What Are Whiteboard Interviews? Are They A Thing Of The Past?

What Are Whiteboard Interviews? Are They A Thing Of The Past?

RahulSeptember 15th, 20214 min read

A whiteboard interview is conducted to assess the candidate’s coding skills in real-time. It sounds like an old-school practice where candidates have to write a code on a whiteboard. You can consider it as a ‘Pen-Paper Interview.’

Most candidates hate whiteboard interviews as it uses an old-school technique to assess a candidate’s technical skills. After the pandemic, everything has changed – so is the hiring process. Today, most companies conduct online coding interviews as the physical meeting is not an option anymore.

In online coding assessments, candidates are supposed to submit the assignment within the given deadline – it can be 2-3 days. Online assessments are ideal for passive candidates who are currently employed and looking for a job change.

According to the survey by Dice, more than 64% of candidates hate whiteboard interviews, and they say they ‘feel dumb’ in some way during the interview process.

Why Do Candidates Hate Whiteboard Interviews?

In a whiteboard interview, a candidate is given a marker and a time limit to solve a particular set of questions. Using an old-school practice in the modern world can be daunting for candidates. More than 30% of candidates hate such interviews because they’re time-consuming, leading to stress.

Still, most companies use whiteboard interviews such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, etc. However, it’s not a good way to assess the candidate’s coding skills, and it will be challenging to identify the right fit for your organization.

As a recruiter, you need to find more effective ways to find talent, team fit, and growth potential via video or phone calls. It’s the essential change toward a more distinct and industry as a whole.

4 Reasons Why Whiteboard Interviews Are The Thing Of The Past

The COVID-19 pandemic has urged recruiters and business leaders to re-examine the original purpose of whiteboarding interviews. You need to ask yourself whether the whiteboard interviews serve your organizational purpose and are beneficial in attracting and hiring the right talent.

With that said, here are 4 reasons why whiteboard interviews are outdated:

Whiteboard Interviews Never Mirror Real Work Environment

Whiteboard interviews are suitable for some companies, but they lack a fair simulation of the work environment. Although it is ideal for assessing the candidate’s technical skills in real-time, modern technologies have taken over.

You can use a coding assessment tool that integrates virtual whiteboard interviews, and you can monitor the candidate’s activities on your screen. Intervue is a perfect tool to conduct online coding interviews with whiteboard functionality. It has audio/video call functionality to communicate with potential candidates. It also supports 35+ languages, and you can conduct coding tests for multiple roles in the technical department in one place.

Selecting Questions For Whiteboard Interviews Can Be Challenging

In whiteboard interviews, the questions can neither be too simplistic nor too hard. However, it becomes challenging for recruiters to set up the questions, and in most cases, they fail to assess the candidate’s skills.

Alternatively, you can use Excel to have candidates demonstrate and document how to work formulas, pivot tables, structures, and look-ups. That type of question can be the best alternatives to whiteboard structure.

Whiteboard Interviews Are Unprofessional

A company’s recruiting and hiring strategies must align with the role they’re hiring for. Whiteboard interviews are great for entry-level candidates but not for experienced ones.

Whiteboard interviews are sufficient to assess a skill set of young graduates as they have the least or no work experience. But experienced professionals may step out from the whiteboard interviews.

Whiteboard Interviews Can Lead To Stress

Whiteboard interviews are conducted to assess the candidate’s coding skills, and in most cases, candidates answer the questions under pressure. However, such types of recruitment rounds may not account for a candidate’s strengths.

In this highly pressurized environment, candidates won’t be able to showcase their skills and transform the interview into a stress interview. In most cases, candidates step out of the application process when they hear the term “Whiteboard Interview.” It can result in increased candidate drop-off rates, and you will miss out on opportunities to attract and hire the top talent for your organization.

Are There Any Alternatives For Whiteboard Interviews?

Whiteboard interviews are just one example of tools you can use to assess the candidate’s coding skills and identify whether the candidate is the right fit for your organization.

Take-Home Task

Take-home tasks give candidates the flexibility to complete a given task at the comfort of their home at their preferred time. Take-home challenges are best for passive candidates. Passive candidates are those who are currently employed and seeking a job change. They can complete their take-home challenge at their convenience. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete this task.

Live Coding Assessments

We live in a world full of innovative technologies, and it is the right time to reap its benefits. You can conduct a live coding assessment using Intervue – the most preferred tool by recruiters.

Intervue uses an auto-grading system that automatically eliminates unqualified candidates. As a result, it saves a lot of time for recruiters to interview the candidates who didn’t pass the test. When you are equipped with the latest tools, you can easily structure and streamline your hiring process and hire the top talent.

Conducting an effective live coding assessment will not help you hire the top talent but also enhance candidates' experience and create a positive employer brand.

Summing Up

Despite having the modern technologies, still, you choose to conduct whiteboard interviews, then you must consider the following:

  • Give and ask for feedback
  • Explain the complexity of the process at the earliest
  • Plan before they start writing the code

Whatever you choose, whiteboard interviews or virtual whiteboard interviews – remember that you’re trying to find quality candidates who can contribute their skills for your organization’s success. It’s not about how a candidate solves the problem; it’s about whether the candidate will become a valuable addition to your team.

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