How To Simulate Real Life Challenges In Remote Coding Interviews?

How To Simulate Real Life Challenges In Remote Coding Interviews?

RahulJune 1st, 20214 min read

Hiring the right development team for an organization can be a daunting task for recruiters. However, there is no foolproof process for hiring developers, but there are several terrible ways to screw it up.

To streamline the recruiting process, you can conduct remote coding interviews to hire the right talent for your organization. With this, you will get a deep knowledge of whether a developer is a right fit for your company or not. The only issue is that many companies offer coding challenges in the wrong way.

Providing competency in software development takes more than solving a few trick questions. But this is what many companies do.

But, what exactly is a coding challenge? Let’s discuss it in detail.

What Are Take-Home Coding Challenges?

A take-home coding challenge is a small task or set of application-based questions which you give to your candidates to assess their technical skills. You can give them a task with moderate complexity and that should be finished within the given time. There are tools for take-home coding challenge with a lot of customizations and advanced functionalities

Coding virtually on the same task can give much better insight into the thought process of a candidate. It also presents more opportunities for them to make the process more collaborative and less scary.

How To Simulate Real Life Challenges In Remote Coding Interviews For Candidates?

A take-home coding challenge for candidates must be done in the right manner. Let’s delve into some of the best ways to create effective take-home coding challenges which can have a 92% completion rate.

Initiate With A Precise Scoring Criteria

Firstly, you need to clearly define the scoring criteria for your candidates. It will help you serve two purposes: reducing individual bias and determining the post-challenge discussion.

Undoubtedly, you need to detail all of the criteria in the instructions, such as stating the candidate will be graded on how clean their code is – having purposefully indefinite directions can be valuable to get insight into the candidate’s thought process.

On the other hand, wrong instructions can add time to the process or send candidates down the wrong path for the project, affecting your ability to assess the candidate’s technical skills. Providing relevant information and defining clear scoring criteria will drive better results for both you and the candidate.

Define A Time Limit

Coding is an imaginative hunt and a hard time limit can be distracting or stressful for some candidates. One of the main reasons why developers hesitate to take coding challenges is because of their time limit. It is a time-consuming process and mainly it takes 20-40 hours or more.

However, to engage candidates, you can set a limited range of time rather than a hard time limit. To make sure that candidates use an equal amount of time on the challenge, your team can ask them to reveal how long they spent on the task.

Align The Challenge

One of the worst things for a candidate to experience is getting a take-home coding challenge that is irrelevant to the role they’re interviewing for.

For example, it makes no sense of asking questions related to web development to a database developer. You want your potential hires to have a sense of what day-to-day responsibilities will look like and hope that they feel excited to take on the role.

Never Set Unnecessary Limitations

The main reason behind conducting remote coding interviews and take-home coding challenges is that they provide a more realistic environment than a whiteboard. It means that it’s crucial to make the process as realistic as possible, ideally with input from developers on your team.

If you’re setting unnecessary limitations, such as not allowing the candidate to use generators to set up an app or restricting them to a specific framework, make sure there’s a genuine reason behind it as it will add time to an existing time-intensive project.

Allow Candidates To Add Their Work To Their Portfolio

Basically, the small task or application-based questions you assign to the candidates is to assess their technical skills and they are not paid. So, you don’t want your candidates to feel like they have put in hours to solve the questions or task and didn’t get a job.

Allowing your candidates to add this task to your portfolio is good practice. You can allow them to add this project to their GitHub account or any platform they use to showcase their technical skills.

Discuss The Challenge

Lastly, discuss the challenge after the interview. Apart from knowing the candidate’s technical as well as soft skills, you will also give the candidate a great experience, which is much needed.

If your candidate has spent hours on a given task, it is incredibly disappointing to get rejected without any further explanation.

By providing candidates with feedback, you will ensure that they walk away understanding your decision and learning something for their next application.

How To Evaluate The Results Of A Take-Home Coding Challenge?

The primary aim of conducting a coding challenge is to hire the right online code editors and developers and distinguish them from those who are not qualified for a particular position. So, how do you evaluate the results?

Evaluate candidate’s processes based on the steps they take to address the challenge.

  • Make sure the candidate has a clear understanding of the challenge requirements: As a recruiter, you need to make sure that: are they willing to ask for an explanation? Were their mistakes due to a misunderstanding? After the challenge, you should talk to your candidate to let them explain their decision-making process, as well as show how they handle the analysis of their work.
  • There is a gentle way of managing the hiring process: By providing candidate feedback, you are doing them a favor and helping them grow. It will help candidates to overview their performance and it’s an implication of where they can improve in the future.
Summing Up

Hiring the right talent is hard. But with the help of a coding challenge or using a pre-built assignment that highlights a positive candidate experience, you can make the recruiting process much easier for you as well as for candidates.

Coding challenges will help you filter out the right talent for your organization. Also, it will put a candidate into the day-to-day responsibilities of a professional developer. Following all the mentioned tips will help you streamline the hiring process and onboard the right talent for your organization.

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