Best strategies to tackle coding tests for interviews

Interviews can be intimidating even for experienced candidates, but they are the first step in becoming qualified for that dream job. Coding interviews are considered one of the most difficult rounds for a programmer because they assess a candidate's skills, logical thinking, intelligence, and ability to solve problems and make decisions.

It can be challenging to write (working) code while being watched at every keystroke during an interview. Worse, you're urged to explain your reasoning aloud to the interviewer as a candidate. 

Cracking the coding interview is difficult because it requires working with algorithms, problems, and complex scenarios, all of which require strong technical and logical skills. So, before attending the coding interview, one must prepare thoroughly for the interview.

What is a coding test and why is it important for a developer?

Coding tests are programming exercises that evaluate a developer's abilities and skills. They have a range of functions, from asking a straightforward question and receiving an answer to inserting code into a real-world setting.

All coding languages and frameworks are tested in programming skills exams. In addition to evaluating soft skills like problem-solving, communication, and time management, recruiters and hiring managers use coding assessments to understand technical competency. 

Software developers' value comes from their coding skills, which is why they hold great importance in screening candidates. Through these tests, the candidate can self-assess his technical skills under pressure.

In addition, the use of programming assessment ensures that each applicant possesses both fundamental and advanced skills, saving employers the time and effort of conducting time-consuming interviews with candidates who are unqualified or unsuited for a position. As a result, technical screening is the fastest way to find the best talent for any level or role.

Types of coding tests in tech interviews

Tech interviews typically involve a mix of coding tests, and here are a few you might come across:

Take-home coding challenges

Take-home assignments are tests that the candidate must complete at home. Companies can test candidates using online platforms like Woven, Coderbyte, or CoderPad. Engineers are expected to produce higher-quality work, and with more time and room for reflection, candidates can consider intriguing issues or cutting-edge solutions.

The main objective is to understand how someone works and thinks. Therefore, candidates are typically evaluated on various criteria, including their capacity for writing high-quality code, level of comfort experimenting with novel technologies, and creativity and problem-solving abilities without the aid of an interviewer.

Pair programming

In a pair programming interview, the interviewer and candidate work together on the same computer to solve a programming problem, with the interviewer acting as the navigator and driver. The purpose of this style of interview is for the interviewer to share their opinions and observations while guiding the candidate through the problem-solving process. It is a great way to evaluate a candidate's communication and problem-solving abilities.

You can assess your candidates' decision-making abilities more accurately by letting them work through a problem with the interviewer. In addition, candidates feel positively challenged while learning a little about the company, their potential team, and the type of work they will do, with the help of a good problem statement and an astute interviewer.


Whiteboard interviews are a type of interview question that evaluates a potential hire's technical and non-technical skills. For example, they might involve a specific algorithm and data structure issue or a more general question about systems architecture.

During whiteboard interviews, interviewers and interviewees are forced to concentrate on problems at a higher level where syntax highlighting, development environments, and mistakes in syntax are not tested. Instead, it is used to determine how the candidate gathers requirements, responds to criticism and feedback, and clearly explains difficult concepts, especially plans, before writing the code.

MCQ or screening-based challenges

A screening interview is a job interview conducted to determine a candidate's suitability for a position. In the initial hiring process, employers frequently conduct screening interviews. 

A screening interview is a job interview conducted to determine a candidate's suitability for a position. In the initial hiring process, employers frequently conduct screening interviews. A screening interview typically consists of a few questions and a brief review of your educational and professional history.

In addition to probing you on your credentials, the interviewer might inquire about your availability and desired salary. At the same time, the MCQ challenge is also a simple test to check the candidate's capability suitable for the job description. These are rather the most basic form of the interview.

Code assessment platform tests

A coding assessment platform is a sophisticated software platform that offers a complete coding environment to assist recruiters in evaluating a coder's skill and knowledge. A

n ideal coding assessment platform enables assessors to schedule coding tests online, screen candidates, and distribute invites seamlessly while concentrating on progress and performance. 

It is best to use a coding assessment platform before the interview round, which should be used as part of technical screening.

Challenges faced while doing a coding test

Many candidates have voiced complaints about the coding tests while taking them, including how difficult or glitchy the online platforms are to use, how uncomfortable the integrated development environment (IDE) was, or how it lacked certain features.

In addition, it means that candidates spend more time figuring out how to take the test than concentrating on the questions, which is why candidates feel they weren't given a fair chance during the evaluation. 

Furthermore, the questions are occasionally written poorly. When developing these questions, the writing is unclear or uses terminology and culturally specific examples. Particularly for those from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of English language proficiency, this can be alienating and perplexing. Furthermore, some coding tests take an excessive amount of time. These add to the already time-consuming and stressful interviewing process, making it even more tedious.

How coding challenges can help you sharpen your skills

Taking on programming challenges can improve your development skills. Developers use a lot of self-learning best practices that include coding tests and challenges to enhance their skills and get a stronger grip on their preferred set of languages.

In addition, developers can polish their problem-solving skills because of the new problems they solve accurately under reasonably accurate time estimates. Finally, by taking continuous challenges, you may write more efficient code time by time while improving on each set of challenges. 

Amazing real-world tech challenges as never seen before

Most technical tests kind of suck. That's why we build our own code challenges that companies are taking for their candidates' assessment.

Each challenge you solve is reviewed by our Tech Mentors, who generate a technical skill report and give you detailed feedback based on your performance.

The thought process behind answering coding questions

Even the simplest of problems can give you the hardest of times. That's why it's important to be ready to answer coding questions head-on.

To tackle these questions effectively, you can follow a proven strategy: start by understanding the problem, then devise a plan to solve it, carry out your plan step by step, and finally, verify and validate your solution.

By following this approach and repeating it, you'll be well-prepared to confidently face any coding question that comes your way.

Best practices to solve coding tests

Planning is a requirement for every task. Similarly, it is the most necessary process to do before trying to attempt any coding challenge. Therefore, it is better to design the approach and then start implementing it.

In addition, it is crucial to stay informed about market trends and pick up new skills in coding frameworks, languages, and technologies. Prior to the interview, it's advisable to practice on platforms for coding challenges and become familiar with them.

To increase your speed and accuracy, regularly practice solving coding challenges. Studying typical coding interview questions and exercising giving out loud responses to them can also be beneficial.

Lastly, be sure you comprehend fundamental data structures and algorithms because they are frequently examined in coding challenges, and the problem is solved under time constraints.

Wrapping up

Coding challenges are  the perfect playground to level up your speed, foundational coding knowledge, and problem-solving abilities. To make the most of these challenges, approach them with optimism, stay confident in your coding skills, and show a persistent attitude to solve problems even when facing challenges.