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Everything You Need To Know About Adding Job Simulations To Your Hiring Process

Guide to Job Simulations & Why Add Them in Your Hiring Process

The job market is always changing – and with it, the way companies recruit and hire new employees. From in-person interviews to virtual job interviews to now job simulations, companies are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to assess candidates. Job simulations are a relatively new addition to the hiring process, but they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular tools employers use to assess candidates. Job simulations are precisely what they sound like – simulations of real-world job tasks. They can be used for various positions, from customer service reps to salespeople to engineers. One of the benefits of job simulations is that they allow candidates to show off their skills in a realistic setting. In a job simulation, candidates can demonstrate their ability to problem-solve, work under pressure, and think on their feet – skills that are often difficult to assess in a traditional job interview.

What is a job simulation?

Job simulations are tests that ask applicants to perform tasks that are similar to tasks they would do every day on the job. Job simulations are an increasingly popular way to help hiring managers make good decisions about whom they choose as employees. They provide a more realistic assessment of what it will be like working with them, giving you valuable insight into whether or not this person would fit into your business well and produce great results for the company overall. There are different types of job simulations, but they all have one goal in common: to help you assess a job candidate’s skills, abilities, and potential job fit. For example, some job simulations might ask candidates to complete a series of online exercises similar to what they would do on the job while others might be more like role-playing exercises, where the candidate is put in a simulated work environment and asked to complete tasks or solve problems.

Also read: Hire The Best Coders For Your Team With HackerEarth’s Coding Assessment

Job simulation benefits that you need to know about

Some Benefits Of Job Simulations To Hire Better Job simulations offer several benefits for both employers and job candidates. Job simulations allow employers to assess job candidates’ skills, abilities, and knowledge in a real-world setting. This type of assessment is especially beneficial for positions that require problem-solving skills or decision-making ability. For job candidates, job simulations offer a chance to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a pressure-free environment. They also provide an opportunity to receive feedback from an employer on their performance. Overall, job simulations are valuable for both employers and job candidates. Given below are the most commonly used simulations:

A better understanding of the job:

Job applicants can learn about what they will be doing on the job which means that if they are hired, they will know exactly what is expected of them. This gives them peace of mind because employers are more transparent about available positions. Positions have detailed descriptions of what the employee is responsible for. This will help the employee do well under pressure and follow protocol.

Predict on-the-job performance:

You can find out in advance what a candidate’s true performance on the job is like by using simulations, which are unique to hiring. With these tasks given to new employees and their real-life results compared against one another, it will give you confidence that your decision was correct when making someone an offer or not.

Easy and time-saving:

Job simulations are a time-saving, cost-effective, and user-friendly alternative to pre-employment tests. They can be completed in just minutes without any hassle or difficulty which makes them perfect for busy hiring managers looking to get the job done quickly.


People can understand how they measure up to other people for certain jobs. They know that this system is fairer than other systems because it is not possible to know what skills were used during training sessions.

Predict job satisfaction:

You want your employees to be happy and enjoy their work. This is because they will perform better if they are happy. One way to make sure people know if they will like the job is by simulating a real work environment. This will help the candidate understand more about what the job entails. When someone understands that they will enjoy the job tasks, they are more likely to enjoy the job itself. It is great for you because you can make a wise decision, and it is also great for them because they can have a better understanding of the job.

Employers stick to their main objective:

You should not just hire someone because you like them. If everyone is similar, there will not be a good balance in the workplace. It is better to have a team of people who are different from each other. You can do this by using job simulations. This will help you to choose the best candidate based on their skills and not on personal biases.

Personalized simulations:

You can create simulations that are personalized to the job. This will help you to assess if the candidate has the specific skills that are required for the job. It is important to have a simulation that is as close to the real job as possible. This way, you can be sure that you are making the best decision for your company.


You can customize simulations to assess different skills. For example, if you want to assess teamwork skills, you can create a simulation that requires candidates to work together to complete a task. If you want to assess customer service skills, you can create a simulation in which candidates have to deal with difficult customers.


Simulations are objective and provide data that can be analyzed. This data can be used to make decisions about who to hire.


The validity of simulations means they accurately reflect the job. If a simulation is not valid, it will provide inaccurate data about jobs to be performed on them.


Simulations are reliable and produce consistent results. If a simulation is not reliable, it will not provide accurate data about the job.

Option to opt-out:

Opting out is an option that applicants have. It might seem like a disadvantage at first, but it’s better for both the candidate and employer if they leave before being hired because leaving after hiring will affect your workforce management whereas opting out during the job posting process won’t.

Promotes diversity:

Company leaders are realizing that they need to have a diverse workforce for their company to succeed. Without it, customers will go elsewhere and growth might never happen. Many companies struggle to find employees that represent the full spectrum of society. Some businesses have trouble retaining them and others might not be able to hire applicants at all because their job descriptions are too general, which can lead employers into unconscious hiring bias where they subconsciously select candidates based on race or gender rather than qualifications such as skillset.

