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Hackernoon logoStop Using Skype and Google Docs for Remote Interviews by@rahoolbenji

Stop Using Skype and Google Docs for Remote Interviews

Why everyone should stop using Skype, Google Docs etc. for taking tech interviews!

The things mentioned in this article are my personal opinion and true to the best of my knowledge and experience :P

I take a lot of interviews at work and it was hampering my productivity. Specially remote interviews where you have to download tools like skype and connect with the candidate.

This all makes need of strong internet connection a must have at both the sides while taking interviews.

I have tried to come up with this article to explain how using latest tools can help you overcome those challenges and improve productivity at work as well. :D

Few things coming in the way of taking remote interviews correctly!

  1. Skype
  2. Collab-edit
  3. Google-docs
  4. Telephonic interview
  5. Other random code sandboxes
  6. Screensharing
  7. Combination of any of the above

    This guy is not happy with the tools listed. Are you that guy? or may be your are about to know by the end of this article.

All of the above mentioned have the following drawbacks:

  1. Complicated with no real programming environment
  2. Too many downloads/tools for one interview
  3. Not made to take interviews
  4. Bulky
  5. Learning curve
  6. Promotes theory or Rote learning
  7. Uninspiring & Uncoordinated

    Image describing loop-holes in the current process of taking remote-interviews and calling anyone on-site with no proper judgement

    To further explain the gravity of the situation

    Google Doc:

    It is a collaborative word doc. It was not made to take interviews

  1. Collaborative: YES
  2. Audio/Video Calling: NO
  3. Code Editor: NO
  4. Code Compilation/Output: NO
  5. Any programming language supported: NO

    Skype:

    Video calling tool not meant to take tech interviews. Screen-sharing via skype and typing on a code editor is a heavy operation and candidates can take advantage of it in a slow network for sure.

  1. Audio/Video Calling: YES
  2. Collaborative: NO
  3. Code Editor: NO
  4. Works without download: NO
  5. Code compilation/output: NO

    Telephone/Mobile calling:

    Only meant to talk to the person for introduction and initial impression. Not meant to take coding rounds. Also, it is not very comfortable for both interviewer and candidate to talk on the phone while giving a coding round

  1. Audio Calling: YES
  2. Video Calling: NO
  3. Code Editor/Compilation: NO
  4. Tests practical knowledge: NO

    Collab-edit and other random sandboxes:

    Meant for code playground to test small chunks of code. Does not serve the purpose of taking a complete remote round

  1. Collaborative: YES
  2. Audio/Video Call: NO
  3. Code Editor: YES
  4. Code compilation/output: NO
  5. Programmer friendly or Intuitive: NO
Random tools cannot bring out the best in candidates.
Candidates hate them: Candidates end up trying to give their best on tools that give them a hard time. They end up downloading additional softwares and co-ordinating between the softwares becomes a task as well at the time of interview
Interviewers do not care enough: Interviewers expect the candidates to type on tools that will never be used in real time
HRs give up: HRs cannot standardize the process and end up losing quality talent most of the times

Here are some tools that can help you save your time, increase your productivity, and help you assess the candidate the right way without downloading any additional software

Intervue.io, Coderpad.io, CodeInterview.io: Latest tools that can be used to take remote tech interviews

Lets go over them one by one:

I have used all of them, hence, I am giving my opinion for each tool.

    Intervue.io

My opinion: This is by far the best tool I found in terms of User Experience. Lots of languages are supported.

URL: https://www.intervue.io/

Languages supported: C, C++, Python2, Python3, Javascript, Node, Typescript, CoffeeScript, Java, Bash, Swift, R, Rust, HTML/CSS/JS, Ruby, Erlang, Elixir, PHP, Plain Text

  1. Collaborative: YES
  2. Code compilation and output: YES
  3. Code editor: YES
  4. Audio/Video calling: YES
  5. Tests practical knowledge: YES
  6. Candidate friendly editor: YES
  7. Schedule Interviews: YES
  8. Organisation support to add teams or multiple interviewers: YES
  9. Organisation branding: YES
  10. Interview feedback can be written: YES

Free/Paid: Comes as a free trial of one month after which user can upgrade to different plans which are not very expensive.

Intervue.io: An easier and efficient ways to take remote programming interviews

    Coderpad.io

My opinion: This is also good. Has more languages supported as compared to intervue.io. Intervue gives slightly better usability experience in my opinion.

URL: https://www.coderpad.io/

Languages supported: Haskel, Go, C, C++, Python2, Python3, Javascript, Node, Typescript, CoffeeScript, Java, Bash, Swift, R, Rust, HTML/CSS/JS, Ruby, Erlang, Elixir, PHP, Plain Text, SQL

  1. Collaborative: YES
  2. Code compilation and output: YES
  3. Code editor: YES
  4. Audio/Video calling: YES
  5. Tests practical knowledge: YES
  6. Candidate friendly editor: YES
  7. Schedule Interviews: YES
  8. Organisation support to add teams or multiple interviewers: YES
  9. Organisation branding: YES

Free/Paid: Comes as a free trial of one month after which user can upgrade to different plans which are not very expensive. Pricing is slightly on the higher side at the time of writing this article as compared to Intervue

    CodeInterview.io

My opinion: This is not very rich in user experience. Looks a little bulky as well while using as the look and feel is on the heavier side, but it serves the purpose of taking a remote round.

URL: https://www.codeinterview.io/

Languages supported: Haskel, Go, C, C++, Python2, Python3, Javascript, Node, Typescript, CoffeeScript, Java, Bash, Swift, R, Rust, HTML/CSS/JS, Ruby, Erlang, Elixir, PHP, Plain Text, SQL, React, Angular, Vue (Beta mode)

  1. Collaborative: YES
  2. Code compilation and output: YES
  3. Code editor: YES
  4. Audio/Video calling: YES
  5. Tests practical knowledge: YES
  6. Candidate friendly editor: YES
  7. Schedule Interviews: YES
  8. Organisation support to add teams or multiple interviewers: YES
  9. Organisation branding: YES

Free/Paid: Demo pad can be created free of cost. Post the demo pad it is paid.

Conclusion

There are some more tools that I have not mentioned but you can take a look. These tools did not make it to the best tools available list as they have their own pit-falls

  1. Codebunk
  2. https://www.hackerrank.com/products/codepair
  3. https://codeshare.io/

Hope this article helps you to be more productive at work if you are taking interviews!

This article is my opinion on the tools that I have used as I take a lot of interviews at work and I was losing productivity. These tools came to the rescue.

I will also write about more such tools and articles for different things to increase productivity at work but that is a scope for another medium article.

Stay tuned!!

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