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Tech Job Interviews Are Out of Control

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coder in unnatural position at a laptop computer next to a ring of fire

The upshot for job-seeking coders is confusion, culture shock, and hours of work done for free.

Credit: Getty Images

The tech industry has made technical interviews more punishing, part of a wider pullback from Silicon Valley's famously coder-friendly culture. After pandemic hiring sprees, tech companies reversed course in 2022, making sweeping layoffs and cutting office perks. Now managers have turned the hiring process for technical roles into more of a gauntlet. Gone are the days of HR managers prompting candidates with clever brain teasers and Silicon Valley engineers easily landing jobs with six-figure starting salaries.

Technical job applicants are being put through the wringer. Take-home coding tests used to be rare, deployed only if an employer needed to be further convinced. Now interviewees are regularly given projects described as requiring just two to three hours that instead take days of work.

Live-coding exercises are also more intense, insiders say.

"The balance of power has shifted back to employers, which has resulted in hiring getting tougher," says Laszlo Bock, who ran hiring at Google for 10 years and is now an adviser at General Catalyst.

From Wired
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