Tough tests flunk good programmer job candidates
Nov 07, 2011, 11:02 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)
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"Are these kinds of tests the right way to hire developers for
your business? Maybe. You'll need to assess an applicant's skill in
one way or another, but it's also possible to take the whole
interview-testing concept too far. Here are a few thoughts to keep
in mind when crafting your test questions, to avoid slamming the
door on candidates unnecessarily.
"1. Recognize that tests are artificial scenarios: When you
administer a coding quiz or some other kind of test as part of the
hiring process, you're putting candidates in a very strange
position. You're usually asking them to solve some hypothetical
problem based on sketchily defined requirements and parameters, and
you're asking them to do so in an extremely limited period of time.
They can't collaborate with anybody else, and they're not allowed
access to any reference materials. Although this scenario is
familiar to everybody from school, it's not one that crops up very
often in the working world, which means it's not necessarily the
best benchmark for how a candidate will perform on the job."