How to conduct programming assessments during developer interviews?

How to conduct programming assessments during developer interviews?

The world’s biggest tech organizations execute long and comprehensive coding test for hiring developers. Google generally executes three to four stringent technical interviews in one single day. Adobe needs four tech interviews and one HR interview for six to eight hours. The procedures at Amazon and Facebook are the same. Such tech interviews are based on evaluating and employing excellent developers. But the volume of interviews, and the competencies they’re designed to evaluate, will differ depending on position, seniority, and separate teams.

One constant? Programming assessments have been the spine of tech recruiting for more than ten years. The move to remote-first interviewing and effectively dispersed teams has led many organizations to shift their programming assessments online and welcome tech-enabled recruiting procedures. And as recruiting needs a boost, coding tests for hiring are a dependable method to confirm that informed recruiting conclusions are made based on an applicant’s actual capability to do the job.

To employ the best technical talent, customizing the applicant’s experience and counting efficiency are important. In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to execute technical programming assessments — and the best methods you can utilize to evaluate developers with certainty.

What does executing a programming assessment look like?

Applicant assessment is the procedure of assessing whether an applicant is an appropriate person for the position. During the procedure, hirers and recruiting managers depend on individual projects, often considered programming assessments or challenges, to score an applicant’s ability in key skills. A programming assessment is a kind of assessment that often measures an applicant’s problem-solving skills and technical proficiency in various programming terminologies and frameworks. Assessments can also gauge the applicant’s capability to guide an entire application atmosphere, translate log messages, design systems, and interchangeably utilize the command line, IDE, and browser to interact with the atmosphere.

Instances of coding test for hiring may contain:

  • Take-home programming challenges
  • Multiple-choice assessments
  • Project-based tasks based on real-world situations
  • Pair-coding in a virtual IDE
  • Whiteboarding and Virtual system design 

Creating a coding test for hiring goals is highly tailored, and recruiting managers to have the agency select from several variations in how to assess the technical knowledge needed in the open role. Relying on the assessment platform they utilize, hirers can browse from a library of open questions or tailor their own. For assessments that need program submissions, a recruiter should also be capable of changing the list of available terminologies the applicant can utilize to solve the problem.

Types of programming assessments

There are a variety of distinct kinds of assessments recruiting managers can utilize to assess a developer’s programming knowledge. The complexity and arrangement of these assessments will differ based on the experience level of the position.

Usually, the more professional the developer is, the vaguer the problems they solve evolve. For instance, applicants for entry-level positions might finish programming questions that assess the implementation of predefined problems. On the contrary, the questions for senior positions can evolve more open-ended and need the whiteboarding of possible answers.  


Problem-solving is a basic computer science talent. To finish a problem-solving question, coders have to determine a solution, decode this algorithm into something a computer can do, and finally write a program to execute the answer. At its core, problem-solving assesses the study, performance, and use of data structures and algorithms.

While problem-solving skills are important at every experience level, problem-solving questions are foundational to assessments checking the knowledge of entry-level coders.

System design

More typically found in recruiting procedures for senior-level positions, system design questions give applicants a look into the company’s technical stack and operations and give recruiting managers a comprehension of the applicant’s strategy for problem-solving. These interviews should ideally proceed like interrogations, with the applicant thinking aloud about storage, scalability, dependability, and other elements of the system.

Potential system design questions contain:

  • Create a ride-sharing service.
  • Create an easy social media app.
  • Create a video streaming service.
  • Create a URL shortening service.
  • Create a file-storing and transferring service.

Real world projects

Typically used for mid and senior-level developers, a project interview is a technical assessment of an applicant’s capability to decode real-world questions. This kind of coding test for hiring gives recruiting managers the option to perform an in-depth assessment of the applicant’s capabilities for the position. It estimates the applicant’s capability to apply terminologies and frameworks to decode real-world problems. Projects also estimate their capability to guide a complete application atmosphere, solve log messages, and interchangeably utilize the command line, IDE, and browser to communicate with the atmosphere.

Traditionally, recruiting managers executed project-based assessments in person, with the applicant decoding problems on a whiteboard. In online tech interviews, applicants don’t have the opportunity. Online interviewing tools enable recruiters to execute pair programming tech interviews with built-in video calling, which makes a collaborative programming atmosphere where employing teams can evaluate an applicant’s programming skills from afar.

With pair coding tools, recruiting teams can observe applicants build on the program from pre-screen challenges in real-time or run and test the program together, all in one session. This allows recruiting managers to observe an applicant’s communication and problem-solving skills in real time — a useful option for onsite interviews.

Best practices for conducting programming assessments

To successfully assess an applicant’s knowledge, recruiting managers are required to administer an accurate type of programming assessment at the correct stage in the recruitment procedure. With the correct testing process in place, there are numerous best practices for leading remote-first and world-class programming assessments.

Leverage easy-to-use technology

When executing programming assessments effectively, the platform you utilize has a substantial effect on the outcome of the interviews. A streamlined, user-friendly interviewing platform will make a better applicant experience and scale simply across units, all while making life more comfortable for the recruiting managers executing the interviews.

Work in a collaborative IDE

A vital component of programming assessments, specifically at higher levels, is a collaboration between the applicant and recruiting manager. Observing the applicant’s screen in real-time, and providing them a whiteboard to work through situations, creates an interview experience that reflects the atmosphere the applicant will be working in.

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