Tangentially related to the unanswered Can I legally post my solution to a company's coding test?

I realize that generic interview prep questions are on-topic - that's why we have the tag.

But for real questions arising from an application to a specific job at a company, are associated responses on-topic? The reason I ask is that I can't shake a feeling of vague moral ickitude in knowing that I could be nudging over the finish line an otherwise-unqualified applicant.

My default self-answer would be that - interview, homework, or otherwise - it's impossible to know how OPs intend on using their reviews, so even if we wanted to discourage answer unattribution or misattribution we can't and such policing is a non-starter.

Python script to parse XML file into Json for example.


2 Answers 2


My opinion on this issue is that there are many ways for people to get through interviews ahead of other qualified people, it normally comes down to being better prepared for the interview, or being a better "fit" for the organization, or just whether you present well in the situation.

The same thing applies to tests, exams, "challenges", homework, etc.

If a candidate is willing to take the initiative to prepare harder for the interview, isn't that in fact a good thing?

The information about what questions are asked at a company is going to be in many places, not just Code Review, and I am delighted to know that people using Code Review as a reference may just have better answers than other folk... good for them!

That is "obviously" ignoring people using Code Review or other sites to help them DURING the test, or interview, but anything that gives people more confidence, skill, or references for them to use in an interview can only be a good thing.

As a person performing an interview, I expect people to be able to reference google for answers in their day-to-day life, the interview process for me is more an attempt to get to know their "baseline" before they have to reference the search engines.

So, to your question "Are responses to specific interview questions on-topic?" Yes. Yes they are, as long as they follow the normal answer requirements (they are actually code reviews).

To the people who come along afterwards, and find your answers, and it helps them get a job, well, good for them for researching before the interview.

The real question is whether it is OK to post the QUESTION, not the answer... but that's a different topic altogether (and the only person who can complain is the "owner" of the question itself, and if they are concerned, they can request that their copyright material is removed).


We already have a policy set out from when we discussed .
The ethics of answering a homework question before it is handed in

Should we review code that can be used in an unethical/immoral/illegal way?

So the answer is IMO the same as to the question of whether or not we should review code that can be used for nefarious purposes, like password crackers or code the use of which maybe illegal/unethical, like website crawlers. We should assume best faith. In the end it is the OP which either commits or does not commit an unlawful/unethical act with it and unless this is obvious from the question we cannot (as a community) assume that this will be the use case. As an individual you can always refrain from answering if this is against your personal ethical code.

The answer to this question in the most broad sense is up to debate, currently, in issues such as who is responsible for how a robot/driving car/drone acts and should programmers write that code or not? I don't think there is an agreed upon answer. I doubt we can come up with an answer to that question here.
Graipher, CC BY-SA 4.0 May 10 '19

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Can't disagree with this answer :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Graipher
    May 14, 2021 at 12:23

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