VIDEO Q&A (2:25 min)
Rachel Wolford is the Product Manager for the Triplebyte Assessments team. Eric Bakan leads the Triplebyte Machine Learning team.
Why are most of the Triplebyte assessments a multiple-choice quiz?
RACHEL: It's simple, it's straightforward, it doesn't provide much barrier to candidates, and it's fairly straightforward to grade. The testing theory around multiple-choice questions is well-developed.
ERIC: I think about two things. First off, yeah, it's easy and scalable to deliver. It's easy to grade, like Rachel mentioned. It's straightforward to write questions with clear right and wrong questions or rubrics in a way that maybe whiteboard coding, or take-home coding projects, are harder to do. Obviously we're trying to do more and more of that as we introduce more coding problems, and we can measure some aspects like correctness pretty readily, but other aspects that maybe companies do for take-homes, like code quality or design choices, are maybe harder to do in that setting.
And the other thing we find is that there's a lot of information density in getting hit with lots of questions over lots of topics over a short period of time. So we try to take a look at, how much information do we get from a candidate sitting down and doing a 30-minute coding problem? You can really measure the correctness on this one aspect of coding somewhat in-depth. But if you ask them eight questions about coding and eight questions about system design, and a bunch of questions about back-end web, in that same 30- or 45-minute period, you get a lot of coverage. And again, this may be not as in-depth on each since you're only spending five minutes on each topic area, but from a recruiter's perspective, you get a lot better sense of this candidate's skillset, and where they can shine than how they did on this single take-home problem.
RACHEL: And I think this is a problem that recruiters are pretty familiar with: this tradeoff between candidate drop-off in the funnel vs. the level of hassle or barrier that's placed in your screening process. That's a relevant tradeoff for us too. We can't offer an engineer who doesn't end up on our platform (who doesn't actually finish a quiz). And so we have to make a quiz that is something that most people will complete if they start it.
ERIC: If I could have every candidate interviewed for five hours in-depth on a bunch of areas, that would be awesome, but then we'd also only have 400 engineers on the platform. And you'd also only select for the candidates who have the time for that sort of thing. Studies have shown that take-home projects are more involved, out-of-work projects, and tend to load on candidates with lower socio-economic status or other responsibilities like a family, more so than the young, single engineer. So we try to make sure that from a candidate experience perspective, that we're accessible to as many candidates as possible.
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