29 Sep

Create Automated Assessments That Senior Engineers Will Love

When you’re interviewing a senior engineer to work with a specific language or framework, it’s important to provide an environment to assess their real-world development skills. But sending candidates to Github to pull a sample coding project (developing an app or service, for example) involves a lot of manual work for everyone (assuming that you somehow managed to get a sign-off from your legal/compliance team to invite candidates to your corporate repo). A recruiter has to send out the instructions and manage the access to Github, a senior engineer or a hiring manager has to manually grade the project, and so on. 

When most people think of automated assessments for technical interviews, they usually think of algorithms and data structures questions. But assessments with CodeSignal don’t have to look like this at all. They can also be highly language-specific and contain multiple files and unit tests. These are the types of questions we tend to recommend for more senior candidates, because they’re a better experience, and a better filter. And because CodeSignal handles the logistics of administering and even scoring these assessments, all your team has to do is come up with the interview question (or port over an existing project) and write some unit tests. 

If you’ve used CodeSignal before, you might have chosen one of these Filesystem tasks from our library, or worked with our content team to create a custom task like this. Today, we’re excited to announce that it’s now possible to create these kinds of tasks yourself, in a way that’s completely self-service. Simply choose the Filesystem task type when creating a new task. 

CodeSignal’s Filesystem tasks let you create your own assessments containing multiple files and/or unit tests. 

Deliver automated assessments that senior engineering candidates love ❤️

Yes, senior engineering candidates can love an automated assessment if the test is actually relevant to the specific skill sets of the job position. Algorithm and data structure questions are a turn-off, but if you ask about the nuances of their language of expertise, you can create a great candidate experience while also honing in on the right fit. If you’re trying to hire an experienced Java developer, you might create a Filesystem task about type-casting and generics. A task involving asynchronous calls and Promises could help you find your next senior JavaScript/Node.js engineer. 

One tip we’ve found that works well at the early stages of your hiring process is to give senior candidates the option to choose between an automated and live assessment. After all, it can at times be hard to write your best code under pressure. If you have a test that’s challenging and interesting, you might be surprised at how many experienced candidates choose to solve it on their own (with a time limit you can set through CodeSignal!), which in turn will help streamline your process. 

Port your projects from Github

Do you already have a take-home project that you use with candidates as one of the steps in your layered interview process? You can now easily port those multi-file projects to CodeSignal. Then you can use your project in a live technical interview with CodeSignal Interview, or as a take-home assessment with CodeSignal Test. If you choose to write tests with one of our supported unit testing frameworks, CodeSignal will even automatically grade the project as soon as it is submitted, so your team won’t have to go into each candidate’s submission and score it manually. This means you can save engineering cycles spent grading and also get back to the candidate faster.

Use unit tests to automate scoring

With Filesystem tasks, you can add unit tests that will be automatically run and scored by CodeSignal each time a candidate completes the assessment. This feature is currently supported for Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, C#, PHP, Python, and Ruby (you can still create Filesystem tasks and add multiple files in over 30 other languages and frameworks, just without automated testing). You can decide whether to make your unit tests hidden from the candidate, or exposed to serve as guidelines. 

Filesystem tasks work in CodeSignal Test and CodeSignal Interview

Filesystem tasks can be used to automatically issue and score assessments with CodeSignal Test, or as the starting point for programming in a shared IDE over a video call with CodeSignal Interview.

Along with features like a mobile device emulator and a full-featured terminal, Filesystem tasks are just one of our advanced technical interviewing tools that you won’t find anywhere else. Asking language-specific questions with unit tests can help you engage with experienced candidates and find the right fit for your next senior hire. But don’t take it from us—just fill out the form below to start demoing CodeSignal for yourself. 

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