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Tell HN: Hackerrank is the worst way to recruit
18 points by humbfool2 on Aug 5, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
Hey there,

I am currently studying my engineering (Undergraduate) and I am in my final year. During this time Companies come to college for Placements. The usual recruiting process goes like this -> 1.Coding Test (Hackerrank) In this round, 2 to 3 questions are given that we should solve in 90 Minutes. Few companies also ask aptitude/technical questions. 2. Technical Round 2. If first-round is cleared. One on one interview is taken. Wherein we are asked technical questions again usually based on Data structures and algorithms. 3. Final HR Round As usual HR questions are asked.

I am not sure how do companies judge just based on the single algorithm-based program. I can code but dynamic programming is not what I will be doing in my job. I have learned about docker, kubernetes, etc. Companies won't even know what are my abilities are.

Hackerrank is not the way to get good candidates. Side projects, open-source contributions, etc should be the criteria, not one program.

Recruiters of HN How do you usually select Students for interview?

The single algo program is a proxy for "can this candidate think through things logically and come up with a good design, and explain it".

If you can do it, there is hope you can learn docker, k8s etc. However you can be "good" at docker, k8s from courses without being a competent programmer (but a good systems admin).

Also a company has to deal with 1000's of applications and unfortunately they need early filtering stages, they don't have the resources to look at that many Githubs. Let's say it takes on average 30 minutes per Github to evaluate - that 500 hours per 1000 candidates, of which that time is coming from people who should be doing Engineering tasks. Even if they can afford it, it will slow down the process too much.

And then how to evaluate Githubs? - did they just fork something? Was it their code? Did they get help? Etc.

Github is maybe OK for a later stage interview where the investment is worth it to discuss the projects with the candidate in an interview. It could be a nice alternative to a coding test. But you need an interview to get a feeling for if they really wrote the code.

My advice - be a good dolphin, and learn to jump through this hoop.

It's like the driving test where you need to prove you can "reverse around a corner" - something I have never done while actually driving.

This. + 100.

If it is any comfort, it isn't personal. Everyone in the system is just reacting to their incentives.

Just learn datastructures and algorithms and whatever hackerrank tricks you need. This is much easier for a student than for someone who has been in the workforce a few years, and has forgotten CS fundamentals.

Good points.

Do you think the current interviewing system could be improved in any way?


> I can code but dynamic programming is not what I will be doing in my job. I have learned about docker, kubernetes, etc.

And what do you do with Docker and Kubernetes? Because that's not programming, that's sysops/devops.

Programming tests are dubious, per se. But your "I will not need algorithms" is just as dubious.

Using to tools in not "programming". The core requirement from a CS grad is to understand algorithms and data structures.

> I can code but dynamic programming is not what I will be doing in my job

If you know this already, just go ahead and complete the test?

Accept status quo and prepare for those hacker rank style interviews. Companies have money that you need.

If you are experienced, you will have more say. But for a fresher, you don't have much choice.

That said, I do think hacker rank sucks. The companies never explain why and where you screw up, if they don't like your coding style, your speed etc

> Companies won't even know what are my abilities are.

A rookie discovers that corporate recruiting is broken.

Flip the script. Find an employment opportunity by in-person networking and looking for "people" (not jobs) that you can help. Start attending meet-ups, conferences, trade shows.

Once you’ve been to a few onsites of companies who don’t know what they’re looking for, or worked for a company that didn’t know what it was looking for, you’ll appreciate the simplicity and brevity of basic automated screens.

I mean, there's a problem in that borderline people generally know what to study for with these kinds of interview questions nowadays, hurting accuracy, but HackerRank is still great because it lets companies filter out dumb people and recognize smart people more efficiently. It also means that the few intelligent students at second-rate universities like SJSU, Drexel, Howard, etc, have better access to the job market instead of just being ignored by everybody who wants anybody good.

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