Challenges of conducting remote technical interviews.

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Both remote and onsite technical interviews have their perks and pitfalls. However, with the uncertainties ushered by Covid-19, many companies came to a standstill and shifted their route to enable remote work. This trend has amplified the rise of conducting remote interviews with a vision to expand their talent pool, without having any location restrictions and time zone barriers.

For many, the idea of remote technical interviews can be daunting when compared to office interviews. Recruiting the right candidate accurately via virtual interviews makes the overall process seem difficult to align. However, the hiring managers are bound to deal with a large number of applications, shortlist the applicants and then schedule technical interviews with each candidate. Hence, this process of hiring remote developers to the final onboarding stage becomes challenging to fill in the talent pipelines with qualified applicants.

According to a survey conducted by GitLab, identified 3 core challenges are obstructing the technical interview process:

  1. Most companies didn’t have trained interviewers for fairly assessing the talent funnel.
  2. The technical interview process showed inconsistency with poor standardisation and the presence of unconscious bias.
  3. Lack of flow in the planning and execution throughout the technical interview process.

Nevertheless, with the increased demand in the number of remote hiring opportunities exploding. Tech companies that are looking to widen their tech-talent pool to hire developers, face a list of challenges that generate a hindrance while streamlining the technical interview process.

Emerging technical remote interview challenges with best solutions :

Interviewing remote developers in the tech world has its challenges. Many tech-based companies struggle to set up a legitimate and equitable interview process. But, having structured planning and streamlining the entire process could result in some positive outcomes like saving time and trading off the resources.

Furthermore, let’s delve deeper and look at some of the highlighted challenges that may arise while conducting a remote technical interview and provide some best solutions to overcome these challenges for a better hiring experience.

Challenge 1 - Maintaining Consistency :

While conducting an online technical interview, hiring managers are presented with the list of candidates to be interviewed for the day and relevant questionnaires to ask each eligible applicant. Thus, it becomes challenging to maintain a consistent flow as the recruiters are provided with less time to perform every session in comparison to onsite office interviews. Therefore, this results in creating a gap in between the hiring process which turns out to be easier for one applicant and difficult experience for another.

Solution :

Generating a systematic discipline in the interview process is crucial for gaining strong and successful results. Thus, there are few ways through which the hiring experts could avoid inconsistencies while conducting interviews:

Set out a scoring system while evaluating technical skills that help provide a fair and honest result, based on the company requirements and expectations.

Take sufficient time off between each interview that would give a relaxation break, so that the interviewer is prepared for the next one.

Plan and schedule interviews to such an extent that the interviewer does not feel immensely burdened and instead has a more focused approach.

Challenge 2 - Interview scheduling conflicts :

While conducting a one-to-one interview with the listed candidates each day, scheduling becomes a complex task to handle. From checking the interview slots for different candidates to timely finalising the interview process could be challenging. The disturbances in the interview schedule have resulted in at least 52% of applicants not receiving any follow up for as long as 2 months. Thus, this latency in scheduling could be due to differences in the time zones and availability of both the parties that ultimately leads to two things: a longer period vacancy of the position and reduced productivity.

Solution :

Here a rigorous set of planning and execution will come to your rescue. The hiring team can schedule a technical interview by building a clear strategy that guides through the smooth flow of the hiring process, outlines last-minute tasks and incorporates dedicated tools that track the workflow efficiently. Therefore, this will keep track of the scheduled interviews and avoid unnecessary delays.

Challenge 3 - AI-based assessment tools :

These AI-based tools replace human-led assessment methods. These tools function intending to speed up the hiring process and entrench the unconscious bias system. But the question is whether these AI-based tools can identify the results and accurately judge the candidates' traits, technical skills and emotional signals?

Let us find out.

Solution :

AI-enabled interview tools can analyze a massive list of applicants within no time. For instance, AI-based tools work efficiently in the initial process of running a 10-second resume check and filter out every eligible tech talent for the job. Additionally, this also helps the recruiters conduct a consistent and objective evaluation based on the job relevancy data.

Challenge 4 - Demonstrate company culture :

During an in-person interview, potential candidates are thoroughly displayed with the foundation of the business and acquire knowledge about the company culture. However, in a remote interview, demonstrating the company policy and culture can be tricky to handle, as remote connections with fellow employees are subjectively weaker than the personal connection. This gap gets in the way of work-life integration and challenges on building connectivity among the team members.

Solution :

Understanding company culture is equally important to those working remotely compared to employees working in the office. Although to attain positive results, the interviewer is responsible for demonstrating the company policies and culture by articulating well-descriptive case studies, examples or stories that help potential developers gain knowledge about the company. In addition, incorporating team-building activities would encourage remote candidates to enable problem-solving skills and collaborate with each one to work together.

Challenge 5 - Lack of trained interviewers :

According to a recent Linkedin study, around 47% of hiring managers never had official training on what type of tech-based questions to be asked. However, this inefficiency in the interview process results in a dissatisfying experience for the candidates. That will eventually reduce the chances of hiring the right developer.

