I recently applied for a senior developer role with another company. I sent my CV and was invited to an initial interview, the panel on the interview consisted of one board member and two of there technical team (developers). We talked through CV and discussed my experience in several technologies and my accomplishments to date etc. As an immediate result of the initial interview going well I was asked to complete a technical test on a popular developer testing website.

I received the technical test which consisted of 4 questions a mixture of both coding and database based questions.

I made it through the first 3 questions with ease and still had over 3/4 of the allocated time left. On arriving at the 4th question my laptop died and I was unable to repair it and continue my test session before the allocated time had ran out.

I sent the company and email explaining the scenario and pictures as evidence, the company were nice enough and able to allow me to resit the 4th question with the amount of time I should have had left.

I attempted the 4th question which was the hardest of all the questions and provided a solution which was 90-95% complete before running out of time. My solution was very good in terms of logic and problem solving however didn't quite yet provide the output the test cases were expecting.

This is the first time I've went for a job that required an online technical test, previously I've been given test's which consist of creating an application and sending it back.

my questions for anyone out there with experience in hiring thats used an online test

If you were evaluating my solution would you discount me over another applicant who's solution returned the expected result from the test case? Or would you dismiss my incomplete solution out of hand?

Do you take into account that its a web based test and somewhat more difficult to develop in than an IDE ?

  • @JoeStrazzere Very true, I just thought give the complex nature of the problem it may be acceptable not to complete the solution as such as debugging features are not available as they are in an IDE Feb 17 '16 at 23:29
  • This is not "asking for advice" but its still not anwerable. The only way to know their reaction is to wait for their response.
    – Brandin
    Feb 18 '16 at 8:57
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    You did well. Don't worry Feb 18 '16 at 13:10
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    If you don't receive a response in a few days, you'll have your answer. In my experience, employers seldom get back to you after they've lost interest.
    – James Adam
    Feb 18 '16 at 13:18

My experience being on both sides of the technical test is that they are simply trying to gauge how experienced you are, where your strengths lie and possible weaknesses. You can tell a lot by these tests than simply looking at a polished CV. In short I wouldn't be worried.

If they don't get back to you it might not be that you did a bad job, they could have had 10 other people and found a better fit.

For all you know they purposely made it hard and didn't expect many people to complete it, but want to see how you deal with it, did you just give up, did they see the thought process you went down before you ran out of time, etc?

  • Thanks for your comment, I think regardless of what happens they'll get back to me they've been extremely warm and friendly towards me throughout this whole process. I didn't give up, my thought process was clear and I continued to try and progress until the time ran out Feb 17 '16 at 23:26
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    @JoeStrazzere That's right. Unfortunately it always depends. On the tests that I created there were a few questions that I expected every Senior Widget Maker II to know and then there was a hard one that people rarely solved, but the fact that they tried and I got a glimpse of what they were thinking told me a lot about whether they'd do good in the position. A huge part of SW dev is ability to troubleshoot. Feb 18 '16 at 15:13

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