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Tough tests flunk good programmer job candidates

Nov 07, 2011, 11:02 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

[ Thanks to snydeq for this link. ]

"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."

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