Insights from Online Programming Tests

Enhancing Technical Recruitment: Insights from Online Programming Tests

Facilitating a large number of online programming tests throughout the interview process between hiring firms and candidates has taught us a great deal about establishing excellent candidate experiences. As we expanded from hundreds to millions of online programming tests, we collected developer insights into candidate preferences, expectations, and capabilities that might help you enhance your interview process. 

Here are our top insights.

Candidates perform best in natural environments. 

Technical interviews should assess how well candidates’ qualifications fit the requirements of the position for which they are applying. Ideally, your interview process determines how well a candidate will perform on a daily basis. Traditional technical interviewing techniques, such as whiteboarding and in-depth phone interviews, only give half of the story and may not accurately represent how a programmer codes in real life. Hiring managers may send online programming tests to candidates to complete on their own time and from any location they choose.

This allows programmers to access resources such as Github for developers, StackOverflow recruiting, and even Google Search.

While taking online programming tests, individuals can educate themselves on the subject at hand in order to better inform their approach.

When they arrive on-site, hiring teams can use the Coding scores, combined with their technical interview questions, to evaluate the candidate. We ensure that your candidate’s test, whether completed in Python or C++, is assessed objectively.

Candidates can also utilize their preferred integrated development environments (IDEs) to smoothly copy and paste code into our text editor. From the way the IDE works to the appearance of the timer, our UI is designed to feel more realistic and boost your applicants’ overall performance and enjoyment.

Oh, and don’t worry about cheating; we have a number of protections in place to prevent candidates from submitting the work of others.

Candidates expect transparency.

Technical recruiting is all about creating relationships. Even in highly technical professions, it is about people engaging with one another and establishing trust between the firm and the candidate. Candidates expect to hear back about going forward or being rejected in a timely manner, and coders expect to know how they performed on coding jobs. Sending them their score breakdown, when appropriate, allows them to learn and improve for future interviews while also giving them a better impression of your firm.

That’s also simply courteous, and prospects will appreciate that. Consider this: you reject a candidate this time, but since you were upfront about your recruitment process and delivered their test feedback, they leave with a great impression and keep you in mind for future opportunities. They return a few years later, impressed by the integrity of your technical recruitment process and with a stronger skill set. 

You now have an A-team coder at your door. This would not have happened if you had not established that relationship through transparency from the start of the interview process.

Time is important when taking online programming tests. 

Giving candidates more time does not dramatically boost their chances of scoring higher on the online programming test. This may sound contradictory; you might believe that by loosening time constraints, candidates have a better opportunity of working through those difficult difficulties. Or perhaps by allocating more time, test takers feel less pressure from the time constraint and hence perform better. It turns out that this isn’t always true. The candidate either knows how to write code that will pass the test or does not.

 The coding platform for interviews allows hiring managers to assign an appropriate amount of time for candidates to perform tasks during the technical interview.

  • Too short. Even the most qualified individuals will struggle to succeed.
  • Too long. Hiring managers may struggle to distinguish between exceptional and mediocre prospects.

While test takers can set their own time limits, Coding Test makes default suggestions based on the millions of online programming examinations completed through our technical recruiting platform. Our research saves hiring managers the effort and mistakes of calculating how much time to allow candidates to submit their ideas.

The disadvantages of legacy hiring practices

Can you picture having your job hopefuls write code on a sheet of paper? This approach clearly belongs in the past and makes no sense in an internet interview. First and foremost, a coding profession is not what a conventional recruiter envisions. Next, the mountain of paperwork your recruitment staff must sort through makes it difficult to make a decision.

Multiple-choice surveys are not significantly better than paper tests. We can’t claim they’re awful at assessing candidates’ knowledge, but they’re useless for measuring candidates’ originality and capacity to think independently.

In fact, only 20-30% of candidates who score well on MCQ tests perform well on online interview assessments. This suggests that 70-80% are unable to fully comprehend and apply their knowledge. Not to mention one-on-one interviews, which do not provide interviewers with insight into candidates’ knowledge or problem-solving mindsets.

This raises the dilemma of how to make the best use of hiring assessments. All of this has made way for online interviews for coding assessments, a novel approach in tech team recruitment that yields concrete results.

Advantages of Using Online Coding Tests

Online interviews for coding exams introduce something entirely new to the HR market and firms that handle internal recruitment: the opportunity to examine job candidates’ programming skills in a realistic programming environment. What benefits can an online coding job exam provide to firms in need of a strong technical team?

“Any fool can create code that a computer can comprehend. “Good programmers create code that humans can understand.”— Martin Fowler

  • Test Efficiency – by exploiting test flexibility – platforms that specialize in online testing have a large number of pre-built tests that may be used right away. However, they also provide flexibility by allowing you to construct your own test, which is quite handy when you’re wanting to uncover something particularly specific.
  • Time Efficiency – The online coding test serves as a client for a much larger platform. With rapid grading, debugging, and correction options, you and your prospects will save a significant amount of time. You will not have to spend time assessing examinations, and the recruitment procedure will produce better outcomes.
  • Immediate Feedback – Candidates can view the grade for each question or task immediately after completing it, which helps to keep them motivated.Check code scalability to gain insight into a candidate’s coding talents, which includes code and time complexity, processing time, and CPU consumption, as well as time spent completing each assignment.
  • Simulator-based Test – Another online coding interview will allow you to assess the candidate’s ability to work on actual projects.

Mercer | Mettl is continually searching for ways to improve technical recruiting. Drawing insights from all completed Coding tests helps drive the product strategy and share feedback with organizations, allowing them to better their candidate experience. So far, there’s a lot about how to provide an engaging, fair, and memorable testing experience on this platform.


  • Nieka Ranises

    Nieka Ranises is an automotive journalist with a passion for covering the latest developments in the car and bike world. She leverages her love for vehicles and in-depth industry knowledge to provide readers with insightful reviews, news, perspectives and practical guidance to help them find their perfect rides.

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