Should You Include a Coding Test in Your Interview?

Should you including a programmer test in your Interview process? It’s a question many ask. Here’s how to decide whether or not to do it.

While many jobs in the worldwide economy are experiencing downsizing, technology jobs are seeing steady growth to the tune of 7.3 million jobs in the US alone as of 2017.

Due to this trend, people wanting to be attractive to potential employers are positioning themselves as having coding knowledge required for jobs in software development, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and more.

But how can you tell if an applicant actually possesses the skills they’re claiming they have? After all, a resume only gives you so much insight.

This problem creates a question. Should hiring managers implement a programmer test into their interview process?

This post discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of a programming test. We hope it’s valuable to both people hiring and those applying for coding jobs. These are some reasons why a programmer test makes sense in the interview process.

1) You Can Assess Whether or Not Candidates Have Non-negotiable Skills

A lot of times people apply for jobs that they’re 60-70% qualified for on paper. Frankly, if people applied only if they met every criterion listed on a job application, applicant pools would be quite small. Also, the applicants left standing might lack valuable soft-skills that are necessary for them to gel with their team.

Is the job you’re offering flexible with its skill asks? Are you willing to take someone that’s 60% proficient but an excellent long-term investment for the team once brought up to speed?

If the answer is yes, then weeding people out early in the interview process with a test may mean losing somebody you feel is good cultural fit.

If you have a job that needs doing right away, however, a programming test is invaluable in ensuring an applicant can work through the problems you need solved right out of the gate.

If you need a return on your hiring investment immediately and don’t want to be bogged down with a lengthy training process, programming tests are an excellent solution.

2) If You’re Tight on Time

If you’re a hiring manager who is stretched for time, the prospect of managing a long interview process can be daunting. Usually interviews last multiple rounds. Many times you end up pouring resources into candidates that just don’t have what you’re looking for.

Having a programming test up front can weed people out early and save both you and your candidate valuable time.

That can give you the time you need to focus on people who can handle the pressures of the job.

3) If You’re Interested in Qualitative Data as Well as Quantitative

In lieu of a programmer test, some hiring managers will look to see relevant samples from applicants. Web applications, software, etc. Anything that can attest to their coding competency.

But how do their samples work? What was their coding process? How long did it take them?

A programmer test can provide hiring managers with information on an applicant’s workflow. It can show you the tactics they utilized. It shows if applicants are using best practices, and how taxing their coding is on a system’s memory.

Coding, especially with team projects, can be a house of cards. If a team member is using an unconventional problem-solving approach, it can cause problems for the broader project. Inefficiencies in code can lead to sub-par products.

If you’re interested in understanding processes as much as your interested in understanding results, a programmer test can give you the insight you need.

4) If the Person Doing the Hiring Isn’t an Expert Coder

If you or your hiring manager is not qualified to make judgments on the quality of work a coder is showcasing for a position, a programmer test is useful.

Depending on the size of your organization and how much your coding team is taxed, many times hiring is handled mostly or completely by a recruiter. These recruiters may be on-boarding potential hires across multiple disciplines.

A programmer test can provide insight that compares an applicatn’s ability to other programmers world wide. At a glance it can show someone who doesn’t know anything about code how a candidate stacks up.

Programmer Test Drawbacks

One of the most commonly cited drawbacks of programmer tests is that they may put off qualified candidates.

Candidates applying for jobs are usually taxed for time. Because of this, any additional hoops you put in-between them and a job can make another employer not implementing those hoops more attractive.

Still, the majority of top talent programmers are willing to adhere to a test to showcase their worth. It benefits them to make their skills clear especially if they hope to ask for compensation that matches their worth.

The key to not alienating potential hires when it comes to programming tests is not whether or not to implement one but when to implement one.

It’s important to engage hires meaningfully. Make them aware that everything about them makes you committed to making your relationship work so long as their coding competency is up to snuff.

Candidates who feel that their time taking programming tests are an investment won’t have issues taking them.

To Wrap It Up

With the technology industry booming, more and more people are claiming to have skills relevant to jobs in a wide range of code based disciplines.

In order to ensure candidates are up to the task, it’s important as a recruiter to know what the non-negotiable skills are for a job you’re hiring for and whether or not a candidate has them.

A programming test is an excellent way to do that.

By implementing a programming test at the right time in the interview process, people hiring can be confident that they’re getting a good candidate. Also, people applying can know they’re ready for the job they’re applying for and all parties can save time.

If your company is looking for programming tests that provide world-class insight into candidates, Codeassess has what you’re looking for.

Codeassess is an easy to administer test trusted by major corporations. It tests aptitude in multiple coding languages. Tests are customizable or template tests can be used for quick results.

Codeassess can help you streamline your hiring process and bring on the perfect candidate. Ultimately, our tools will maximize your hiring process’ return on investment.

To get started using code assess, you can try it now for free!

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