How AI-driven chatbots like ChatGPT are affecting the way of doing tech assessments

As companies search for the best candidates for their tech positions, one of the most crucial steps in the hiring process is an in-depth technical assessment. There are several ways you can do a deep assessment i.e. home assignments (in-house or via an external provider), live technical Q&A, and coding. Historically, take-home assignments have been a popular way to assess a candidate's technical skills. However, with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning, candidates can now use AI-powered interview bots, like OpenAI's ChatGPT, to help them solve technical coding assignments. This makes it difficult for hiring managers to get an accurate sense of a candidate's actual technical abilities. In this article, we'll take a look at what types of tech assessments exist, why they're so important when hiring tech professionals, and how the use of AI applications will affect their reliability or provide certain advantages as a complement to the assessment.

Why tech assessment pays off

Besides the obvious first step of analyzing CVs and profiles, every tech hiring process should include a deeper assessment to understand if the candidate has the expertise needed to fulfill the position. In such an in-depth technical assessment, coding skills, especially problem-solving abilities, are tested. The point is to verify that the candidate has the required skills for the position, regardless of what the CV says. If the applicant really fits the job and meets the requirements, they will be satisfied and stay with the company long term. Another reason for conducting an in-depth technical assessment is that developers love to be challenged technically during the hiring process, and thus such an assessment leads to a positive candidate experience early in the process. This can ultimately lead to candidates deciding in favor of you and not another company.

Types of tech assessment

When it comes to assessing candidates’ technical skills for various roles, there are different types of assessments that companies can use. The most common types of tech assessments include coding challenges, technical interviews, take-home assignments, whiteboard exercises, and online skill tests. Coding challenges and online skill tests are typically used to assess a candidate's proficiency in a particular programming language or technology stack. On the other hand, technical interviews and whiteboard exercises are more focused on problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate technical concepts clearly. Take-home assignments usually involve a real-world problem to solve and provide an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their coding skills and creativity. Each type of assessment has its own strengths and weaknesses, and companies may use one or more of these methods depending on the role and the specific skills they're looking for.

The new reality with Chat GPT

AI-powered tools like Chat GPT are changing the way tech assessments are done. Why? Because candidates can use them to solve coding assignments, submit the test, and pass it. This means that take-home assignments no longer provide a reliable guarantee of whether a candidate really has the right skills. On the other hand, with the Peer-to-Peer Interviews method, experienced IT experts test other candidates in a technical interview including a live coding challenge. Programming quality and speed will be checked live and alternative solutions will be discussed together with the candidate. Applicants do not have the opportunity to falsify the results by using outside help. Not only are the candidate's technical skills assessed, but also their communication or problem-solving abilities. These soft skills are critical for success in any tech role, and they are best evaluated through interviews with a human interviewer. 

Closing thoughts

AI-powered tools like ChatGPT are changing the way that hiring managers evaluate technical skills during the hiring process. Take-home assignments, while popular in the past, are no longer sufficient to assess a candidate's technical abilities, as candidates can cheat, and it can be time-consuming to evaluate. Whether in the context of a take-home assignment or in daily work, AI can certainly be helpful in generating complex code. What it can't take over, is creativity in writing code and a problem-solving approach. But these skills play - and will continue to play - a crucial role in programming.

However, other tech assessment methods, like peer-to-peer interviews, will eventually be affected by the use of artificial intelligence. For example, AI tools can recognize different speakers in the conversation and transcribe what is said in real-time. The content of the interview can thus be documented and bias by the interviewer is prevented, which leads to diverse and inclusive hiring. Artificial intelligence will therefore not replace the human component in a technical interview, but it can help to optimize this method and lead to better traceability in the aftermath of the interview.

If you would like to learn more about how we use our peer-to-peer interview process to find the right IT experts for your open position, do not hesitate to contact us

Feb 2023 - 4 min read

Katharina Höll

Katharina Höll

Senior Communications Manager

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