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How to Test Coding Skills of Developers in Interviews

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11 February, 2023

Enterprises face many hiring challenges, from talent shortages to the need for proper tools to assess developers; there’s no dearth of things to be done. And, according to Monster, 41% of recruiters said that assessing candidates during the interview was the main challenge they faced in 2021 and beyond.

In short, companies need to strive to look beyond resumes and depend on skills intelligence and analytics to make informed, intelligent hiring decisions. But how exactly does one reach there?

A developer interview coding test can objectively measure a candidate's skills without bias that often creeps in during recruitment, objectively assess on various parameters, and help you create an ideal candidate experience during the hiring process.

In any developer interview coding test, various elements are added for example, questions based on the skills requirement for the role, varied difficulty level for gauging skills dexterity, and more. In this regard, technical assessment platforms offer organizations coding templates that they can also customize them to fit their exact needs. Scoring parameters can also be set to give organizations a better look at candidates' technical skills.

Additionally, these technical interviews are structured with a consistent set of job-relevant questions and evaluation metrics. This is an excellent way for technical hiring managers to predict a candidate's performance.

 

 

 

 

Don't let interview challenges hold you back from hiring top talent. Cut time and costs down by 50% using iMocha!

 

 

Benefits of Using a Developer Interview Coding Test to Hire Great Developers

#1 Pre-screening assessments to evaluate developer skills – Saving you time during an initial filter

Let's take your mind back to the last tech role you hired – how was the initial technical screening conducted? Did you have to sift through hundreds of resumes?

If yes, we are sorry to hear that you lost valuable time.

An easier alternative would have been to shift to a pre-employment platform and let technology filter for you. Given that a web developer interview coding test is tailored for each role, they provide quick indications of how well a candidate can perform on the job.

Unlock the power of talent analytics tools, where candidates are automatically filtered based on coding skills and other competencies, transcending traditional resume-based assessments, to optimize the hiring process and identify the most qualified candidates.

As a technical hiring manager, you shouldn't be investing your time in evaluating candidates through traditional screening methods – let a software engineer interview coding test do the work for you during the initial filter.

#2 Evaluate a larger number of candidates at a time

Another benefit of using an online coding test is that it assesses many candidates simultaneously. During a face-to-face interview, hiring managers can determine only one candidate at a time. This hiring practice consumes a lot of valuable time for hiring managers.

On the contrary, online coding tests can quickly assess a large number of candidates at a single time. This is because these assessments are automated and allow multiple candidates to take part in the assessments simultaneously. This way, only the most skill-fit candidates qualify for the next rounds.

#3 A developer interview coding test is a better representation

Let's face facts, technical talent – software developers and technical engineers can be wrong at selling themselves on a resume.

A developer interview coding test is different. It allows technical candidates to showcase their skills, talents, and experience in a meaningful way to the hiring manager. In short, you can test fundamental programming skills, not resume-writing skills.

#4 Online coding assessments are remote-friendly and asynchronous

Gone are the days when technical recruiters and candidates were fumbling around their calendars. Online coding tests, including programming tests, are asynchronous, allowing candidates to choose their time slot.

This, in turn, helps to hire managers to scale their productivity by creating one test and sending it out to hundreds of candidates. Thus, allowing candidates to complete the coding assessment independently without any inconvenience.

Candidates prefer video interviews for their convenience, flexibility, and ability to showcase their communication and presentation skills in a virtual setting, enabling a more authentic and efficient evaluation process.

 

Here's how you can assess a developer's coding skills with iMocha

One of the hiring manager's main challenges is finding qualified developers for the job vacancy. Because bad hires are increasingly costly, assessing a developer's technical skills during the recruiting process is imperative to validate whether or not they will be a good fit for the job.

iMocha's coding test is an excellent approach to screening developers before hiring them: it is a perfect tool to identify and employ proficient developers. The assessments iMocha provides are based on practical problems that a candidate could encounter in a company, allowing hiring managers to analyze their technical skills quickly.

Tech managers using iMocha's online platform can automatically evaluate candidates' coding skills. Once the test is completed, iMocha offers Talent Analytics that allows hiring managers to study, compare, and shortlist candidates.

iMocha's developer coding tests reduce recruitment costs and save time on technical interviews. It also provides an improved candidate experience, allowing developers to demonstrate their skills in a tech-friendly environment.

