Programming under time pressure is difficult. This is especially true during interviews.
Because the cost of hiring a bad engineer is so much higher than the cost of rejecting a good engineer, companies are incentivized to set a high bar. For most companies that means asking hard questions. Intuitively this makes sense but intuition turns out to be a poor guide. Data shows that harder questions are actually less predictive than relatively easy ones.
Hard questions do filter out bad engineers, but they also filter out good engineers (that is, they have a high false-negative rate). Easy questions, in contrast, produce fewer false-negatives but more false-positives (since more engineers get them right, including some bad ones).
Harder questions ultimately filter out too many qualified candidates to be optimal. If you want to make your hiring process more accurate, you should probably ask easier questions.
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