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Discussion on: I failed an interview because of an algorithm

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jmitchell38488 profile image
Justin Mitchell

Coding tests are a practical, and often valuable method to matching a candidates interview, resume and technical skills.

They are useful when they are domain specific, not entirely time boxed, and less specific to CS fundamentals.

If your day job is basically working in a CRUD application, and very little in algorithms, then this is a bad technical interview. Then again, they may we looking for someone with that sort of background.

I've done interviews with and without technical tests. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the resume is the most important tool you have for landing a job. It needs to clearly communicate your skills and exposure to various technology - and achievements, in a concise and meaningful way.

When you get to the technical side, you have a technical test as backup, something that is designed in house and reflects the sort of work you do on a daily basis.

The reason why algorithms are used in technical tests is because it tests your understanding of syntax, language, comprehension, knowledge and mathematical skills. The thing is, you won't often use those sort of algorithms.

I've always loathed on the spot, time boxed coding tests, because they test the wrong thing. Everyone works in different ways, most don't do well in that situation.

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raulfdm profile image
Raul Melo Author

Well said.

The impression I had doing the interview they were following some sort of "steps to interview people" guide. Somehow they conclude that those steps would be a good fit for whatever developer position they have. 🤷‍♂️