Features:

  • Coding library with 3,000+ coding problems and 35+ languages
  • Coding insights using intelligent analytics
  • Coding simulators to access and hire top coders
  • AI-LogicBox: no more writing code from scratch
  • Live Coding Interview to help create a real-time code environment
  • Custom parameters suited to your job requirements

Here's how Hexaware is using iMocha’s talent analytics to optimize recruitment across their global offices.

 

Benefits of Conducting Stress-Free Live Coding Interviews

Many organizations use live coding interviews as a critical process within their hiring process to determine the programming level of candidates.

According to the Tech Hiring Survey 2022, the biggest challenge faced is that 50% of tech recruiters need help finding qualified candidates for software development positions.

A live coding interview turns out great if properly conducted with the right interview tool. Let's discuss the benefits of conducting a live coding interview and how it has led to a great candidate experience.

  • It improves the processing speed. A hiring process would take up to 4-6 hours and 15 days to choose the best candidate. Live coding interviews can be completed in 60 - 90 minutes with a complete analysis of a candidate's strengths and weaknesses. This improves both the candidate experience and the hiring process. The time-to-hire plays a crucial factor in tech hiring processes. As candidates might be participating in many interviews simultaneously, the company that finishes the process earlier will have more chances to hire.
  • Higher conversion rates; typically, once the companies ask candidates for the code test in the "regular" way, candidates drop significantly. The live coding interview format will improve the candidates' acceptance rate.
  • Live coding interviews allow the company to determine the candidates' coding skills with higher accuracy and more context to this metric. Yes! The advantage of this interview process is that hiring managers can effectively observe and evaluate the candidate's competency directly and in real-time.
  • The company offers candidates maximum flexibility for setting the live coding interview. This also highlights the benefit of the test going from 4-6 hours to 60 minutes. This takes less time for the candidate and dramatically improves the candidate's experience.

 

Struggling to find developers due to talent shortages and lack of proper tools? Try iMocha's Live Coding Interview platform to hire top tech candidates!

 

 

Here's what you need to know about iMocha's Live Coding Interview

Traditional recruitment processes didn’t allow hiring managers to check the level of quality, identify seniority, and understand how candidates defend their work in the technical interview.

It needed to include many other things, such as conversational touch between tech teams and candidates, lack of visibility on how candidates overcome possible challenges during the test, etc.

Due to all these reasons, iMocha came up with the of implementing live coding interviews to deal with the downsides of the "regular" test code.

iMocha's live coding interview creates a collaborative environment in which up to four interviewers can be added; it creates an interactive experience for experienced candidates and evaluators can remotely assess each candidate’s problem-solving skills.

Why choose iMocha's Live Coding Interview?

  • Evaluate the candidate's thought process
  • Real-time collaborative assessment experience
  • High invite to appear-ratio
  • Eliminate multiple interview rounds
  • Auto-completion of code lines
  • 35+ programming languages with 3,000+ coding problems

What are interview coding challenges, and how to use them?

Let's talk about what coding challenges are.

Interview coding challenges are programming tasks for hiring developers. They aim to help hiring managers assess candidates and help recruiters pick the candidates better suited for the job.

Such coding challenges solve:

Hiring a good developer isn't an easy job. Accessing someone's coding abilities based on interviews is difficult. These interviews are also prone to bias. Conversely, coding challenges effectively measure a candidate's coding skills while making the hiring process objective.

Interview Coding Challenges:

  • It mirrors real-world work that a developer would do on the job
  • Are standardized, so every candidate gets the same challenge
  • Provide in-depth analytics instead of a "yes/no" result

Types of Interview Coding Challenges

1. Take-home coding challenges

Take-home coding challenges are challenges that developers complete on their own time. It's a great way to assess developers, as it measures real-world skills. Hiring managers have the advantage of understanding a candidate's coding skills instead of making biased hiring decisions.

2. Pair-programming

Pair programming coding challenge typically involves a coding challenge that hiring managers and candidates solve together. This is best for hiring senior candidates who won't feel as intimidated by other coding experiences. Pair programming is another good way to assess a candidate's communication skills.

3. Whiteboarding

This is an in-person challenge, where candidates are expected to solve tasks on a whiteboard. This coding challenge is done in front of the hiring or technical team and can be stressful. Studies show whiteboarding tasks show how well a candidate can deal with a stressful situation than their actual coding skills.

