This is one of the very crucial processes in an interview session. There are many ways available on the internet on how to ace a coding test. Matter of fact, candidates fear this round. Few developers think of the other side of the coin: how does one make an effective coding challenge? Eventually, what type of coding assessment will select candidates for your company?

The interview process requires a good coding challenge.

The motive of a coding exam is to determine what kind of employee your candidate will be. It should assess the candidate’s hard skills, problem-solving, and the ability to cope with deadlines. Hence, ensure that the challenge is not trivial to the job profile, or a challenge not following with the company’s motive. Many CTOs do this mistake. This is of no consequence to the employer and the candidate. So here I will share with you some tips to enhance the coding process in an interview.


Using resources wisely is important. Sometimes it is not necessary for small startups to conduct separate coding tests for each candidate and analyze each one of them. This takes a lot of time.

Websites like TopCoder, Coderbyte, and HackerRank provide coding tests for individuals and make the work easy. These websites also help reduce the costs of coding challenges.

Topic selection

The purpose of a good coding challenge is to determine the kind of person the candidate is. Classic coding challenges like FizzBuzz or designing a simple REST interface won’t help you here, because these standardized challenges won’t help you distinguish candidates: any programmer worth interviewing can handle these.

Therefore, you have to simulate the coding in such a way that it feels like practical work experience in your office and also fulfil the needs of the organization.

In-person or take-home?

Yes, you heard it right. You have to consider whether you are invigilating the challenge in-person or take-home. Several companies do both and both of them aren’t any better. The type of challenge depends on what kind of role you are hiring for, and where your priorities are.

One big advantage of administering in-person candidates is that you witness their capabilities in the practical sense. You will know their quality of response in a professional environment. Consequently, paired programming should be a part of this challenge. An in-person interview is best to find a good cultural fit for the company.

On the other hand, a take-home interview emphasizes the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. Since take-home coding tests take longer time, it’s useful in assessing the candidate’s quality in a larger project. You will get to know how they perform when nobody is inspecting them. Are they following the company’s guidelines and the best practices?

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In-person or take-home, you shouldn’t make it too long. Otherwise, it’ll be an assessment of those who can do the tasks accurately on time. Others who are a little sluggish are disqualified.

My golden suggestion –
In-person coding test: 3 hours
Take-home coding test: 8 hours

function SteveConstant(num)
return num; //code goes here
SteveConstant(readline()); //keep this function call here

Assessing the candidate’s performance

On what basis will you judge your candidate? You cannot accept him/her solely on the fact of whether their answer is correct or not. You should also consider the candidate’s process, then analyze what your team wants the most.

Next, you will assess your candidate’s grasping of the requirements of the project. This is crucial for an interview. It should be a natural instinct of any developer to have the ability to grasp the requirements of the project. Also, they should be willing to ask for clarification wherever required. Consequently, if they are making any mistakes, you should analyze whether it is due to a misunderstanding or to lack of attention to detail.

Ultimately, you can have a chat with your candidate about the coding test. This will make sure that you understand their thought process and perspective. Also, you will know their approach to practical situations (codes) with deadlines. You will know how they respond to criticism. If you just analyze them based on the answer you had in mind, you will misinterpret the strong developer’s bad qualities and a weak developer’s good qualities. Skills can be worked on later, but having someone in your firm who cannot handle criticism and doesn’t get along with others is kind of a burden rather than an asset.

Interview: Going “beyond” the code

It is not just about the code. A good coding test showcases the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, on a professional and interpersonal perspective. The ROI on a potential coding challenge is very high since it enables you to hire expert employees.

Therefore, you have to set the challenge in such a manner that it feels like a roller-coaster ride for the candidates. It should be a representation of the tasks to be handled in the actual workspace with deadlines. It should be realistic and challenging and should set clear expectations. Once you hire potential candidates, they will soon reap fruits and they will assist in boosting the company’s revenue.

Above all, an interview is the best method to convey your company’s requirements and ethics to the candidate. Find time to create a strong coding challenge, and soon you will be able to hire the top coders. Not to forget, in general, better employees.

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Final words on this interview test

I have specially made a gist of this article so that you can have a quick look at what you have read and grasped so far:

  1. Utilize third-party websites such as Top Coder mentioned at the beginning to assign coding challenges for if there is a large number of candidates.
  2. You have two choices; one, to create a coding challenge that adheres to the challenges and guidelines of the workplace, or, two, modify an existing challenge emulating possible tasks on day one of the jobs.
  3. Make the challenge appropriately lengthy.
  4. Give respective in-person or take-home projects to the candidates of their choice.
  5. Analyze the candidate’s approach to the project with the team’s motto.
  6. Preferably have a chat with your candidates regarding the project analysis.
  7. Soft skills are important. So you should also focus on their communication ability and personality. This will reveal their response to criticism and how well or bad they interact with team members.

About the company

Do you need to complete a project within a prescribed budget and time?

Codersera is a global community of top developers, coders, mentors, PMs and CTOs. Generally, we undertake the development of a fully-fledged product. Starting from UI/UX designs to building wireframes, and scaling it up to enterprise-level apps. This is the best platform for startups that are not capable of hiring a full-time developer but want quality work.

Even more, a developer’s selection process for the platform is quite rigorous. Developers have five screening rounds. Only less than 1% make it to the end (imagine the difficulty). Afterwards, Codersera inspects the developers for their expertise.

Consequently, any clients who have successfully got their projects done admire Codersera. Also, the clients are happy with their workers’ dedication and productivity. Applying online is quite easy to do. However, the developer rates are high due to the assured quality of work. If you are looking for a developer, click here.


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As a Senior Tech Enthusiast, I bring a decade of experience to the realm of tech writing, blending deep industry knowledge with a passion for storytelling. With expertise in software development to emerging tech trends like AI and IoT—my articles not only inform but also inspire. My journey in tech writing has been marked by a commitment to accuracy, clarity, and engaging storytelling, making me a trusted voice in the tech community.

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