Also, read: Diversity And Inclusion in 2022: 5 Essentials Rules To Follow

Some common problems people face when trying to create inclusive workplaces include employee retention issues due to ongoing support from management. The need for more diverse recruitment tactics to succeed with this task as hiring managers are having difficulty finding qualified workers. The solution lies in making sure everyone feels valued. Job simulations allow people to explore jobs without any risk or consequences, allowing them to find out if it’s something they want before investing time and energy into starting a new career. Many times candidates go through this process early on in their search so that they get more information about what type of job would be best suited for them. This makes sure that once things do become serious between two companies there is no confusion as far as what is expected of either side. Job simulations provide an invaluable service for both employer and employee, taking the guesswork out of the hiring process and allowing everyone to move forward with confidence. Job simulation exercises have been used for many years to prepare employees before they take on new roles. These simulations allow companies to measure both knowledge of the position and ability, but also interpersonal skills through role-plays where people get infinite chances at making mistakes without any consequences.

Types of job simulations

There are many different types of job simulations. You might have to do an assignment in person, take a test online, or do a project at home. You might also have to act out a role, give a presentation, or do a simulation on the computer. Given below are a few of the most common job simulation examples:

Hands-on tests:

Hands-on tests are a way for potential employers to see how you would do the job. They will ask you to do things that are similar to what you would do on the job. This could be writing code, working with others to design a website, or completing an onsite construction task.

Also, read: 6 things to look for in your coding assessment tool

Live job simulations:

Live simulations are a way to see how you might handle different situations. They can be done in a virtual room or in person. You might have to do a role-play, group interview, presentation, or case study. The goal is to see how you solve problems, use your skills, and understand the role. Group interviews can show who has leadership skills, who works well independently, or who is good with clients.


Role-playing is a common way to test someone’s skills in a work environment. In this type of simulation, you will be asked to pretend to be in a work situation and deal with the challenges that come up.

Take-home tests:

Some companies prefer to give candidates a take-home assignment instead of a timed skill test or live simulation. Here, job seekers should take-home assignments to show how they work independently and without hands-on management. Some experts believe this is less accurate than doing the job in person, but if you’re looking for an insight into someone’s skill set it can be a good strategy.

Situational tests:

Situational judgment tests are questions about work-related scenarios. The test-taker is asked to use their judgment to find a solution that will work out for everyone involved. These tests are good for jobs such as customer service and supervisory roles.

In basket tests:

In-basket exercises test how well you can do certain tasks such as responding to emails, taking phone calls, and handling grievances in a set amount of time. They are often used to test administrative and managerial skills.

Live presentations:

Presentations can be a great way to assess candidates’ ability to present in a convincing, enthusiastic, and engaging way with their audience. Presentations allow you to see how well someone can structure a presentation and how they adapt when something unexpected happens. Presentations are the best way to find people for jobs in sales, marketing, human resources, and training and development.

Group interviews:

Group exercises are when more than one person is invited to work together. The people in the group are assessed on their performance and behaviors. Many customer-facing positions, like sales, consulting, or management positions use group exercises. This way, you can see how well the candidates work in a team, communicate, as well as delegate tasks. Group interviews are also helpful when you want to save time and money. You can also use this opportunity to spot leaders, reduce biases, and compare candidates in real-time.

Live Case Studies:

In this type of interview, you will be given a challenging and relevant business scenario to solve. These interviews are good for higher-level positions as they put candidates in difficult environments with high pressure which can assess their problem-solving skills or adaptability abilities. As you can see, there are many different types of job simulations that you can use in your hiring process. By using a variety of job simulations, you can get a better idea of how the candidate would perform on the job and how to prepare for job simulation practice tests. If you’re looking to improve your hiring process, consider using some or all of these different types of job simulations.

How to set up and run a job simulation for tech hiring

Incorporating job simulations into the tech hiring process offers a direct window into a candidate’s practical skills and problem-solving abilities. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step breakdown of the process:

  • Conduct a ‘Needs Analysis’

Begin by understanding the core responsibilities and challenges of the job role. Engage with team members to identify crucial tasks and potential scenarios that can be used in the simulation. Tech recruiters can sync up with engineering leads and CTOs, to understand the nuances of an open role and the expectations from a developer who fills the role.

  • Develop the scenario

Design a task that mirrors the real-world responsibilities that align with the given role. Ensure it’s challenging enough to gauge a candidate’s skills but feasible within the given timeframe.

  • Establish a controlled environment

Utilize platforms like virtual machines, sandboxed environments, or specific simulation software. This ensures that candidates have a realistic experience without the risk of disrupting main systems.

  • Clarify objectives and guidelines

Set clear expectations. Candidates should be aware of the objectives, available tools, time limits, and the process of evaluation

  • Monitor and evaluate

While the candidate is engaged in the task, observe their approach, resourcefulness, and efficiency. It’s not just about the end result; the process can be equally telling.

  • Feedback and reflection

Post-simulation, hold a debriefing session. Discuss the candidate’s approach, thought process, and areas of improvement. This feedback will help both the candidate and the evaluator understand clearly if said candidate is the right person for the job.

