Qualified's coding assessments are used by companies to test candidates in a variety of ways. They’re flexible enough to test skills across the development spectrum, including their real-world programming, computer science fundamentals, and even framework experience (with pre-made assessments available for Rails, AngularJS, React and Node.js). They can also be easily used at different stages the interview process including pre-screens and in-depth assessments. 

While you can administer code assessments, you can also use Live Interviews to hold pair-programming phone screens. On these phone screens interviewers code with the candidate and talk through the candidate’s thought process. These Live Interviews can be structured off an existing Code Assessment, or held in a flexible white-boarded format.

Each of these approaches can go a long way in making your hiring more efficient and effective. We know that when code assessments are done right, you can maximize the impact of your hiring process at identifying the best engineering talent.

Let’s dig deeper into the variety of ways Qualified can fit into a technical hiring process and improve efficiency.


  • Optimize your hiring flow by using pre-screens to quickly filter out poor performers. 
  • Get real world examples from your candidates by using in-depth code assessments. 
  • Give your development team tools for a highly effective phone screen with our remote pair-programming tool, Interact.


Pre-Screen Code Assessments

A pre-screen is a quick coding test you can ask candidates to take before they talk to engineers on your team. If your company is fielding a lot of inbound job applications then this is likely a bottleneck for you. Your first step towards better efficiency is filtering out candidates who can’t handle fundamental coding tasks. Ideally, you want to do this without involving your technical team, as it is crucial that they stay focused on their work. You will want to involve them later only after you have found candidates who show promise.

This is a key area where Qualified’s automated coding assessments can make a huge impact. Automation allows you to qualify candidates in a consistent and reproducible manner. An assessment can test defined coding tasks in a familiar coding environment and auto-score the candidate’s solutions. It does all of this for your recruiting team without needing to include your engineers to do the scoring. This should be a key take away for improving your pre-screens. You want the process to be efficient and you don’t want to have to include your engineers, who need to stay focused on more important things.

These pre-screens can cover a variety of programming and computer-science fundamentals and often only take 20–30 minutes, a very low time investment on the candidate’s side. Though with this filter you can save your team hours of valuable product and engineering time.

In-Depth Code Assessments

Implementing pre-screens to filter out poor performing candidates will make a large impact on streamlining your hiring flow. At this point the candidate has gotten through your low-pass filter and it’s time to step it up a notch. This is where in-depth code assessments really improve your insight into a candidates technical abilities.

The assessments are designed to be taken on the candidates own time and to provide you with in-depth coverage of their skill sets. Since each candidate will be completing the same assignment, this will give you a consistent set of results to compare. Then as the candidates are programming on their own time, code playback lets you get many of the insights you would have gotten in a one-on-one session, but without requiring your team to sit through the entire interview. Furthermore, the system scores the candidates so you won’t need to worry about testing the code yourself. This allows you to filter candidates effortlessly and focus your time on how the assignment was solved. Taking it further, Qualified.io actually utilizes unit tests for automated scoring — the same tests development teams use for testing their own software. This provides a familiar process to candidates and also enables you to test TDD skills. Imagine, you can not only use tests to ensure your development team is producing quality software, you can also use it to ensure you are producing quality technical assessments.

These assessments can test a wide-range of skills and levels of experience, without being to heavy of a time burden on the candidate, and almost no time requirement from the team. These assessments typically take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on depth and length the team decides upon. With the pre-made Assessments Qualified offers, we tend to keep ours in the range of 60–90 minutes, and provide 2–4 challenges to cover a range of testing.

In this way you can quickly see talent, and well before you invest your engineers time in a phone-screen, pair-programming session, or on-site interview.

Pair-Programming Interviews

Once you have pre-screened out all of the poor candidates, and honed in on the high quality candidates using an in-depth assessment, its a good time to have one of your own developers work with them. At this point you have done a great job minimizing the amount of time you need to take from your development team. Its now time to get them more hands-on with the interview process. 

The process of interviewing can be incredibly time consuming, but it’s an important phase that you don’t want to shortcut on. Many companies hold technical phone screens before an on-site interview in a conversational format. These phone screens provide shallow skill insight, while a full on-site can often be very costly — costing your team precious time as well as possible travel expenses. Pair-programming during a phone screen is a great way to allow your interviewers full insight into a candidate’s coding skills without increased overhead. They are often so effective they can even replace an on-site interview when necessary.

A pair-programming interview involves one or more of your engineers meeting with a candidate in a real-time collaborative coding environment. This is where our Interact feature comes in. It allows you to remotely collaborate with candidates in real time.

This real-time collaboration offers direct insight into a candidate’s thought-process and problem-solving approach. Qualified will even record the playback of the pair-programming session so the rest of your team can review the session later. This collaborative coding also helps to test for culture-fit and soft-skills like collaborative abilities, communication and conflict. Pair-programming will provide you with a great preview of how well the candidate will integrate into your team.

The Interact feature is built on top of our normal assessments. You can simply send a candidate a new assessment, or have them open a previous one. This gives you the flexibility of introducing new code to be pair-programmed on within the hiring process, or you can instead review previous work already done within an assessment and expand upon it collaboratively. 

Additional Reading

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