Why should interviews for software engineers become shorter?
September 19, 2022
min read

Why should interviews for software engineers become shorter?

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

Perfecting interview structure has become almost an obsession for IT recruiters.

Rightfully so as companies continue to struggle with their hiring plans while fixing their focus on hiring top-quality software engineers. Selected strategy affects interview structure as it becomes a long list of unstructured questions alongside various technical tests.

In the end, positive candidate experience gets compromised.

Software engineers request shorter interviews

Today, IT recruiters have to invest an effort into understanding obstacles in front of interviewing success.

Firsthand, IT positions and their requirements.

It’s not uncommon that IT recruiters lack in expertise to fully understand job position requirements. When this happens, it usually pushes the company into a death trap.

Due to uncertainty and despair, IT recruiters reach out for interview structure with loads of assessment questions.

During the necessary skills assessment process, the interview structure is also compromised by the lack of communication between your IT team and the hiring manager.

It makes essential for hiring managers to raise these questions: ‘Why do you need front-end, back-end, or full-stack engineers for certain positions?’

At the moment, most companies embrace three or four interview stages. However, our recent survey reveals loud requests from software engineers, where 67% of participants want to experience a significantly shorter interview process.

Understandably, this request comes directly from software engineers overwhelmed with constant emails, pings on LinkedIn, and then long interview processes.

But is it possible to cut the number of stages by half?

Let’s investigate together.

Slow steps towards shorter interviews

First, the basics.

Concise and streamlined IT interviews should be constructed around these three types of questions. Here are some examples:

Problem-solving interview questions
  • How would you motivate your team or yourself to be more productive under the shorter deadline?
  • How do you mentor new team members to ensure they onboard well?
Role-specific interview questions
  • How do you do your research when designing new software?
  • What tools do you use to test code quality?
Behavioral interview questions
  • Describe a project you are most proud of?
  • Tell me a time when you implemented significant improvement on your project?

Deduct time to develop a question list according to job specifics, as solid interview design provides IT recruiters with enough data for quality assessment of available candidates.

Once you are happy with the interview design, move on to further build the process by transforming it into a positive candidate experience.

Time vs. interview quality

Long technical assessment contributes lower candidate experience.

It aims to provoke quality feedback regarding tech experience and candidate knowledge when concise.  

Limiting the duration of technical assessment up to 60 minutes is a good way to start. It makes a balanced compromise between requests for a shorter interview process and provides IT recruiters with sufficient time to get a basic sense of candidate expertise.

One rule: make sure that every candidate receives the same technical test. It delivers consistency and helps get standardized test evaluation for an easier elimination later on.


It’s hard to assume that it will be possible to drastically cut the number of interview stages soon.

Instead, designing smart interviews that enable deeper insights into candidate potential speeds up the process and saves valuable time on both sides.

Only well-trained IT recruiters can understand job position requirements and tech stack rightfully. From then on, we can gradually fulfill the devs’ wishes.


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