How Effective are Coding Interviews?

How Effective are Coding Interviews?

Coding tests are a common part of a developer’s career path, but just how effective are coding interviews?

The coding interview is commonly used as a recruitment tool, as well as a way for employers to assess technical skills.

In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of coding interviews and how you can plan your best coding interview. So, if you’re considering a coding interview for your career, read on.

The Pros of Coding Interviews

To some extent, technical interviews are crucial and companies find them essential in helping them to employ the best candidates. Geektastic ( offers a fantastic platform for anyone looking to practice coding tests ahead of a coding interview.

Assessing various skills

Technical interviews may be used to assess numerous dimensions of an interviewee by testing if they are well-rounded. They assess how a candidate writes their code and how they go about avoiding mistakes in their code.

They assess the communication skills by testing how good the candidate can present their code and have stern decision-making skills. They also assess how a candidate handles complicated problems that may be unusual to them.

Removing false positives

Most companies find it more reasonable to reject good candidates than firing a newly hired candidate.

There are cost implications tied to hiring new candidates. If a company hires the wrong person, it will be expensive to get rid of the new hire. New hires are usually unproductive for a while and companies spend a lot of time and money to get them up to speed with others employees.

The cost of rejecting good candidates is usually lower than that of firing a new hire.

They are Scalable

For big companies that interview thousands of candidates, it will be unrealistic to have one interviewer perform all the interviews.

When you have numerous interviewers, their personalities will differ because some may be friendly and some may be harsh. There may also be biased interviewers.

With coding interviews, candidates may be assessed at scale with interviewers who have been trained to offer standardized interviews and be as fair as possible. They will also save the company time and money spent on the interviews.

The Cons of Coding Interviews

Little emphasis on ascertaining skill sets

A common factor in technical interviews is coding on a whiteboard. Most programmers claim that the tasks usually given in these interviews do not represent what they usually do on the actual job.

In most cases, the interviews highly focus on what the candidates know and the time they take to solve a problem on a whiteboard. In addition to what someone knows, the interviews should assess how good the candidates can use their skills to tackle problems.

Non-standardization of interviews

There are numerous ways of conducting coding interviews and they may vary depending on the companies conducting them. That makes it hard for candidates to be fully prepared for the technical interview.

There is no formal structure to these coding interviews. That means the fate of the candidates rely on the person evaluating them.

Most interviews may end up being biased because the interviewers are not conversant with performing structured interviews. They may also give preference to candidates that fit their personality traits.

They invoke anxiety

Most interviews also focus on the speed at which the candidate tackles the problem rather than how good they can solve the problem.

Candidates spend a lot of time training for these interviews rather than the actual job they will do when they get an offer. The candidates may become nervous during the interview because of the time pressure and having people watch them solve a coding problem on a whiteboard.

How to Prepare for and Ace Coding Interviews

Before the interview

You can get a sketchbook and look for practice manuals that specialize in coding interviews. Sites like LeetCode and HackerRank have numerous questions that may be helpful to you.

Go through all or most of the questions and keep practising them until you understand how whiteboard assessments are conducted.

During the interview

When you are presented with the question, ask the interviewers for clarification to make sure you fully comprehend the question.

The goal is to make the interviewer understand the code you are writing and make their evaluation easier. Always ensure you explain what you are writing or typing, why you are writing it that way and the goal you are trying to achieve.