Alternatives To Whiteboard Interview

This article focuses on alternatives to whiteboard interviews that can help nervous candidates create a more inclusive experience.

Alternatives To Whiteboard Interview

Interviews can be intimidating. Whether you're asking the questions or having them answered, you need to feel comfortable to get the best results. At the same time, face-to-face interviews can be expensive and time-consuming. That is why so many companies are taking interviews online, and some are even looking into whiteboard interviews.

This article focuses on alternatives to whiteboard interviews that can help nervous candidates create a more inclusive experience.

A whiteboard coding interview is a process in which candidates are usually asked to write code on a whiteboard.

The reasons for the popularity of this type of interview is,

  • Since it is an excellent way to find out how quickly the candidate can pseudo-code and whether or not they understand basic concepts such as arrays, loops, and variables.
  • It gives the employer an idea of how well the candidate can think on their feet and build software under pressure.
  • Recruiters can see the solutions candidates come up with much more quickly than they would if they were at their computers.
  • Due to the limited space, candidates are forced to think about how best to use that space and what order to do things in during their solution process, resulting in better problem-solving skills.

What's Wrong With Whiteboard Coding Interviews And Why Should We Rethink It?

The majority of software engineers hired for a job will have to complete a whiteboarding coding exercise. It is considered the best way to assess an engineer’s problem-solving skills. Although it seems like a good idea, there are many problems with whiteboard coding interviews.

The problem with whiteboard interviews is that they are not scalable. It is a skills assessment to check the technical level of a candidate in a particular area. But they don't provide any information about how they would perform when working on a team or how good of a communicator they are etc.

Even GitHub released a list of software organizations that no longer require job seekers to face a whiteboard. Instead, they can rely on assessments that simulate day-to-day work.

Moreover, whiteboard interviews only require candidates to solve problems on a whiteboard, which can be problematic because it's hard for an interviewer to assess someone's communication skills, work style, and personality from this one-sided conversation format.

Alternatives To Whiteboard Coding Interviews: How To Prepare For Your Next Technical Interview Of This Kind

Computer-based Coding Challenges

Computer-based programming tests are based on the concept of code challenges. The idea is that instead of writing an extended essay about your experience in solving a problem, you demonstrate your skills by actually solving the problem in an environment where your solution can be immediately tested and evaluated.

Computer-based coding challenges are an excellent way to assess candidates for a position in the IT industry. They can test their knowledge of computer languages and other critical skills related to the job.

This coding challenge also measures logical thinking and problem-solving skills and how quickly and effectively a candidate can take instructions and translate them into action that meets business needs.

Moreover, computer-based coding challenges are less challenging than whiteboard interviews. Candidates benefit from the ability to access their computers. It can be done remotely or as part of a pair programming environment, and it is usually easier to answer than whiteboard questions.

Pros

  • You can use an everyday computing and development environment.
  • This can be done remote interview via page sharing.

Cons

  • Your pair programming environment and plugins can have a significant impact.
  • Restrictive in terms of syntax and run-ability.

Schedule Home Assessments

Home-based coding assessments, or HBCAs, are a new way to evaluate candidates. In this new recruitment method, companies will send candidates an assessment to complete from the comfort of their homes.

Home-based coding assessments are often conducted as part of other screening processes (remote interviews, personality tests, etc.) rather than on their own. However, it's possible that you could be asked to complete your home-based coding assessment without any initial contact with the recruiting team.

Generally, companies prefer home-based coding assessments because they help them assess a candidate's skills and personality accurately without bringing them into the office for a live coding interview. It also allows companies to save on recruitment costs by avoiding travel expenses and making hiring easier by enabling companies to evaluate many candidates at once.

Pros

  • You can use the editor and development environment of your choice.
  • It's usually more interesting than a whiteboard interview.

Cons

  • The level of difficulty can be very different.
  • Competition can lead to features creeping in.

Project-based Coding Challenges

A project-based coding challenge is a process whereby developers are given the entire source pseudo-code of a real-world project and need to finish it within a specific timeframe.

A project-based coding challenge is a relatively new way to attract and retain top talent to test candidates' problem-solving skills and ability to work within a team. It has been proven that testing a developer's skills by asking them to solve a real problem is better than having them take a test or live coding interview.

It allows companies to understand if the person they're considering hiring can take on a real-life task. This coding challenge can also be used as an online recruitment tool allowing employers to see your pseudo-code from the comfort of their living room.

Moreover, a project-based coding challenge tests a candidate's ability to solve problems in an environment that mirrors real life while still being structured enough so that it can be scored.

Pros

  • You have the opportunity to work with a candidate/team.
  • Start with real projects.

Cons

  • Working without a job guarantee.
  • This can put a candidate in a difficult negotiating position.

Common Tips To Crush Any Technical Interview

You can use tactics to positively impact any technical or managerial interview, just like there are ways to pass a standard test.

Let us begin.

3. Plan Your 30-second Elevator Pitch

A technical interview might be one of many interviews, but it would be great if you could highlight your soft skills and enthusiasm in your pitch.

2. Brush Up The Basics

Try to learn everything - but take the time to understand the fundamental and critical concepts. Also, make sure to practice a lot of problems relating to your job application.

3. Take Coding Challenges Regularly

Make your goal to answer 2-3 coding questions per day. Set deadlines for adapting to work under pressure of time.

4. Practice Mock Programming Interviews

Practicing mock coding interview challenges is significant and can help you develop your technical skills and improve your interpersonal skills: communication, body language, and more. Moreover, you can also try live coding challenges to improve your efficiency.

5. Find A Study Partner

Do you have a friend or colleague with similar professional goals? Pull her for help! Learn the basics of programming and work together to solve problems.

6. Don't Miss The Interview

Don't miss the interview - the more interviews you attend, the stronger you will get. However, the best scenario is you'll get a job. The worst-case scenario is you might have come one step closer to passing the technical interview!

Conclusion: Why Do More Of The Same When You Can Explore More Options?

The whiteboard interview is a way to conduct a job interview. It requires the candidate to develop solutions to problems on the spot and show how much thought they've already put into their chosen profession.

They are still popular. However, there are other ways of getting a glimpse into someone's personality that isn’t as stressful or intimidating. With the alternatives to whiteboard interviews, you can determine what makes candidates tick without putting them in a position.

If you are looking for alternatives to whiteboard interviews, then the points mentioned above will help you. We hope they will save your time and money so that your company can focus on what matters – delivering a great product or service. However, you must not forget that many companies prefer whiteboard interviews because of their advantages.

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