Last Updated: January 2021
Before the pandemic, it was common to invite top candidates into the office for an interview that included writing code on a whiteboard. That’s obviously impossible now, so many companies have moved coding interviews to Zoom and asked candidates to share their screens as they code.
While this may work a handful of times, it is awkward and rigid for both candidates and interviewers. If you’re planning to make a long-term switch to remote interviews, it probably makes sense to set up a seamless end-to-end experience for online code interviews.
How do recruiters and engineering teams partner on creating an efficient, remote-first, and scalable online code interview process? Let’s investigate one step at a time.
Online code interviews will vary based on the roles you’re hiring for, tools you use, and general hiring process. That being said, virtually all online code interviews consist of the following:
There are countless tools for conducting online code interviews. Virtually any feature you can think of is available in the market. You can find reviews of the most popular ones on Medium.
Generally speaking, here are the factors that matter when selecting a platform:
Other important features like text, video, and audio capabilities, custom interview templates, automated grading, and API integrations depend on your business and interview process. Further, you might want to consider platforms that offer an end-to-end recruiting solution beyond interviewing, including sourcing, screening, take-home projects, and even facilitating offer letters and negotiation. Once you’ve selected a platform, it’s important to properly configure online interviews, otherwise you risk not actually qualifying candidates properly.
In most organizations, recruiters are responsible for coordinating with the candidate and engineering teams to schedule the interview, set appropriate expectations, and then follow up afterward. Engineers are responsible for actually executing the interview and giving feedback. Below is an example of the process if you were using Coderbyte.
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Coderbyte offers interview templates which let you predefine coding challenges for various roles. Once in the interview, you can cycle through the challenges and run test cases against the candidate’s code.
At first, this might all seem like an exhausting process but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. The code interview process has improved dramatically in the last few years. Not long ago, most companies just asked candidates a series of riddles and hired based on vague, irrelevant, and biased criteria. Today’s hiring process is far more equitable, sustainable, and scalable thanks to code interviewing platforms.