Did you know the cost of a wrong engineering hire can go up to 3x their annual salary?
That’s because costs go beyond repeating the recruitment process. A bad hire could impact team morale, reduce productivity and even harm your reputation as an employer.
This is why thoroughly evaluating talent during the hiring journey is crucial. In fact, it’s even more critical for remote roles which constitute around 80% of jobs in software engineering.
But how do you recreate the experience of an in-person coding interview online?
In this article, we’ll look at how a coding interview tool can help you achieve this, as well as the top coding interview tools in the market.
Let’s dive right in.
- The Top 6 Technical Assessment Tools for Hiring Software Engineers
- 5 Technical Recruiting Tools for Hiring Developers at Scale
Here’s why a coding interview tool is a good idea for employers
1. Evaluate developers effectively
We can’t start any other way – the main advantage of a coding interview tool stems from the ability to gauge developer skills.
Everything else we talk about below flows from this.
During a collaborative interview with a shared code editor, recruiters and hiring managers can follow the candidate’s thought process as they solve a problem in real-time.
It’s hard to accomplish this as effectively with other methods like take-home projects or assessments as they allow for manipulation and often lack the context behind why a candidate took a certain decision. The best alternative is an on-site interview which is much more expensive and time-consuming for everyone involved.
So, all else being equal, a coding interview tool will help you understand a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses better.
2. Reduce unconscious bias
Although it’s hard to acknowledge, unconscious biases are common in recruitment and may greatly affect staffing decisions.
With a coding interview tool, you can gain an extra dose of objectivity free from unhelpful prejudice.
Features like anonymous code playback give hiring managers a clear view of a candidate’s skills without obscuring their decisions.
So, if you feel like unconscious biases may be harming your team composition, a coding interview platform can help mitigate such problems.
3. Team transparency
While 1:1 interviews are prone to subjective evaluation, a coding interview platform that automatically saves the interview is visible to other team members and the interviewers themselves.
This makes it easier to evaluate a candidate collaboratively as a group and improves hiring transparency. You can also go back and look at the interview with a fresh perspective, free from momentary thoughts and feelings.
4. Faster time to hire
One of the biggest cost factors for any recruitment process is time to hire.
Not just in terms of monetary costs but also the opportunity cost of making progress faster and the burden on the rest of the team as they wait for a new hire to onboard and start making an impact.
With a coding interview platform, you can evaluate developers remotely without having to travel or schedule meeting rooms. This makes it easier to hold more interviews and find the right person faster.
Other features that speed up hiring include:
- The ability to track and organize interviews in one place
- Creating interview links with a single click
- Integration with existing HR tools and systems
Tools like CodeInterview allow you to create an interview link in seconds and share it with a candidate via email or a different channel.
5. Centralize tech interviews without relying on third-party tools
If you feel like your candidate interviews depend on too many tools like your calendar, video conferencing app and applicant tracking system, a coding interview tool will help you centralize management.
The ability to have a live call with audio/video in addition to a code editor reduces the need for third-party video conferencing apps like Zoom or MS Teams.
In addition, you can save all of your pre-set questions and create new templates within a coding interview platform so you don’t need a separate system for this.
6. Better collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers
With a coding interview tool, you can invite all relevant stakeholders to achieve higher levels of teamwork and collaboration in hiring.
Instead of creating and maintaining new channels of communication for each candidate, your coding interview schedule and history are saved in one place and available for everyone involved to review at any time.
In turn, this makes communication and decision-making between recruiters and hiring managers better due to easier access to interview data.
7. Easier remote hiring
As more and more companies embrace a remote or hybrid working model, hiring off-site at scale will be more important.
With a coding interview tool, you can make the transition easier and digitize, at least partially, your tech hiring process.
When you or candidates don’t have to travel for interviews, you can expand your talent pool beyond local geographies while saving time and money organizing in-person meetings.
How to avoid creating a bad experience
When choosing a coding interview tool, there are several risk factors related to the candidate experience and internal usage:
Prioritize ease of use
You need a tool that’s intuitive for candidates with little or no experience using it. So look for an option with a familiar code editor interface.
Minimize process interference
There is a thin line between process improvement and harm when implementing a new tool. Look for a solution that’s easy to integrate with your existing setup and does not cause a big shift in organizational habits.