Solution :

To conduct a structured technical interview, as a hiring manager, you need to set comprehensive goals and participate in the ongoing recruitment training program that would help develop new sourcing methods and current industry trends. Therefore, another critical part is to include hiring skills such as communication efficiency, time management, industry-specific skills and problem-solving skills.

Challenge 6 - Evaluating technical skills :

While hiring potential developers, assessing their technical skills and ability becomes prominent. In an onsite interview, recruiters comply with a systematic test record system that is either paper-based or instantly documented in the system. On the other hand, while conducting live video interviews remotely, recruiters face difficulty interpreting each candidate's performance.

Solution :

Hiring managers are finding complexities in analyzing the technical skills of the candidates. To resolve this issue, companies that hire remote tech talent can record the entire interview process to run calculative results. Moreover, they could also screen share live video interviews in a way to assess their coding test, programming and tech-based questions relating to the role.

Challenge 7 - Fail to promptly follow-up :

In search of finding the right developers on board, hiring managers perform a series of technical interview sessions. Meanwhile, after completing every session, the interviewer is accountable for sending follow-up emails to the applied candidates. Due to lack of consideration, the recruiters fail to respond with a clear hiring status, leaving the potential candidates feeling insecure and unsure of the position. Therefore, this leads to them moving on to apply for other jobs in the market or accept any other offer that provides more benefits.

Solution :

Any organization never wishes to let go of an eligible developer with impeccable technical skills and work experience in the tech field. Thus, to avoid which hiring managers should keep in mind a few key points that ensure follow-up with every single candidate on the list:

Let the initial set of unsuccessful candidates know clear feedback of why they weren't chosen.

Keep the eligible candidates in a loop of the future interview process by sending a detailed description of what the next stage will include.

Refine an honest time-scale of when the candidate would be expecting a confirmation or status email.

Challenge 8 - Struggle with onboarding bad hires :

In certain instances, the candidate who had the right technical skills and credentials seemed to get through the selection process but unfortunately turned out to not be a suitable candidate after hiring. In such situations, companies are in a complete dilemma whether to continue with the same employee or again run the cycle of interviewing new hires onboard. Although, coping with bad hires can significantly impact the company's work environment, reduce productivity and create disputes within the team. Therefore, usually in these scenarios, the recruiters repair the bad hire situation by reassessing the process and replacing it with a potential candidate.

Solution :

Did you know? - A study revealed that only 19% of new hires are considered successful after the onboarding stage. However, to overcome this struggle, the following steps will help recover and reassess the right tech talent for the company.

Step 1 : Collect the previous interview process of unselected candidates list and filter out the better skilled in the tech field. Whereas, this helps the hiring managers save time, effort and resources.

Step 2 : Identifying the candidate's specific skills, traits and experience for the role and performing a clear technical assessment to avoid the same mistakes.

Step 3 : After making assumptions based on their skills and work experience, the company could put the new hires through a trial period that would double-check their eligibility criteria for the role.

Top 3 key challenges Plover aim to overcome :

Set clear goals and expectations :

At Plover, we aim to enhance the hiring process that is easy to navigate and follow. Our top-notch hiring team is well-versed and experienced in conducting technical based interviews. Therefore, to facilitate and streamline the interview process, we jot down a detailed job description tailored for the position as well as define the long term expectation and goals of the listed company.

Generate a standardized rubric system :

Hiring quality developers requires a highly effective technical interview process. To improve this, we create a structured rubrics support system that would help tech teams hire the right developer for the job. If you might wonder how this works? - At Plover, we assess the eligible candidates based on their competencies and problem-solving skills. For instance, every candidate will be evaluated based on a rubric system using the same rating scale that defines a set of competencies that is only relevant for the applied position or requirement of the company.

Post-interview Feedback :

To generate positive outcomes through the hiring experience. At Plover, we tailor a set of post-interview feedback forms from the applicants to get a review check. Thus, this encourages the hiring managers to make significant improvements on the refinement of the hiring training programs as well as to reevaluate the selection process.

final thought

a grey symbol with curved linesRemote technical interviews require a different strategy, planning and execution than onsite interviews. In this process, the hiring team faces many challenges and complexities that create a hindrance to hire the right tech talent for the company. Therefore, these challenges can be overcome by ensuring clear methods of evaluation. At Plover, we aim that this blog has helped you find the hurdles while interviewing the right candidate and provided potential solutions that would ensure a smoother and successful technical interview process. a grey symbol with curved lines

by Aishwarya

final thought

a grey symbol with curved linesRemote technical interviews require a different strategy, planning and execution than onsite interviews. In this process, the hiring team faces many challenges and complexities that create a hindrance to hire the right tech talent for the company. Therefore, these challenges can be overcome by ensuring clear methods of evaluation. At Plover, we aim that this blog has helped you find the hurdles while interviewing the right candidate and provided potential solutions that would ensure a smoother and successful technical interview process. a grey symbol with curved lines

by Aishwarya