How software engineering interviews have evolved over the past years

Article by JobTerix IN DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION - 10/19/2022

Getting a job as a software engineer requires one to go through one or more interview sessions before being hired. The questions and the mode of interviewing will usually vary depending on the company and the roles of the job. In the last couple of years, there have been some changes in the way interviews for software engineering jobs are conducted.

If you intend to apply for any software engineering job, you need to learn about these changes to increase your chances of succeeding in your next interview. In this article, we will look at some of the changes in software engineering interviews that you may need to know about while preparing.

Changes in software engineering interviews during the last couple of years

1. Hands-on challenges

Several companies are looking for software engineers who can actually solve problems with code. That is why hands-on challenges during interviews have become so popular in the last couple of years. So, before you add any technical skills to your resume, make sure you actually have the skill because your potential employer could give you a hands-on challenge to prove yourself. These challenges can either be online or offline, depending on the interviewer's preferred model.

2. Online coding hackathons

Some employers assess the potential of their candidates through online coding hackathons. With these hackathons, different candidates collaborate on a coding project that they have to complete within a limited period. The goal of these hackathons is mainly to test the candidate’s collaboration skills and their ability to work with a team. When you are invited to an online hackathon, make sure you contribute as much as you can towards the success of the project.

3. Online technical tests

Companies also use online technical tests to assess the candidate's potential to solve problems with code. Online tests may involve assessments on anything from algorithms to core programming principles. Most employers are resorting to this mode of assessment because it's relatively cheaper than in-person tests. Online technical tests also allow companies to easily test and hire people from different parts of the world.

4. Pair coding interviews

With these interviews, the candidate and the interviewer work together on a given coding platform to solve a technical problem. Usually, the candidate will write most of the code, and the role of the interview is to guide them where necessary. One of the main goals of pair coding interviews is to assess the candidate’s ability to solve problems under supervision. The duration of these interviews largely depends on the complexity of the project.

5. The use of Neuroscience to test a candidate’s personality

Companies such as Pymetrics have developed tools that use data-driven behavioral insights and artificial intelligence to test the personalities of different candidates. Some of the traits that platforms like Pymetrics assess include effort, risk tolerance, decision-making, attention, focus, ability to learn, fairness, generosity, and emotional intelligence.