How, why are companies hiring without doing an actual coding interview?

my experience with the interview process is that they just will ask high level questions and dont even test your skills or what it will be like for you to work together and communicate with the team, so you end up waste many hours setting up interviews, speaking with people, restating everything on your resume, without doing any actual coding or learning anything. Speaking of which how can companies actually hire developers to perform a certain job yet they dont even bother to test those job skills?

in similar vein:
https://forum.freecodecamp.org/t/should-i-avoid-a-position-that-doesnt-give-a-coding-test/178515/4

(I understand networking and trying to sell yourself is important, I’m trying to work on these soft skills… but its not easy, I just want to speak about code). Its almost like the recruiters and managers dont care about their clients and only want to fill a position and are just going off your likeability and your confidence.

The reason im worried about jobs that are hiring that dont actually test your skills is I had a bad experience at my last job that also had a similar hiring processs, perhaps I am being very cautious and maybe overthinking these things…but this sort of thing makes me nervous, even if it is a known and respected company, I start to have doubts about myself and end up messing up my potential opportunities (do they really even know what they are doing and what they are looking for? maybe they will have unrealistic expectations? how is it possible for them to hire just based of of this? how can they know im qualified if im being interviewed by people who dont code or write any code themselves? etc… ) for example this recuriter from a respected regional company that ended up scheduling me for an interview with hiring manager before adressing my concerns:

FYI, their ecommerce website is horribly slow and a terrible user experience, I cant understand how such a big company has such a horrendous website (They must be spending a fortune on ads and marketing). I guess thats why they had wanted it redone (they actually ended up cancelling the interview last minute. But I know they just did this because of my lack of confidence messed it up)

Hello. There are good recruiters, there are bad recruiters.
Hiring people is also a skill I believe.
Sometimes they really don’t know what they want/what they are doing, we need to deal with this somehow.

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I’m going on 3 years of professional experience and try to avoid any interviews with coding tests, especially if they’re to be completed outside of an interview slot.

the most i’ll do is a simple pair programming exercise, and set a max of 3 interviews.

companies may be catering to the job market.

as an interviewer, we don’t do coding tests either, and it’s usually clear enough just with Q&A who would be a good fit from a technical perspective and who doesn’t quite have the relevant experience.

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I wish I could get a pair programming exercise or a coding test to be completed during the interview slot. They dont even do this, the interveiws ive had have a hiring manager who does not code ask you high level questions like, “describe state, tell me about some solutions for state management”, “what are props in react, what is prop drilling and how would you prevent it?”, “describe some lifecylcle methods in react”… etc… questions like these are not worth much as anyone with minimal knowledge can take a week or two and read up on articles and give them the answers they want to hear. these types of hiring processes or interviews dont test your problem solving, communication, or how you will work togther with a team.

Not to mention to even get these interviews you have to spend time applying, filling out the same job application that is the same as the previous one, scheduling, plus time speaking with a recruiter over the phone, etc… microsoft teams meeting or zoom meeting with another manager etc…

all this time could be spent working on skills and improving my knowledge but instead I am speaking with recruiters. So far ive done:

500+ job applications
apx 70 recruiters/hiring managers spoken with
apx 7-10 managerial high level interviews where they ask the same type of questions
1 actual coding interview like you describe

so this is very innefeective and a big waste of time, instead of speaking with recruiters and managers I could be working on skills. I must be doing something wrong.

I would think something like
this or this would be the bare minimum and even in the longer video they could have completed all the tasks within the timeframe if they would have just skipped the fluff talk.

I mean when are these companies waiting to do the actual interview? after the fifth or sixth interview? never?

There’s something to be said about the companies/recruiters you are talking with and roles you are applying to. Ultimately a majority of companies are not technical, and thus a majority of roles are also not technical.

Hiring people is expensive. This is the primary driver of a majority of all the “hoop jumping” practices we see today with hiring. Having a coding interview is more expensive for a company. Hence why a majority of companies have some sort of “screen” that is automated/cheaper to field to weed out possible applicants.

There’s also what sort of roles, and experience levels you care about. Larger companies can afford “more risk” and will actually be “greener” more inexperienced individuals so they can train them themselves. In those scenarios soft skills become a larger factor than hard experience, or prep.

Hu? 5 interviews in means you have 5 interviews? If you by “actual interview” you mean “coding interview” usually that’s the first or second step, as some sort of screen depending on the role.

Later steps usually are for finding “fit” and checking other skills within the company, and are usually “more costly” in regards to the company fielding them, as your deeper in the process so they are more serious.


Lastly, any company or recruiter worth their salt will give you an overview of the processes ahead of time. You shouldn’t need to get into the actual process without knowing what the process is.

If they don’t do this, then directly ask. Neither you nor the company or recruiter wants to waste their time.

