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Why companies need to invest in tech interview prep

Aug 30, 2019 - 4 min read

Corporate recruiters helping candidates prepare for a technical interview is a pretty controversial topic. On one hand, engineering leaders want great candidates who will perform well in an interview with no guidance, help, or intervention from the company. However, this is unrealistic and doesn’t reflect what happens on the job. Additionally, it puts undue stress on a candidate which prevents them from bringing their best self forward.

On the other hand, recruiters are bringing quality candidates that could do the job, but aren’t succeeding in the interview.

It’s a costly cycle when candidate success isn’t factored in. Both parties end up losing and the search goes on without resolution.

Here’s why organizations should invest in candidate success programs and interview prep as part of the technical hiring process:

1. Candidates are in control

When it comes to supply and demand, the power shifts in the developer’s favor. There are more tech positions being posted than computer science degrees being earned and self-taught engineers being produced. This means that catering to engineers is an inevitable part of the process–especially when you’re competing against FAANG companies for talent.

Candidates have the upper hand. They can be selective and their perspective is influenced by how their friends have been treated in past interviews and how the recruiting team treats them throughout the whole journey.

2. Prioritizing candidate experience is a key differentiator

If you were a professor and you had a big test scheduled, would you let your students take the test without any prior preparation? No. They’re there to learn and grow, just as an employee would be.

Interviewing is a learned skill, and the technical component adds another layer of difficulty. When a company invests time in your success from day one, it highlights an important part of the company’s values. It can also directly impact whether the candidate accepts a job offer.

Candidate prep is as much a company’s responsibility to provide as it is for a candidate to prepare. If given the opportunity to prepare, developers will invest more energy into bringing their best selves to the interview and that effort can be an indicator of long-term success.

Do you know how much your technical recruiting efforts are costing you?

3. Not all engineers have experience at larger companies

Not every job seeker will land their first gig at FAANG, but that doesn’t mean they won’t build the skills in their current role that would make them a successful candidate at a larger company.

In the engineering world, there are skills that scale and skills that don’t. Often times, developers have the relevant skills and experience but need to learn how to translate that experience to building systems at the scale required when interviewing at larger companies. Courses such as Grokking the System Design Interview can train candidates to do just that.

You are not giving the candidate the answers to the test. Rather, you are helping the candidate use what they know to answer the question in a way that is relevant to your company.

4. Investing in candidate success optimizes the hiring process

There’s no doubt that there will be some candidates who won’t fit in your organization whether for cultural or skill-level reasons. It is inevitable. The average cost of recruiting a software engineer is north of $7000. Investing in the success of a job applicant can directly reduce the number of candidates you have to interview for one position, thus reducing the burden on engineering teams.

Investing time and resources whether you’re an engineer or a technical recruiter can reduce the total cost of recruiting for an open position. You can interview and prep the right candidates reducing the amount of effort at every phase of the interview process.


Preparing candidates for the interview is not providing sub-par engineers with the answers and getting them through the interview process. It’s giving reasonable support to candidates so they are confident and adequately prepared for the interview.

Just as most companies want to set their employees up for success, this journey should start when they are still candidates interviewing for the role.


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