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How to Conduct a Technical Interview Remotely: A Comprehensive Guide

How to conduct a technical interview remotely?

The transition to the remote work culture has been on the rise since the pandemic, and today it has become the mainstream mode of operation for a lot of companies around the world. The shift to remote work culture has brought its own opportunities and challenges to the fore.

One of the primary challenges of a remote work setting for hiring managers is conducting a remote technical interview. In this blog, we have discussed the best practices and methods on how to conduct a technical interview in a remote environment.

Best practices for conducting a remote technical interview

Here are some of the best tips and suggestions that can go a long way in helping you efficiently conduct remote technical interviews.

Best practices for conducting a remote technical interview

Setting the agenda

Before you dive into the remote technical interview process, it is important to set the agenda and other logistic details related to the interview and hiring process. You must be clear about the technical abilities and concepts the prospective candidate needs to be proficient at and the type and range of questions you will ask.

Here, it is also important to point out that the recruiters must also communicate with the candidates about the broad technical concepts on which the technical interviews will be based. This helps establish transparency and sets the agenda for the remote interviewing process.

Choosing the video communication software for technical interviews

Video conferencing and communication tools have become integral to the modern remote work culture’s hiring process. It is important to have a video conferencing call with the candidate to get to know them better through an in-person interview. This also helps in conducting a successful remote technical interview. There are a host of popular video communication software applications and tools that provide the underlying mechanism for smooth video calls and video interviews.

Some renowned and popular video communication apps enterprises prominently use include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Cisco WebEx, and Google Meet.

The video calling software tool for remote technical interviews must comply with the company’s policies and procedures. Most enterprises use one of the software mentioned above and are all very efficient in providing a smooth framework for video calls.

It is important to share the link of the video call meeting in advance with the candidate for smooth remote interviewing process. If the candidate has any issues, they can communicate with the recruiters and inform them in advance to avoid any hassles during the scheduled interview time.

Stable internet connection is a must-have for remote interviewing process

When you are conducting a remote technical job interview, having a stable internet connection is one of the most fundamental requirements for a smooth process. The recruiter should not only ensure that their connection is fine and stable but also communicate with the candidate to ensure that they have stable and steady connectivity.

It is recommended that you must have a backup connection as a contingency plan in case of an emergency where your primary internet connection faces issues.

There are several tools for checking the stability and speed of internet connections. Running these tools before remote interviewing can provide an overview of the state of your internet connectivity so that you are well prepared for conducting technical interviews.

Using an online coding interview tool

There are various tools and applications that provide the ideal platform for evaluating technical skills related to the specific technology. For instance, coderpad.io is a prominent remote technical interviewing platform that offers a host of features and useful functionality for recruiters to test the technical skills of candidates much faster and in a more accurate manner. Some of the functionalities provided by coderpad.io include screening candidates for technical assessment through automated scoring, ranking, and reporting.

Coderpad.io is compatible with a wide range of programming languages, including interpreted languages, compiled languages, front-end languages, and database languages. Some of the popular and prominent programming languages supported by coderpad.io are JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, TypeScript, Perl, C, C++, Java, Rust, Visual Basic, Swift5, HTML, CSS, and MySQL, among others.

If you are considering using the coderpad.io platform for your remote interviewing process, you can integrate it within your framework by signing up for free since it is a free code interview tool.

Besides this, the interviewers or recruiters can also send independent coding projects to dive deeper into the key technical areas for evaluating the candidates better. This helps the recruiters to test their candidates more comprehensively and evaluate their proficiency level through the custom coding test generated for evaluation purposes.

Several alternatives and tools, such as GitHub and Codility, can also be utilized for conducting live coding testing. Before proceeding with this step, you must ensure that you have communicated with the candidate and made them aware of the platform they would use for the coding tests or challenges.

Thorough preparation of the technical question bank

The technical interview questions you will ask the candidates form the basis and core of the technical interview you will conduct remotely. This is why it is important to have a rich set of question banks or a catalog of questions to comprehensively test the candidate's technical knowledge.

In an ideal scenario, you don’t want to improvise on the spot in terms of the questions you ask since you want to be thoroughly prepared with the type of questions that are essential for evaluating the technical knowledge and know-how of the candidates.