Ask the right questions
There is a general sentiment, especially among senior developers, that tech interviews are designed to expose their weaknesses. Asking theoretical questions with extremely rare practical applications may push talented engineers away, despite having tons of relevant experience.
The Top Coding Interview Tools for Hiring Outstanding Developers in 2023
Now that we’ve seen the benefits of using a coding interview tool, let’s look at the best products to choose from.
While we may be a little biased, CodeInterview has become the technical interview tool of choice for 3,000+ paying customers and 60,000+ free users as of December 2022. Among others, we’re proud to support companies like HP, Continental, Adobe and Toyota – all organizations with engineering at their core.
If you ask our customers why they use CodeInterview, you’re likely going to hear a statement like:
- It’s easy to use
- The UI is clean and intuitive
- Candidates pick it up immediately
Indeed, providing a hassle-free experience for both interviewers and candidates has been a guiding light for us since starting the company in 2015. After all, interviews are stressful enough as they are.
- Front-end interviewing support for technologies like React, Angular and Vue.js
- High-quality audio and video calls
- Whiteboard mode – collaborate on a virtual whiteboard
- Code playback – revisit candidate solutions on a timeline, keystroke by keystroke.
Who it’s for:
- Companies with low or sporadic hiring needs – if you don’t hire regularly, you can choose a pay as you go plan from $5 per interview.
- Companies with mid to high interview volume – if you conduct more than 100 technical interviews per month, CodeInterview’s enterprise plans are great value, plus you can get unlimited users so you don’t have to constantly manage user access.
Start with a 10-day free trial, opt for pay as you go at $5 per interview or choose a subscription from $49 per month.
CoderPad is a leading platform focused on coding interviews for developers.
One feature we love is the ability to “pause” an interview to allow the candidate to think through the solution without entering into an awkward silence.
This is a great example of CoderPad’s overall dedication to creating a positive candidate experience while providing reliable signals of their coding abilities.
- Take-home projects
- Test cases
- Multiple ATS integrations
Who it’s for:
- Large companies that consistently hire for a variety of engineering roles
CoderPad comes with 2 free interviews per month in case you want to try it out. The paid plans start from $250 per month with 30 interviews and 20 users included.
HackerRank is the most comprehensive solution on this list, serving both candidates and employers.
On one side, candidates can practice their skills, earn certificates and compete against other programmers. On the other, employers can send coding assessments and interview candidates.
As such, HackerRank is a well-known solution in the space with millions of users accessing the site every month.
- Hiring plans – design a technical hiring journey as a flowchart
- Screen import – import code submissions from your screening questions within the live interview with a candidate
- Benchmark developer performance – compare candidate scores with the HackerRank community averages
Who it’s for:
- Large companies looking for an end-to-end technical hiring solution
HackerRank’s interviewing functionality starts from $25 per user per month, although you will not be able to use key features like Code Reviews. Team plans with full access start from $599/per month with 2 users and 720 candidates included.
Codility is another end-to-end solution providing programming competitions, skills assessments and coding interviews.
It boasts an impressive question bank, allowing you to easily prepare interviews and test for a range of roles without having to design your own questions.
- Plagiarism checks
- Canvas – virtual whiteboard powered by Miro
- 90+ languages and technologies supported
Who it’s for:
- Large companies looking to find the very best talent with unique and diverse questions.
Codility’s pricing depends on your hiring volume and is available upon request on their website.
Coderbyte aims to provide the comprehensive feature set of HackerRank and Codility while keeping its price fairly low.
Coderbyte even goes a step further with support for spreadsheet challenges, video responses and Jupyter Notebooks for data science.
- Unlimited candidates, assessments and admins
- Candidate compensation – pay candidates from within Coderbyte
- Custom email templates – tailor messaging for candidates
Who it’s for:
- Companies of any size that hire for a variety of technical roles and look to centralize technical hiring in one place.
Coderbyte subscriptions start from $99 per month with optional add-ons up to $499 depending on your needs and payment schedule.
If you want to streamline your technical hiring in 2023, a coding interview tool is a must in your arsenal.
Our focus here was exploring the positioning of the top players in the coding interview space and highlighting their strongest points so you can decide if they match your needs.
We hope this list will serve as a starting point for selecting a new solution or switching from an existing provider – without having to spend days or weeks researching what’s available.
Still not decided? Check out the below comparisons: