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What you should look for in technical online interview software

Today, many organizations are having to shift from in-person technical interviews to online interviews. Fast-growing organizations can’t stay still during this pandemic, they have to keep pushing forward. 

Now… Let’s get straight to the point – Zoom coupled with Google Doc isn’t going to cut it for your technical online interviews. 

You need a comprehensive solution designed specifically to help you conduct technical interviews online. 

CodeSignal’s Interview is designed exclusively to help teams conduct live coding interviews. We’re going to dive into the top 10 features and capabilities we’ve included specifically to create a superior online technical interview experience.  And we hope that this list can be a useful checklist for you as you evaluate various online technical interview solutions. 

1. An Advanced IDE 

One of the most important features in technical online interview software is having a high-powered integrated development environment (IDE). 

CodeSignal’s IDE is built with Monaco, the code editor that powers Visual Studio Code, the most popular development environment in the world. 

Any advanced IDE will feature:

  • Code Autocomplete
  • Syntax Error Highlighting
  • Documentation Quick Access
  • Helpful Right-Click Shortcuts
  • Command Palette
  • Multiple Theme Choices

You want to create an environment that is similar to the real-world coding experience candidates are used to.

Why? Remote interviews are already hard. Don’t make it MORE difficult by stripping them out of all the tools they usually use on their daily work. It’s like making you write an entire book on paper with a pen. Focus on what you’re trying to assess — technical skills. Don’t make it about how well they can write code on a piece of paper or Google Doc.

2. Real Time Code Execution

If you’re using Google Docs or another non-technical interview software, you can’t actually execute code. This means you can’t instantly tell whether a candidate’s code can be compiled and run without any error. 

With CodeSignal Interview, you or your candidate can run the code throughout the interview session and check for its correctness. It will also give you and your candidate feedback on any errors it catches so that your candidate can fix the code as part of the interview. 

Moreover, the ability to utilize pre-configured test cases as well as to add new test cases on the spot during an interview makes a big difference in creating a high quality interview experience.

3. High-Quality Video and Audio

No one likes choppy audio and video!

While an advanced IDE is the most important feature in technical online interview software, having high-quality audio and video features is also critical. 

Having a high-quality connection ensures that candidates and interviewers can see and chat with each other during the interview process. This enables clear communication that offers an in-person like experience.

4. Multiple Attendees

Sometimes you’ll want more than just one candidate and one interviewer during an interview. This could be to accommodate paired interviewers or interviewers in training. Whatever the reason, your online interview software should allow for multiple parties to join the call!

5. Support for Advanced Assessment Types 

Often the technical interview is one of the last steps in your overall hiring process. You’ve already screened candidates for the basic programming skills focused on data structures and algorithms at the beginning of the process. Thus, for the technical interview stage, you want to dig deeper into your candidate’s specific skill sets and level of expertise. Say, you are hiring a senior full-stack JavaScript engineer. Knowing that your candidate can code in JavaScript is not enough. You might want to measure JavaScript-specific knowledge like promises, closures, or the latest modern language syntax using our realistic project-style questions and industry-standard unit test tools like Mocha. 

With CodeSignal Interview, you can:

  • Evaluate candidate’s fundamental programming skills with algorithmic questions 
  • Use realistic project-style questions with multiple files and language-specific unit tests
  • Preview markup, styles, and scripts in real time for front-end engineer interviews

6. Pre-Defined or Free-form Tasks

When choosing a tool to meet your entire engineering team’s hiring needs, the ability to accommodate various interview styles becomes important. 

Some teams might want to use predefined questions that are carefully calibrated for difficulty to ensure consistency and to incorporate TDD (test-driven development). 

Other teams might want to ask an open ended question to measure the candidate’s ability to think through problems and to provide more flexibility. 

There are many tools that support only one style. And you have to force everyone to stick with one. But with CodeSignal Interview, you can do both.   

7. Decision Insights

You conduct interviews to make hiring decisions. So, your interview tool should help you make those important hiring decisions more effectively.

Coding Replay

  • Automatic: Have you ever forgotten to hit record during an important call? You should never have to worry about that with your online interview software as it should be a built in feature. 
  • Shareable: What’s the point of recording a session if the hiring team can’t easily access it? With CodeSignal, you can easily share the session recording and watch the playback at various speeds to save time. 

8. Optimization Features

Speaking of an efficient hiring process…

Chances are you’re using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) like Greenhouse, Lever, or iCIMS to optimize your hiring process and manage the hundreds to thousands of applicants in your funnel. 

With advanced technical online interview software, you should be able to easily schedule your interviews through your ATS. For example with CodeSignal and Greenhouse, all you need to do is click a button and you’re good to go!

If you have hundreds of interviews to schedule, you likely don’t want to have to create and manage links manually. With the CodeSignal Chrome extension you can generate interview links easily. 

9. Committed Team to Help you

Every technical online interview software should have a robust support system. This includes a customer success team and a robust FAQ to help you self-solve. 

10. Technical Assessment Expertise

Not sure what questions to ask in your interviews? Want to learn from experts who’ve written the whole framework about how to measure different technical skill sets? 

Exclusively with CodeSignal, you can chat with a test design expert to help you find ultimate success in your online interview solutions. 

Are You Ready to Bring Your Technical Interviews Online?

Whether you’re impacted by COVID-19 or simply want to revolutionize how you hire to keep up with the digital age, bringing your technical interviews online is likely a necessity. 

To learn more about CodeSignal’s Interview platform, please request a demo today.