Find Engineering Talent With a Coding Interview Assessment
Engineers know that the best way to demonstrate their skills is by coding. That’s why many employers use a coding interview assessment during the hiring process.
Coding interviews typically come in one of two forms:
- A whiteboard interview that tests an engineer’s ability to code on the fly
- A take-home project that shows if a developer can implement a solution in a pre-defined time frame
Code interview questions are simple on the surface but quickly get more complex if one tries to solve them using naive solutions. That’s because they’re designed to measure how well a candidate can think and code under pressure.
But an interview assessment isn’t just about coding. It’s about problem-solving ability and having a solid understanding of algorithms and data structures — important traits for any software engineer.
By asking the right coding interview questions and holistically evaluating a candidate’s skills, you can ensure that you’re hiring the best possible developers for your team.
Let’s take a closer look at how these tests work.
Many interview assessments are tailored to the role you’re hiring for. For example, if you’re looking for junior developers that can adapt to your codebase quickly, you might ask them to solve coding questions related to string manipulation.
If you’re hiring senior engineers that can contribute immediately, then it’s more likely that your assessment will require them to implement a data structure or an algorithm from scratch.
Some other examples of common test problems include:
- Explaining an interesting code snippet they’ve written in the past
- Designing the architecture for a dating app
- Building a game like tic-tac-toe on a 4×4 grid
Note: Candidates often use Leetcode and Github for coding test practice problems. Hiring managers can utilize these forums when looking for software engineering technical interview questions.
Regardless of which problem you pick, it should highlight specific skills that will help improve the productivity of your team. Your assessment platform will come up with the right coding questions for placement.
This brings us to…
Coding assessment platforms
Good news, engineering managers! You have options when it comes to technical assessments.
Every platform is different, but in general, they work the same way. Candidates are given a problem to solve and have a set amount of time to complete it. Then their code is evaluated by AI on several factors, including correctness, readability, and style.
Some machines will compare a candidate’s solution to those of other coders. If it thinks theirs is better, then the candidate gets a higher score.
This approach has some drawbacks: machines can miss nuances and common problems that humans would pick up on if they were reviewing the code line-by-line. But it also provides consistent scores, regardless of who is doing the grading.
That’s why it’s important to use a platform that has been fine-tuned by experts in the field.
Here are some of the best platforms on the market today:
Woven‘s technical assessments go beyond far code. On our platform, experienced engineers complete free-text work simulations that require debugging and systems thinking. That means more qualified candidates will make it to the final round of interviews, and faster.
We also understand the shortcomings of AI scoring. Machines just aren’t great at creative problem-solving and empathy yet.
Instead, we use consistent rubrics and two senior engineers to double-blind score candidates within a structure that matches the role. We even send personalized feedback to everyone who takes our tests.
Turns out, humans + machines = happy candidates.
Hiring teams use the CodeSignal general coding assessment to measure job-specific skills. The CodeSignal tests are highly relevant to open roles ranging from mobile to front-end, backend, DevOps, and data science, which means you can hire the right talent at scale.
Codility challenges help predict the skills of technical candidates at all stages of the hiring process. Companies can use Codility tests on CodeCheck, host live technical interviews on CodeLive, and launch virtual recruitment campaigns with CodeChallenges. Plus, candidates wondering how to pass a Codility test can take advantage of Codility practice assessments.
Engineering managers use CodeShare to set tasks and observe candidates in real-time when interviewing. For most engineers, having the ability to code share online is better than writing code on a whiteboard.
CoderPad offers technical assessments, take-home projects, and live collaborative coding in a wide variety of programming languages. Java coding interview questions and C/C++ programming tests are just a few examples of how they scale coding tests. You’ll find plenty of CoderPad interview tips and CoderPad interview questions online.
The next round of interviews
After you’ve found the right platform, it’s time to start looking for candidates.
Some companies use coding assessments as a screener to kick off the software engineer interview process. Others opt for a traditional phone screen first and a technical assessment later.
No matter how you approach it, your goal is to find the best match for your open engineering role(s). To do that, you’ll need to run coding tests alongside behavioral and cultural interviews.
Remember that these assessments are meant to help you hire great developers who can solve challenging problems and work within a team, not replace the hiring process. You’ll still need to evaluate candidates on their soft skills, communication abilities, and cultural fit.
Coding interviews are a great way to screen and vet potential software engineers.
By asking candidates to solve a problem in a given amount of time, and then grading their code on several factors, your company can scale faster and more effectively than you thought possible.
Ready to add a coding interview assessment to your hiring protocol? Check out Woven. You can start a free trial and see how our platform works for yourself!