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They can just do one coding interview up front? it doesnt have to be an hour long interview. 3-4 managerial interviews not including the time I must speak with the recruiter for 30 min and scheduling back and forth… that is not a waste of time and doesn’t cost them money? Whats the purpose of me speaking to the recruiter?
“do I have work authorization, will i submit to background check, can I come into an office a few days a week, what types of roles are you looking to see yourself involved in the next few years… what projects have you worked on…”. Cant it just be done over email? its not expensive for them to go over this ad infintium and ask me the same questions they will all ask. speaking of which every recruier I must answer them on linkedin, email as well as phone… it just seem like big waste of time.

yeah, like 30 min with the recruiter than another 3 or four interviews with various managers ms teams meetings… Not a single line of code written.

like those filtered platform interviews. I got a few of those sent to me after I had to suffer through initial 30 min convo with recruiter. never did it. They want me to talk into my screen while they video record it and do some coding challenge at the end. Like is that even the policy of the company themselves? or are recruiters just getting these free trials from these platforms, whose grading those? they probably outsourcing that as well. They cant even say what type of test its gonna be. You probably end up getting 30 min to complete a challenge and spend the majority of your time trying to figure out why axios doesnt work only to read after the clock already running out that axios wont work in their environment so instead of actually coding out a clear problem you end up spending the time by yourself speaking into a camera and trouble shooting whatever platform they decide to use that your not familiar with, and you fail anyways.

You saw the email above i copied, I told her im not senior develop, she say that is ok we are “looking for a strong mid level react developer”, yet they plan on hiring said person without having him write a single line of code.

I asked her and she said after that interview with the hiring manager there is some automated psychological test they expect of their candidates. that is why I was nervous about getting into it and hence my lack of confidence ruined it. She went ahead and scheduled the meeting with the hiring manager without adressing my concerns, I showed up, but they flaked. they messaged me right before the meeting time:

"sorry we are looking for a senior developer etc… " they are able to determine that without requiring of their candidates to write any code.

You gave good advice before on some other post about networking and the human connection being the most important part… It is true. but it is not easy.

The #1 rule all companies usually try to test against when recruiting is to hire someone who wont end up costing more money later.

More money is lacking skills, training, people-skills, ethical, etc etc.

So yea making the application process convoluted, is worth it relative to hiring the wrong people.

This isn’t usually done over email due to a number of factors:

  • making sure you exist (seriously)
  • checking your communication skills
  • doing some basic checks against your personality

Recruiters are in the process to get you hired, they are pretty lenient in regards to getting you in-front of potential employers. That said they aren’t dumb, wont aren’t looking to pick anyone, as that would make them look bad and thus “waste time” for the company using them to hire.

Depending on the role and company culture this may or may not be expected. Writing code directly is usually kinda overrated if there are other metrics you can look at, or the role.

These are usually where your coding skills are put to the test. It sounds like you’ve gotten “coding challenges” but not the kind you expect maybe? Oftentimes coding challenges exist primarily to see how you solve problems and communicate just as much as they check your coding skills.

I saw the email, if they are hiring a mid-level React developer odds are the Q&A by itself will give a gauge about developer skills. A prime example would be: “What’s a difficult thing you’ve done in the past?”

I’m also unsure about the process beyond the 1 interview, but I assume there’s more to the interview process than a single technical questions screener.

Finally I’d like to point out that the email example is for an external recruiter. External recruiters usually are used by smaller companies who can’t afford their own recruiters, and thus automatically usually lead to less intense interviews.

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That’s actually important stuff, some developers from my locale once said, that they want people to manage coding even if there is some noisy/distracting stuff going on in the office.

true but is not so easy. There was an online coding group in my area, where you got to practice pair programming, I attended it a few times, it was good but they stopped doing it.

They do this over the phone all the time but in my expereience it doesnt result in me meeting with any real engineers. Ive spoken with many recruiters but I can count on less than the fingers on one hand how many real interviews Ive had that involved any sort of display or test of coding knowledge.

I guess. I mean speaking around 1/2 hour with someone ill never hear from or see again who doesnt know about software development, and then following up with his manager for an additional 30 min/hour call repeating everything on the resume, while trying to sell myself. What do I get out of this process? I disagree with you that they dont waste time. IF so why not just read the resume and spare me the call.

Just the other day I speak with someone for 25 minutes on the phone all is going well and he say, “so whats your experience with kafka?” I tell him ive never even heard of a kafka. and he say “well this client is only looking for experience with kafka so well keep you in mind for other roles”. most likely Ill never hear from him again. Guy could have read the resume. They dont.

Also its not like Im applying for jobs that list a bunch of technologies ive never worked with.

I really wish they would do this. Ive had one or two of those, I like them, I learn from them. At least if you fail you have something to take away for next time.

so why do they have people who are not technical assessing for a role that is technical. I get it i mean the real people you want to speak with can’t be bothered to interview with every candidtate that applies, “expensive”. Fine, so instead I have to try to speak with and convince people that are not technical that I am technical for a chance that they will present my resume to someone who is technical who will decide if I am not technical without ever speaking to me.

Getting a job is hard. Interviews and the hiring process suck.

You have to convince the company that hiring you will not be an expensive mistake. Each company picks their own process that they believe best fits their needs in avoiding making expensive hiring mistakes. That’s really all that is going on.

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yeah but how would you convince them to give you a technical interview without sounding desperate I can try to say to a recruiter/manager:

I may not be the best candidate & true maybe I never built any real software that people relied on, but i wont be expensive mistake for you, we can do an initial term without signing any legal agreements, i can work for you for free or at a discounted rate while I learn your stack.

Though they are always pressured/deadlines so maybe they will see this as a waste of time and not give a technical.

Any company that is willing to have unpaid employees is an unethical company that should not work for. Even if that wasn’t a problem, bringing in a new developer is expensive and takes time away from other development efforts. Onboarding is expensive.

There isn’t really a way to talk/convince/bully/etc a company into interviewing you in the way you want to be interviewed.

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