Interview Coding Software: What Are Your Choices?
As engineering managers dive into an increasingly competitive market to recruit software engineers—particularly when building an entire team for a startup or new division—their continual challenge is the technical interview. Can technical interviews really identify high-quality software engineering capability at the senior level? Can they fill special roles at the senior level, such as frontend programmer?
Hiring teams need an interview process that will lay the foundation for a good relationship. This is especially true with senior engineering candidates, who often refuse to take code quizzes and resent the pressure of whiteboarding sessions.
Reaching for the best technical interview tool to identify talent and reduce the cost of continual hiring, managers now turn to interview coding software and are confronted with a host of choices and dozens of online platforms.
Code interview software enables the recruiter to pose questions that a candidate (or group of candidates) can respond to in a programming language. There are online coding interview platforms that put the manager face to face with candidates using audio, video, and real-time live interaction. Some even have apps for graphing and instantaneous scoring and rating.
Let’s take a look at some of the coding interview platforms available on the market today.
Live coding interview examples
It’s safe to say that interview coding software is changing the game for technical interviews. Unfortunately, not all platforms are created equal.
Many don’t solve the problem of identifying quality engineering talent, especially at the senior level. In fact, the features offered by software platforms to automate the process may only work for the initial screening of junior software engineers.
For example, live coding interview websites typically have ready-made tests and thousands of questions that go something like this:
- How do you find the first non-repeated character in a word?
- How do you remove duplicates from arrays?
- How can we check if a number is a prime number?
- How do you check if strings contain only digits?
- How do you reverse the words in a target sentence without the help of library methods?
These live coding interview questions pop up again and again on lists of “coding interview questions and answers.” They help interviewers gauge the experience and skill level of entry level and junior candidates.
But when it comes to evaluating senior candidates, the live coding challenge must assess real-world problem-solving skills, depth of experience in a special role, and potential for managing a team. Your company’s senior engineers will also need to be involved in almost every stage of the process, from conceiving to evaluating the online interview.
Another downside: Your engineers can invest a lot of time in interviews that candidates hate. Coding challenges are difficult enough without the added pressure of an interviewer looking over your shoulder. Real problem-solving requires freedom from distractions, a relaxed atmosphere, and minimal outside stress; the live coding interview provides none of those things.
Candidates looking for live coding interview tips will find websites that are littered with pleas for advice about performing under pressure, protests against the 10+ step interview process, and scary stories about actual online coding interview experiences. It’s even been said that some candidates can do well on a live coding test not because of real engineering skills, but because they’re comfortable with public speaking or working through anxiety.
Option 1: CoderPad
One of the best-known online platforms for live coding interviews is CoderPad. Each new interview is tracked on a dashboard, and candidates are tracked as well. CoderPad interview questions accommodate most programming languages and the platform allows candidates to execute and debug code as they write it.
The downside? A CoderPad whiteboard simulates the classic technical interview where senior engineers sit around a table and toss coding challenges at a candidate. And despite its libraries of questions and whole tests, the platform doesn’t allow recruiters to assess frontend skills like React and Angular or competence in backend technologies like Node.js, Docker, and Django.
So how does CoderPad work? In short, it doesn’t work for senior engineers. A study by medium.com concluded that a CoderPad test is best for companies “that need a simple and affordable tool to interview candidates online.” But what’s actually needed to make the platform work is input from a company’s “savvy engineers, who can set up their own interviews from scratch.”
Option 2: Codeshare
Another leading online platform for coding interviews is Codeshare. Codeshare is known for its simplicity, enabling the developer (or the recruiter) to share code online with others in real-time. It’s used by developers and instructors who are teaching students to code, and the video chat feature also makes it suitable for online coding interviews.
Engineering managers and senior engineers can develop a coding interview from scratch, or use a standard interview bought from another source, to screen candidates on Codeshare. However this method won’t help you identify quality engineering talent. It merely moves the traditional technical interview online.
Option 3: Woven’s coding interview questions
The following are just a few of the thousands of coding interview questions that recruiters can select for their online interview. Check out these prompts from the popular site GeeksforGeeks and Guru 99:
Coding Interview Questions Java
- Can we Overload or Override static methods in Java?
- Why is the main method static in Java?
- What happens if you remove the static modifier from the main method?
- What is the scope of variables in Java in the following cases?
- What is “this” keyword in Java?
- What is an abstract class? How are abstract classes similar or different in Java from C++?
- Which class is the superclass for every class?
- Can we overload main() method?
- What is object cloning?
Coding Interview Questions Python
- What is Python? What are the benefits of using Python?
- What is PEP 8?
- What is pickling and unpickling?
- How is Python interpreted?
- How is memory managed in Python?
Choosing from thousands of coding questions is tedious. Instead, try using Woven’s coding interview platform to deliver a technical assessment that senior candidates can complete on their own time. Senior devs actually enjoy taking our assessments because they don’t include coding questions for beginners – and they can be completed asynchronously. It’s a win-win.
Woven is the best choice for interview coding software. Our challenges have been created to overcome the persistent problems and shortcomings of the technical interview. Our process:
- Identifies top-quality software engineers by posing real-world problem-solving challenges,
- Individually evaluates complex test results of engineering candidates without wasting the time of your senior engineers,
- Provides engineering managers with reports that are specific to the job requirements and the position to be filled,
- Creates a positive relationship with candidates that has lead to a 95% test acceptance rate by senior engineers.
When you use Woven to screen candidates, your senior engineers can invest their time where it matters most—in late-stage interviews that cover a candidate’s professional development goals, their fit within the company culture, etc.
If you’re ready to explore Woven’s methodology for technically qualifying your senior engineering candidates, start a free trial of our assessment platform. We’ll help you control your costs, hire at scale, and speed up your interview process. Get started today!