Technical Tests and Their Place Within the Hiring Process

Technical Tests and Their Place Within the Hiring Process

After speaking to developers on a day to day basis, I get bombarded with questions about technical tests… This blog is written to shed some light onto the subject.
  •  “Will there be a technical test?”
  •  “How long with the test take?”
  • “Am I able to complete the test remotely?”
Often the answers that I have to give to these questions don’t sit well with developers and software engineers.

Why Not All Tests Are Worth Doing

Let’s take, for example, a Senior .Net developer looking £50,000 role in the centre of Manchester. Let’s call him Kenneth.
First, a little bit of backstory to set the scene. Poor Kenneth’s just been told he is going to be made redundant in a month’s time and therefore is scrambling to find a role before that dreaded redundancy kicks in.
After applying for a few good looking and well written jobs on the Job Boards, Kenneth manages to secure himself a few interviews for the following week. One of these interviews is a technical test…
The test was to build a generic application using C# ASP.Net and MVC. There is the option to include various tools, libraries or frameworks such as Bootstrap, Angular, React. Kenneth is given 8 hours to complete the test. As I am sure you will agree, 8 hours is a long time to complete a technical test, especially when Kenneth hasn’t even been into the offices yet. Strictly speaking this is almost a day’s work, and if you equate that into a contractor’s daily rate, then Kenneth could be getting paid anywhere from £300-£400 for his efforts.
Therefore, shockingly enough, Kenneth chooses to value his time and go with the other companies that offer much more sensible interview processes, and this company just missed out on a potentially great candidate.

How to Successfully Prep for a Technical Test

Good news! Kenneth is progressing well with another company! Having completed a successful Skype interview, Kenneth has been invited into the offices to meet some of the team and sit a 45-minute technical test.
Kenneth is really excited at the prospect of meeting the company and is searching for examples of tests he can do to make sure he passes. 
My advice to Kenneth is to use www.testdome.com. They have a good selection of both multiple choice and coding-based questions. 
Kenneth completes a few practice questions.  He goes into the interview far more confident than he would have been previously, and breezes through the test.

The Moral of the Story

Don’t waste your time with 8-hour tests.  If a company needs to see a day’s work from you then they must have some very insecure hiring managers, and where will that get you?
Practice makes perfect… Tech tests are often quite different from day to day development and require a different kind of thinking. Make sure you practice before you sit a test.

Kenneth – The Developer

Our “hypothetical” friend Kenneth did get the job he wanted, he was made redundant on £45,000, got a job at £50,000. He now works so close to his house that he can bike to it. 
Redundancy didn’t get the better of old Kenneth.