Oh, the dreaded technical interview! While incredibly helpful for identifying potential technical hires, it’s time-consuming and monotonous for job seekers and hiring managers alike. The golden question is, which type of exam is right for you? Here are your options!
Oh, the dreaded technical interview! While incredibly helpful for identifying potential technical hires, it’s time-consuming and monotonous for job seekers and hiring managers alike.
The golden question is, which type of exam is right for you?
It all comes down to four different options. It’s up to you to pinpoint which is appropriate to match your hiring needs.
As we always say, your hiring considerations should permeate much deeper than technical skills — it’s essential to consider all things like cultural fit, aptitude, growth potential, and so on. That being said, technical assessments are often still necessary, and not correctly vetting them could lead to an unsuccessful hire.
It’s exhaustive and expensive to hire developers. You must ensure you’re being intentional and thinking through the entirety of your process — inclusive of your technical interview.
With all of this in mind, here’s a deep dive into your four options:
The process is simple. You give developers a take-home assignment or technical problem and give them a certain amount of time to return it to you.
This exercise is similar to a take-home assessment, but the developer will be asked to solve a problem while the hiring team watches and asks questions along the way.
This option is where a team member and the candidate have a discussion-based assessment of a particular technical problem.
A technical test is optional! If you feel the candidate is a great fit and you feel strongly about their technical abilities, you don’t need to conduct an assessment. A lot of technical people in your talent pool are likely to come from referrals. If you trust the point of contact, you oftentimes can simply count on their word.
All four options are likely to give you an accurate read on your candidate’s technical abilities. It’s up to you to decide on your hiring goals and choose the path that best complements them.
Remember, this is just one step in the process and shouldn’t be your sole hiring consideration. Coding assessments are a relatively large time commitment, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that you communicate with each individual about your process and expectations.
I encourage you to reflect one more time on the candidate's experience. The interview process is a two-way street. You must be actively selling your candidates on your company. Ensure that you time the tech assessment well and only give it to the candidates that you are sure you want to move to the next step of the process. Interviewing is a delicate process; inappropriately timing or poorly conducting the test could lead to stellar candidates dropping out.
So, you’ve decided you want to move forward with a coding test. But, how do you design one that achieves your hiring goals without scaring people off?
Many candidates critique that coding tests are a way to get free work without paying people — ensure you combat this misconception by following these three steps:
Different team members will likely be looking at the coding tests. Ensure you have set criteria on which you plan to evaluate the exams. This will lead to a fair test that sets candidates up for success.
Again, asking candidates to take a coding exam is a large ask. Ensure you are keeping them informed and engaged before and after the assessment. Like you would expect a candidate to send a follow-up thank you after an interview, you should send them a message after the exam to clarify the next steps and answer any questions. Whether you are moving forward with them or not, they expect and deserve in-depth feedback.
Keep your coding exam between 2 and 4 hours. This time will allow for an accurate representation of their skills without asking for too much. Your top candidates are likely interviewing elsewhere, and having your exam last over 4 hours will deter them from further exploring your opportunity.
Follow those few steps, and you’ll have an intentional technical interview process that will inspire candidates, engage applicants, and ultimately get you the best person for the job.
As always, the Climate People team is here to help if you need assistance attracting and hiring top technical talent!
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