This. If you're hiring a coder, ASK CODING QUESTIONS. At my job, we need embedded C programmers. And whether you're coming in for an internship or have 10 years experience, you're going to be asked to write whiteboard code. Find the least set bit in a 32 bit word, linked list insert, basic stuff. Someone in college should be able to manage and someone with experience should have no problem at all.
What's disturbing is the number of people who have great resumes, years of experience, can talk in depth about their projects, etc., but can't do basic pointer manipulation or know what "volatile" means. It boggles the mind.