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Discussion on: Why I Stopped Interviewing with Companies That Require a Coding Test

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deanashton profile image
Dean Ashton

What do you do when a company asks you to do a coding test at their office or online? Ask for an alternative take home test?

Seems like you would make yourself non-eligible for 90% of jobs out there.

Genuinely interested in how you still find work without doing coding tests. Not trying to be nit picking.

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bradstondev profile image
Bradston Henry Author

That's a really good question. And I don't see it as nit picking at all. I completely didn't even mention what I do in my personal job search in this blog. 😅

tldr; I got a lot of rejections early in my career. Got lucky to interview for a company without a code test. I also have created other technical assets that have helped me in the interview process. I ask interviewers early if I can do an alternative and I am stubbornly persistent when on the job hunt. 😅 As I've gotten more senior, interviewing teams have seemed to become more flexible because of my overall experience.

Full Story Below 😅

So one thing that I do very early in the interview process is let the recruiter or whomever I originally interact with know my background. I ask to them that if they do coding tests and if they have an alternative.

I pretty much get one of three responses:

1) We have no alternatives. Thank you for your time.
2) Let me talk to the Hiring Manager and see if they would be willing to approach it differently.
3) No Problem. We don't do coding tests. We do some other technical competency approach (Take home project, Assess your Github, Ask you technical questions directly related to job, etc).

I think one thing that works in my favor is that I have a lot of examples of code that works in the real-world environment. I have published multiple applications to different publishing platforms, I have a Github profile readily accessible, and I have performed very well in all roles I've had in the past and have "evidence"( such as job reviews, awards and other things from other technical people on previous teams that help).

I'd note that early in my career, I got lucky to get an interview with a large Tech firm (IBM) that did not require coding tests online or in-person. That interview came after MANY MANY rejections because I NEVER did well on coding tests no matter how hard I tried. 😅

I would say that you are probably correct (esp in the past) that I was ineligible for 90% of job opportunities. The truth is that I'm the type of persistent that would never give up until I found the 10% (which was IBM). I would say now that I'm a bit more senior, I find that I have a lot more "negotiating power" in the interviewing process. I have seen teams "bend" their "rules" to allow me to enter the interview process. I've alway appreciated that. It has meant a lot. I have been rejected for jobs and have turned some down but I always appreciated the opportunity.

Sorry for the long response but I hope that illuminates my personal approach to the interviewing process.