Such interviews put candidates on the spot, leading to a bad candidate experience. This may also end up losing a good candidate who just got nervous.

4. Screening questions

The last type is screening questions. These challenges are quizzes and often short, so they are not precisely coding challenges.

We don't recommend screening questions, as it doesn't measure a candidate's skills. Hence hiring managers may need to identify the best candidates. Such assessments can only work if there are many candidates, and you must filter out the well-performing ones.

If you like this, you’ll want to know How Cloud Assert shortlists 25 developers within 10 hours using iMocha’s Talent Acquisition Analytics.

 

Technical assessments? Check! One-way video interviews? Check! Live Coding Interview? Check! Whiteboard assessments? Check! Custom assessments for your open job roles? Check! iMocha offers all!

 

 

How to create coding interview challenges?

Coding interview challenges are becoming a trendy way to assess a candidate's technical skills. The motive of a coding interview challenge is to determine what kind of employee your candidate will be. It should assess the candidate's problem-solving, hard skills, and ability to cope with deadlines.

However, there's never a one-size-fits-all approach to testing developers. To get the best results from a coding challenge, you should consider some best practices when designing and creating your challenge.

  1. Make the skills you are testing for clear. The coding challenge should be designed to assess a specific skill set. The test should also be relevant to the role you are looking to hire.
  2. Be there to answer questions. The candidate should feel comfortable asking questions if they cannot understand a given challenge. After the challenge, tech hiring managers can give feedback on a candidate. Whether the candidate was successful or not, provide feedback on their performance. This will help them improve their skills and prepare for future interviews.
  3. Allow enough time for the coding challenge. Every candidate should have enough time to complete a coding challenge without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. You can also assign project-based assessments to take home and submit according to the candidate's convenience.

 

Check out this developer onboarding checklist and best practices, that can help recruiters while recruiting candidates.

 

 

Here are a few examples of coding interview challenges

.NET Core interview coding challenge

  • What is the difference between String and string in C#?
  • What are some characteristics of .NET Core?
  • What are Boxing and Unboxing?
  • What is a .NET application domain?

JavaScript interview coding challenges

  • Copy a Linked List with a Random (Arbitrary) Pointer using O (1) Space
  • Given an integer, determine if it is a power of 2. If so, return that number, else return -1
  • How would you create a private variable in JavaScript?
  • Explain when and how to use Exponential (Doubling or Galloping) Search.

Web Development code challenges

  • Build a web page for your favorite clothing brand.
  • Recreate a magazine layout using Semantic HTML and CSS Flexbox.

If you wish to know more coding interviews and how they can help you, visit Top 10 Coding Interview Tools to Consider in 2023.

 

Also Read: Top 9 Ways to Test the Programming Skills of Candidates

 

FAQs

What is a coding challenge interview?

Coding challenge interviews are technical interviews that help tech recruiters or hiring managers assess the candidate's technical skills. The problems in the coding challenges are based upon:

  • Real-world problems
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Algorithms and application-related problems
  • Assessing the basics of programming and core concepts

Discover the ultimate guide to mastering the art of hiring top tech talent with these 25 invaluable tips.

What makes a good coding challenge?

A good coding challenge isn't just about the code. It showcases the candidate's strengths and weaknesses from a professional and interpersonal perspective. Therefore, coding challenges should represent the tasks to be handled by the candidate in the actual workspace with deadlines. In short, it should be realistic and challenging with clear expectations.

Which is the best type of interview coding challenge?

Live coding may be challenging, but it can be the best if conducted with the right interview tool. This challenge assesses candidates' ability to deal with stressful situations and their technical capabilities. It's an excellent coding method to understand a candidate's thought process and problem-solving skills during the coding interview. Tech hiring managers can observe their path to the solution rather than the final answer.

 

Need a reliable way to evaluate developer candidates? Try iMocha and its world's largest skills library.

 

Gemma Benny
Gemma Benny
I am a Content Writer at iMocha. A B2B writer that creates articles and listicles while trying to build a relationship with potential clients and also adding value to the content wherever possible. I have previously worked with clients in the medical, fashion, education, IT, and beauty domains. Before joining as a full-time writer, I worked as a digital marketer for over two years. When I am not keeping busy with content writing, you can find me baking, exploring the culinary world, and playing badminton.
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