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Tips and advice for conducting technical onsite interviews online

Has your organization been impacted by COVID-19? 

If yes, it likely means you’re working from home. For technical recruiters and hiring managers, this makes interviewing candidates a bit more complex.

You can no longer have folks come to the office for an in-person interview. So… what do you do? How do you ensure you’re still able to measure a candidate’s technical and soft skills when onsite interviews have to be done online?

If you’re a remote-first workforce, you’ve probably already got this down. But, many organizations are having to interview and hire completely digitally for the first time. 

Don’t worry – we’ve put together a few tips on how you can move your onsite interviews online while still getting the same results!

Plan, Plan, Plan

We understand that your previous plans are now thrown out the window. But, your organization has to keep moving forward despite the setbacks – which means you’re still going to need to interview folks even if everyone is working from home. 

Just like an in-person interview, you’ll need to make sure that everyone is aware of the plan. 

First, you’ll want to inform your team that all onsite interviews are moving to online interviews. Be clear about the tools and technology you’ll use to manage this process. You might need to purchase more Zoom licenses or ensure that every interviewer (and anyone shadowing the interview) has a license on CodeSignal Interview or whatever technical interview platform you’re using. 

Then, you’ll want to communicate to the interviewee about the changes. Make sure you have your ducks in a row before reaching out to them so you continue to create a high-quality, stress-free interview process. While your organization might be feeling a little chaotic, the candidate shouldn’t feel this chaos. 

Send out calendar invites with the proper information including how you’ll be meeting, what time, links to the virtual interview session, and a description of what the new process is. You want to be as clear as possible so your internal hiring team and the candidate are confident going into the interview. 

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

Don’t be cheap at the cost of candidate experience. Using free Google Hangouts and Google Docs will not cut it for a proper technical interview. You can’t run code on a Google Doc! 

Even in these unknown times, a poor interview experience reflects badly on your employer brand.

To conduct a high-quality remote technical interview, you will need an advanced IDE that features built-in video and audio conferencing. You’ll also likely want to have paired programming features enabled so the interviewer can work alongside the candidate. 

CodeSignal has recently improved its already advanced cloud IDE, which you can read about here.  

Prepare Like You Would for an In-Person Interview

Conducting digital interviews is no reason to not prepare. In fact, you may need to prepare even more so than an onsite interview. 

Both candidates and interviewers should ensure all technology is working including your audio, camera, and any tools or tech you might be using. Make sure those Airpods are charged! 

While we all love a cute dog, having them in the frame during an interview can be distracting. Make sure you’re in a well-lit, quiet, distraction-free environment for the interview. 

You’ll also want to make sure whatever view your camera is showing looks professional. Don’t have a pile of laundry in the background!

As an interviewer, have your questions ready to go so that you’re not scrambling while on the video call. If you’re using CodeSignal, you can do this by identifying tasks in the CodeSignal library (or create your own) that you’d like to use and favorite them for easy reference during your live interview. Here is a list of supported task types in CodeSignal Interview.

Once the interview is complete, be sure to end your interview session in order to view the CodeSignal coding replay of your session. Even if you aren’t using CodeSignal, be sure to end the interview by closing out of your technology. Something embarrassing could happen if you’re still on video or audio after an interview!

Ok. You should feel more prepared with these tips and advice in mind. If you have questions about CodeSignal Interview and how it could facilitate you with your remote interviews, feel free to contact [email protected] or request a demo

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