zone—not too hard, not too easy, but just right—team leaders need to make sure that they correspond to the level of the position.

Valid and Repeatable

Finally, an online skill assessment test needs to produce valid and legitimate results. Interviewers must exercise vigilance against fraud and cheating. This step guards the company against wrong hires and protects authentic candidates taking the test. 

Tests should also be repeatable and streamlined into a fluid technical hiring flow, enabling objective comparison of candidates’ output and speeding up time-to-fill.

An online skill assessment test should be aligned with the role. The test should mimic real-world challenges and ideally give candidates a taste of what they would be doing day-to-day. Technical tests work best when they are designed to showcase candidates' thought processes so interviewers and team leaders can assess skill and creativity. Tests for technical roles are best kept short and at an appropriate difficulty to engage candidates. Lastly, they should be valid and repeatable to narrow down the pool of applicants to the right candidate for your team. 

Hire The Right Candidate With Filtered Technical Challenges

Filtered aligns the interview experience with the technical role you’re hiring for. Choose the right online skill assessment test from our range of coding challenges covering full-stack, SQL, data science, DevOps, and more. Our technical tests support 30+ languages and are designed to cover multiple skill levels within major engineering disciplines. Lastly, Filtered is equipped with robust fraud detection, so you can hire technical talent anywhere in the world with confidence.

Filtered is a leader in skills-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.