Best Practices For Conducting Pair Programming Interviews

Best Practices For Conducting Pair Programming Interviews

RahulNovember 20th, 20214 min read

What are pair programming interviews? What are the best pair programming interview practices? Are pair programming interviews effective? If you’re looking for the answer to these questions, then we’ve got you covered. Here we will discuss what a pair programming interview is and the best practices of pair programming interviews that every recruiter must know.

The demand for the technical team in every organization is at its peak, thanks to advanced technologies. Hiring software engineers and developers can be a nerve-wracking task, especially for non-tech recruiters. Conducting technical interviews and coding assessments requires time and effort to assess a candidate's technical skills effectively.

With the introduction of modern tools and technologies, technical hiring has become more streamlined than years ago. Today, recruiters can easily assess 100+ candidates in minutes using online tools. This is where pair programming interviews came into play.

But, what are pair programming interviews?

What Are Pair Programming Interviews And How Does It Work?

Pair programming interviews are a modern approach towards assessing the candidate’s technical skills. It involves a pair of programming developers and a tester.

A pair programming interview is about 40-50 mins long, and it helps recruiters get a deep insight into a candidate's technical skills. It is conducted using a coding platform where the interviewer and the candidate collaborate to solve a particular set of technical questions.

It is more practical than a whiteboard coding interview process. It goes hand-in-hand with the test-driven development (TDD), which means that you and the candidate will get a clear idea of the written code’s ability to run without errors.

That said, let’s discuss some of the best practices of pair programming interviews and how they can help you hire and retain quality developers and engineers.

4 Best Practices For Pair Programming Interviews

Use The Right Online Coding Platform

We have mentioned earlier that a pair programming interview is conducted using an online coding platform. Hence, you must leverage an easy-to-use tool to make the interview go smoothly.

Pair programming interviews are conducted in-person or online. After the pandemic, most interviews take place online. The online tool you choose should be easy for you and the candidate to connect to a session, share their code, and communicate with each other. This is where Intervue is a big win.

Intervue is the most preferred tool by recruiters, which integrates an audio/video call functionality, and it supports 25+ languages which is an added advantage. With this tool, you don’t have to move to third-party software to work on code editor or video calls. Intervue is a one-stop tool to conduct a successful pair programming interview.

Record Your Sessions

This is one of the best practices for pair programming interviews that recruiters often overlook. After an interview, how will you know whether the candidate is the right fit for the position or not? There is where a recorded interview can help you re-evaluate the performance of the candidate.

Make Your Candidates Comfortable During The Session

Job seekers are mostly stressed as they apply to multiple organizations at once and may give 2-3 interviews each day. The potential candidates won’t be able to perform well in the interview if they’re stressed. As a recruiter, it’s your responsibility to make them comfortable and focused and ensure they stay calm until the session is over. Look for ways to slow them down for a moment, think, and talk through their thought process.

Test One Problem In Each Session

An interview is a two-way communication between the recruiter and the candidate. Instead of throwing multiple questions at once, let the candidate talk about the code they’ve just written. Take time to examine that code and ask questions accordingly. You can talk about how they can change the code with new requirements to understand how they’d work in your environment.

Asking multiple questions in a session can stress the candidates and may result in a bad candidate experience.

4 Benefits Of Pair Programming Interviews

The above-mentioned best practices for pair programming interviews will help you structure in-depth coding interviews in a real programming environment. That said, pair programming interviews also offer several benefits, which are as follows:

Promotes Fast Hiring

Pair programming interviews boost the efficiency and speed up the recruitment process. Setting up a pair programming interview session is easy, and one can seamlessly integrate multiple programming languages into it. It saves a lot of time for recruiters and helps them make informed hiring decisions.

Reduce Bias

Pair programming interviews are conducted using an online coding platform that involves an auto-grading report functionality. This feature eliminates unqualified candidates automatically and saves a lot of time for recruiters to interview them, and allow them to focus on qualified ones.

This evaluation is free from bias and ensures you’re hiring the right talent for your organization.

Assess Candidates In Real-Time

A pair programming interview is a live session between recruiters and the candidates, and recruiters have all the control over the candidate’s activities. Recruiters can listen to the candidate’s explanation of the code in real-time. Hence, it gives recruiters a deep insight into a candidate's coding skills and makes quick and thoughtful hiring decisions in real-time.

Develops Your Team Interpersonal Skills

Collaborating on a project helps your team to appreciate the value of communication and teamwork.

Summing Up

Every organization strives to hire a candidate who can get the work done on time and possess the skills needed for a particular job role. For that reason, it’s important to conduct pair programming interviews using a reliable online coding platform.

Hiring a technical team is challenging for recruiters. The tech industry is rapidly growing, and it has become difficult for tech companies to hire and retain developers. According to CIODIVE, more than 90% of recruiters say hiring a qualified tech candidate is challenging.

With the above-mentioned best practices for pair programming interviews, you can easily structure your online coding interview and ensure you’re hiring high-quality candidates in your organization.

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