Examples of common job simulation tests

In the realm of tech hiring, job simulations can vary widely based on the role in question. Here are some useful examples:

Code writing and debugging simulations: This is a staple for developer roles. Candidates might be asked to write code fulfilling specific criteria or debug existing code to rectify issues.

System Design simulations: Especially relevant for architect roles, this simulation assesses the ability to design robust systems given certain constraints and requirements.

Pair programming: Candidates collaborate with a current team member to co-create a solution, offering insights into their teamwork and coding abilities simultaneously.

Technical troubleshooting: Particularly helpful for IT support or system admin roles, simulations might revolve around diagnosing and resolving tech issues within a system.

When and where to use job simulations in tech hiring

Post the initial screening: Once resumes have been shortlisted and basic qualifications are vetted, engineering leaders can use simulations to delve deeper into a candidate’s practical skills.

Before conducting an in-person interview: Before investing time in comprehensive interviews, simulations can provide a skill-based shortlist, ensuring only the most competent candidates move through to the next stage.

For remote evaluations: With the rise of remote work, simulations offer a consistent metric to evaluate candidates globally and understand their real-world skills.

For lateral hiring and specialized roles: For roles that demand deep expertise or are pivotal to business operations, simulations can provide a more nuanced understanding of a candidate’s capabilities.

Also, read: Complete Coding Assessment Guide – Definition, Advantages, and Best Practices

Create the perfect online job simulation assessments with HackerEarth

HE is better than any alternatives for automated assessment tools If you’re looking for the perfect online job simulation assessment for developers, HackerEarth has exactly what you need. Our job simulation questions are specifically designed to test a developer’s skills and knowledge, and they can be customized to match the job you’re hiring for. Plus, our platform makes it easy to administer the assessment and track results.

Also, read: How To Create An Automated Assessment With HackerEarth

Over 13000+ questions

HackerEarth Assessments provides an excellent library of coding questions that you can use for assessment purposes. It also offers the ability to create custom test items if needed, with 13000+ unique exam-building possibilities at your disposal. Get the ability to ask 12 different types of questions, including project-type problems with custom data sets and test cases.

Automated invigilation and robust proctoring

HackerEarth’s automated invigilation with robust proctoring gives you the security of knowing that your assessments are completely fair. It also prevents impersonation, reports tab switching for all hackers on screen at once, and customizable stringency settings to make sure no one gets treated unfairly or willingly cheats and plagiarizes their work which is why we recommend this powerful tool.

40+ programming languages

With the ability to code in 40+ programming languages, a real-time editor, and compatibility with Jupyter Notebooks. HackerEarth Assessments make it easy for developers who love learning new things on their terms while also being able to provide employers valuable feedback through assessments.

Detailed reporting

HackerEarth has made it easy to find and evaluate developers. With detailed reports on each candidate’s performance, insight-rich software that captures all the important data about codes executed during interviews as well as a replay feature for those wanting more detail – HackerEarth is your one-stop shop when looking at potential new hires.

Data-driven dashboards

The HackerEarth Assessments dashboard is a data-driven insight to help finetune the hiring funnel. It gives you an in-depth analysis of your coding tests and creates industry-leading processes for finding new talent, enabling any business or organization that needs it with no artificial intelligence required.

Enterprise-level features

HackerEarth is the perfect place for any enterprise looking to build their tech team with no worries. We offer industry-leading compliance, security, and scalability so you can be confident in whatever size of the organization that suits your needs best. In a world where the job market is becoming increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to set yourself apart from the rest. Work simulations are one way of doing just that. They give candidates a chance to experience what it would be like to do the job they’re applying for. Not only that, but as mentioned above, job simulation training also has several other benefits that can help both employers and employees alike. If you’re looking for ways to create better online job simulations while hiring developers, check out HackerEarth as it has everything you need under one roof.

FAQs on job simulations in tech hiring:

#1 How extensive should a job simulation be?

It should be comprehensive enough to gauge necessary skills but should not demand too much of a candidate’s time. Understand that many candidates are working employees who may not have too much time on their hands to devote to a simulation test. Creating a really long test will only result in drop offs. A good time limit for such tests usually ranges between 30 minutes to 2 hours.

#2 How do job simulations compare to traditional interviews?

Simulations are more task-oriented, focusing on practical skills. Traditional interviews, while also essential, often emphasize soft skills and cultural fit. Simulations can help in finding the right candidate for specialized roles, and gives developers a way to showcase their skills in real time. Traditional interviews may lack this component of real-time skill testing, and hence fall behind job simulations in terms of efficacy.

#3 Is there a candidate preference for job simulations?

Many candidates appreciate the clarity and fairness simulations offer, allowing them to demonstrate skills in a realistic context, rather than abstract discussions.

#4 Are job simulations adaptable for all tech roles?

Absolutely, but the design and complexity should be tailored to align with the specific responsibilities and challenges of the role in question.

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