Live Coding Interview: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Live Coding Interview: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

PulkitJuly 5th, 20214 min read

Virtual hiring, or you can say remote hiring, has become the new norm in the corporate world after the pandemic. Today, more and more companies embrace remote hiring and focus on a candidate-driven approach.

In hiring a technical team, in-person coding interviews can be an excellent way to test a developer’s technical skills. But today, we all have to follow the COVID protocols, and a physical meet is not possible.

So how to assess a developer’s technical skills?

To overcome this problem, there is a simpler solution that can benefit both you and your candidates, i.e., live coding interviews. In 2021, most companies have embraced the power of the remote coding interview to find the best developers for their team.

Remote coding interviews offer tons of benefits to business owners and recruiters as it is a cost-effective approach and saves time for both recruiters and candidates. But does it have any disadvantages too? This article will help you formulate your answer.

Advantages (The Good) Of Live Coding Interviews

Evaluate Developers Effectively

First of all, the primary benefit of live coding interviews is that you can evaluate developers effectively beyond their CVs.

Basically, these online coding tests contain significant questions of several programming languages, such as Java, HTML, Python, R, OOPs, C++, and many more. Recruiters can assign a particular set of questions to candidates or fix some issues to make the application work smoothly.

As a recruiter, using the live coding interview, you can assess the technical skills and get a deep insight into how much time is taken by the candidate to solve a particular set of questions.

Test Large Number Of Candidates At A Time

You will get many applications from candidates to apply for your job post, and it can be daunting for you to assess each of them and schedule an interview. Candidates are impatient, and they won’t wait for weeks and months for your response. As a result, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities to hire top talent.

To overcome these issues, live coding interviews can help to assess 100+ candidates in minutes. It uses an auto-grading system to quickly assess the candidate’s technical skills based on their test. By following such an approach, you can speed up the recruitment process and promptly schedule the interview for selected candidates.

Less Pressure On Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are those who are employed but looking for new opportunities. As a recruiter, you can expect them to apply for your job vacancy from their busy schedule.

Live coding interviews allow passive candidates to complete the coding test in a calmer or more comfortable environment without leaving their current organization.

Easy Integration With Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

As a recruiter, you might be aware of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) advantages, and you probably already use one. But do you know that some online live coding interview tools allow simple and easy integration with different ATS?

Yes, you read that right! Integrating this type of pre-employment test with your ATS will create a seamless and modern recruitment system that will help you grab the best talent for your organization and enhance candidates' experience.

Disadvantages (The Bad) Of Live Coding Interview

Though the live coding interview offers several benefits, it has some disadvantages too. Let’s discuss them.

The Bias Problem

The most common problem in technical interviews is that they aren’t standardized, which means they can vary widely from company to company – making it almost impracticable for candidates to prepare thoroughly. As a result, their future rests mostly in the hands of whoever is interviewing on that day.

When there’s too much variability, interview biases make their way into the recruiting process.

Indeed, there are completely valid reasons for passing on a candidate. For example, suppose a company uses a specific programming language. So, there are chances to use the tool or development framework that the candidate isn’t familiar with. In such a scenario, no matter how technically skilled the candidate might be in other phases of programming, he would fail to clear the interview.

Internet Connection Issues

The other major downside of live coding interviews is that they require a stable internet connection. If the candidate’s local ISP cannot provide an adequate quality service, regular disconnects and poor video or audio quality may simply make the recruiter move on to the other candidate, even if the first candidate has the right skills and experience. Technical issues won’t affect in-person interviews.

Don’t Focus On The Right Skills

It is often experienced in remote coding interviews that the focus is on what candidates know instead of approaching problems and their potential to learn. Most companies have banned the live coding interviews as they didn’t serve any value on either side.

Live Coding Interview Tools Are Difficult To Use

As live coding interviews are the new trend, most recruiters and even candidates are unaware of its functionalities. From a candidate’s perspective, it could be easy for them to get a job in in-person interviews. But since they cannot use the tool in the right manner, they were eliminated at the very beginning.

What’s Worse?

The possibility of potential fraud. While it is not too common, some companies try to scam the candidates and ask for money, promising to get hired.

Moreover, some companies will try to advertise themselves as much better than they are, thus luring the candidates and wasting their precious time. And it’s the same with the candidates. However, it is recommended to check out the company or a candidate in person to identify the real worth.


Undoubtedly, modern tools and technologies have streamlined the hiring process for recruiters, but it comes with several disadvantages too.

When conducting a live coding interview, companies need to think more about the interview process and the candidate they want to bring to their team. Especially, they should determine if they’re looking for someone to fill the gap in the team with the relevant skills or someone they want to develop and grow over time.

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