How important are code challenges when you are looking for a tech Job? Hiring for any role right now is proving to be difficult for organizations worldwide. What makes it even more challenging is trying to source and hire the best tech talent — how do you manage to stand out among the sea of competition despite your skills and experience? This is where the importance of code challenges in the hiring process comes in.

Many organizations are now turning to these challenges. They’re incorporating them into their interview processes to determine which developers and tech talent can actually put their money where their mouth is when it comes to coding and filter the best from the rest.

Before undermining the relevance of code challenges, remember that it’s what more and more organizations are adopting, so you’re bound to come across them at some point. It could be the final hurdle between you and your dream tech job. Here’s more on the importance of code challenges in the hiring process and why they should be your priority.

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What Is a Code Challenge?

Employers use a code challenge to work out the type of employee they’re hiring. These challenges shouldn’t be a process where tech talent needs to solve trick questions where they intend to trip you up. Instead, an effective, practical code challenge demonstrates your technical skills and your approach to solving problems. 

It should also highlight whether you can think under pressure and understand what’s required.

The code challenges need to be realistic. The goals you need to achieve and the tasks you need to complete should reflect what happens in a workplace. By completing realistic code challenges you’re likely to come across on the job, you’ll increase your chances of being hired over the competition.

74% of employers say they’ve hired the wrong candidate in the past. Completing a coding challenge will make sure they hire the right one.


Why Code Challenges Are Important When Looking For a Tech Job

Verbally explaining your skills isn’t the best way to showcase yourself to recruiters and companies. The best way for some of the biggest organizations in the world to sit up and take notice of you is if you jump into some code challenges to display your abilities.

This is precisely what companies want to see. They want to see how you solve a problem and create a solution to fix that problem.

It’s also an excellent way to stand out. We have all of the insights at VanHack and we encourage you to take advantage of our services, including our free coding challenges. That’s how critical we believe they are — we’re offering this service for free to boost your profile because of its benefits.

We have partner companies that rely on us to help them hire the best candidates. However, some of them do not analyze candidates that haven’t taken any coding challenges. They want to see at least one challenge, so don’t ignore its importance in getting noticed. If you don’t complete them, there’s every chance you could fall behind.

If you’re worried about the scores you’ll receive, don’t let it put you off from trying. In fact, a lower score is going to be more attractive to employers than no score at all. 

Code challenges are also important in the hiring process because they show companies you’re engaged and interested. When companies come across multiple resumes or profiles, they’re only going to show an interest in somebody who took the time to complete the challenges. They won’t want to waste time in their process looking over profiles of candidates who didn’t spend time showing why they’re the best fit for the job. 

In tech roles, you could argue that these code challenges are more important than any in-depth resume or detailed cover letter. 

Code challenges also back up your claims. Let’s say your strength is C++ or Python. Simply stating this on a resume or digital profile isn’t enough. Code challenges allow you to hone in on these specific programming languages, so you can complete challenges that showcase your C++ or Python abilities.

If that wasn’t enough, here are more reasons that showcase the importance of code challenges in the hiring process when you’re looking for a tech job:

  • It helps employers understand how you code.
  • It offers insight into your thought process on how you solve problems.
  • Puts you in a real-life scenario.
  • Provides an accurate sample of your work rather than creating long-winded presentations.
  • It helps companies understand your skills better, rather than reading off a paper or in a conversation.

Some of the biggest companies in the world are turning to code challenges, such as Netflix. Netflix looks for developers who can showcase their skills in an innovative way by giving instructions, such as:

  • Convert a binary tree into a doubly linked list.
  • Serialize a binary tree to a file and then deserialize it to a tree again.
  • Reverse the word order in a given sentence.
  • And more.

IBM is another organization that conducts code challenges using HackerEarth, TechGig and other third-party websites. The aim of these code challenges is to act as a first round of the interview before advancing to the next stage if your score meets the mark.

As it’s now a necessity, it’s a good idea to acknowledge that any company you want to work at is going to want to see you undertake a code challenge. That’s why it’s a good idea to get in the habit now, so the situation, goals and tasks never come as a surprise.

Everything You Need to Know About VanHack’s Code Challenges

Using VanHack to Complete Your Code Challenges

At VanHack, it’s our job to match talented tech candidates with the right companies. We help with the relocation process, help prepare you for interviews and also offer fantastic code challenges at absolutely zero cost when you use the platform to build your portfolio.

Although it’s not mandatory to complete the code challenges to apply for jobs within VanHack, we highly recommend you jump into some of the free challenges we have for you. But yes, companies tend to prefer those who have completed code challenges.

On the VanHack platform, we offer over 20 different challenges you can complete and we continue to add more challenges all the time to keep things fresh and relevant. We also provide the option in many different programming languages and believe us; they’re designed to be fun, not boring!

🖥 Check out our job board now!  (And if you don’t find the perfect opportunity today, check again tomorrow. We update the board everyday)


Our Expert Tips and Advice

We’re so committed to helping you get noticed; not only do we offer coding challenges for free on the VanHack platform, but we also want you to pass and land that dream role you deserve. To help, here are our tips for success.

Before you start every code challenge, we advise you practice before hand and also set aside a good chunk of time. Our code challenges can take around two hours to complete, so there’s no need to rush. 

Make sure you’re comfortable, focused and in suitable conditions before you begin. The last thing we want is for you to try and squeeze the challenge in during your lunch or when you’re busy. Create time in your schedule, grab a glass of water and prepare the room until you’re comfortable. The more you’re interrupted, the more you’ll lose focus.

Another bit of advice? Don’t be afraid! You can take a look at the code challenge environment before diving in. We’ve also created an in-depth FAQ guide that will clear up any queries you might have. Again, don’t rush — you’ll have 24 hours to complete your code challenge once you begin the assessment. So, there’s plenty of time if you need any breaks.

You can find out more about our code challenges here.


Ace Your Code Challenges For Free Using VanHack

Over 1,600 tech professionals have already used the VanHack platform to find their dream roles. Whether it’s remote or relocation, Europe or Canada, we’ve helped them every step of the way to make the transition as seamless as possible. If you’re eager to live a borderless life, escape to a new country and start a new life, we can help you achieve your goals.

You can use our platform to create your digital profile, record videos to introduce yourself to potential employers and use our English verification service to improve your communication skills. The more you complete your profile, the more you’ll stand out and the chances of landing your dream career increase.

If you want to land one of the many fantastic jobs we have available every month on our platform, you can start your code verification here today.


🌎 VANHACK, LinkedIn Talent Awards Winner 2021, is Canada’s most respected recruitment company. With more than 1,700 hires, VanHack is on a mission of increasing diversity and creating a borderless world. So if you are a software developer looking for a job abroad, in Canada, the US, or Europe, join VanHack today. 100% free for candidates, plus you will get all the preparation you need when your profile is shortlisted.

Visit our platform to become one of our many VanHackers hired abroad 😃

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