There are various resources and online platforms that provide a rich catalog of questions related to specific skills, which you can use to ask technical questions. You can also prepare your own questions based on the available resources for analyzing and evaluating the candidates' technical knowledge.

Recruiting the right candidates for a company is a very crucial part of the success or failure of any organization. This is why it is vital to screen and evaluate your candidates as thoroughly as possible to ensure that you hire the best candidates who are proficient in their respective technical fields and can lead the organization towards success.

Integrate team interviews to make remote technical interviews more efficient

The technical interviews usually tend to be one-on-one; however, there are various instances where the hiring manager can use a team of interviewers to evaluate and ask questions to the candidates. When you have different team members of the company interacting with the potential candidates, it helps with better communication. Also, it aids in better evaluating the candidate in a remote setting.

Since multiple viewpoints are put across, and there’s more comprehensive coverage of different aspects related to the interview, which might not be possible in a single-person interview. Whether you’re conducting remote or onsite interviews, a team interview is also helpful for making a collective decision based on the consensus between the team members. The consensual decision can better reflect the candidate’s skills and proficiency in the specific domain or role for which they are applying.

Asking soft skill questions

While the technical questions form the core of the tech interview, you must not forget the soft skill questions for evaluating the different aspects of candidates beyond their technical skills. When working remotely in a team environment, various traits and qualities are specifically helpful for a productive collaboration.

The soft skills questions are an essential part of the interviewing process. Some of the soft skills you need in a candidate include communication, time management, collaboration, decision making, problem-solving, analytical skills, and creativity, among others.

To evaluate this part of the candidate’s skills, you must ask them about their previous experiences and how they have dealt with various situations in their professional life. You can also create hypothetical scenarios and ask them questions related to them.

For example, you can ask them how they will approach and solve a conflict within a team. This will help you analyze their problem-solving capabilities and ensure they can work smoothly in a team environment.

Wrapping up

Conducting a remote technical interview requires thorough and careful preparation on the recruiter’s part. This is particularly important for the proper screening, evaluation, and analysis of software engineers. You cannot approach the interview casually without the necessary preparation.

Hiring the right candidate is the backbone of a successful organization, and it is crucial for hiring managers to adopt all the best practices and tips for a successful interview process which can help acquire the right talent for the company.

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Author

  • Huzefa Chawre

    Huzefa Chawre

    Huzefa is a technical content writer at Turing. He is a computer science graduate and an Oracle-certified associate in Database Administration. Beyond that, he loves sports and is a big football, cricket, and F1 aficionado.

Frequently Asked Questions

An in-person interview is a formal meeting with one or more interviewers who ask questions to a candidate where the candidate needs to be present on site. On the other hand, a remote interview is also a type of in-person interview but can be done through video calling applications such as Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, and InterviewStream.

There are 2 major ways to interview candidates virtually - via a phone call or video calling software like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc. Here are a few tips to help you conduct a seamless virtual interview: dress professionally, irrespective of where you’re conducting the virtual interview from, whether it’s in your home or any other remote location. Conduct the virtual interview in the same way how you would conduct an in-person interview, and ask questions you’ve prepared (a pro tip here is to prepare a list of questions beforehand, so that you don’t miss anything important).

You must also give your interviewee enough time to answer your questions. Towards the final stages, you can talk about your organization’s values and culture and provide ample information on what the interviewee can expect from the role and going forward.

To start a technical interview start with a round of introduction of the candidate that should include the personal introduction and professional experience/achievements and then move to the technical stuff.

A virtual technical interview is like any other technical interview, the major difference being that the former occurs remotely via technology. The interviewer and interviewee don’t meet in-person, but attend the interview from their respective locations via a phone call or video conferencing software like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet.

A usual technical interview lasts 45 to 60 minutes and starts with one or two quick behavioral questions.

Conducting Zoom interviews are quite easy. Here is the step-by-step process: open Zoom, click on Schedule, and use the Topic text to set a topic for your interview (for e.g., Zoom Interview: Front-End Developer, Turing.com, USA). Next, use the Duration tab to select your interview duration. Set the Video option to on or off, depending on if you want the candidate to have their cameras on by default when they join.

Following these, tap the Schedule button, and you will receive a calendar invitation on your calendar/mail application. You can even simplify the meeting text to just include the Zoom meeting link and ID. Finally, send your meeting invite to the respective candidate.

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