Tech x Talent
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Tech x Talent

The Best Code Assessment Platforms for Interviewing in 2021

Find the best alternatives to CoderPad

I’ve hired dozens of engineers in my career and, until last year, always met them in person first! Obviously, we’ve all had to change our hiring processes from in-person workflows to online remote code screening and interview platforms.

All companies hire engineers a little bit differently, but the general flow is as follows:

  • Begin with a 1–2 hour automated screening process with coding challenges to remove candidates who lack the required skills or experience. This typically removes about 60–90% of applicants.
  • Then schedule a 1-hour remote interview with real-time coding and whiteboarding.
  • After determining that the candidate possesses the sufficient skillset, invite them to an “onsite” (or remote) culture interview. This usually involves giving them a sales demo so they understand the product, and then having their potential coworkers interview them.
  • Finally, some companies that have multiple high-quality candidates will offer a take-home project where the candidates spend a few hours building an app and then upload it to a repository where their code can be reviewed and tested. This typically helps to identify a clear top candidate if you can only hire one.

Today, there are countless platforms for each of the above capabilities, and some platforms that offer all three. In this article, I’m going to focus on my experience with remote interview platforms for real-time coding and whiteboarding. Generally speaking, here are the factors that matter when selecting a platform:

  • A fast and snappy core user experience. The critical aspect of a remote interview is the ability to collaboratively code and communicate in real-time. It’s important for the platform to allow multiple interviewers to join the session and cycle through questions and scenarios as the candidate demonstrates their skills.
  • Clear, straightforward, and affordable pricing. Bringing candidates onsite takes a lot of coordination and time, but no explicit price or fee. When moving to remote interviews, there’s a lot less coordination involved meaning that you can finally interview and give a shot to more candidates. However, you’ll want a platform that allows you to interview enough candidates at a reasonable price, otherwise your hiring process can get expensive quickly.
  • Features and functionality. While the most important part of a remote interview is the ability to code in real-time, there are many other features that matter, including whiteboarding, video and audio, and interview templates.

Other important features like cheating detection and API integrations depend on your business and candidate pool. I’ll mention the pros and cons of various platforms below.

Beyond code assessments for screening, check out our other reviews for:

CoderPad

Website | G2 | Pricing

CoderPad is a pioneer of online IDE’s with one of the first and most popular coding interview platforms. For nearly a decade, CoderPad offered a simple dashboard to track candidates and start new interviews called “pads.” The online IDE they built works very well for most languages and it can execute code quickly which makes it easy for the candidate to debug their code as they are writing it. The company was recently sold to a private equity firm, which often happens before a platform gets more comprehensive, expensive, and enterprise-focused.

Pros

  • CoderPad is exceptionally easy to set up, taking just minutes to prepare for an interview
  • There are different pricing tiers for companies of all sizes, with subscriptions beginning at just $50/month
  • The online editor works very well for most languages, including front-end languages
  • CoderPad recently introduced a coding challenge capability

Cons

  • As noted earlier, CoderPad was recently acquired by an investment group, and the pricing has since increased significantly. $50/month used to allow for 20 interviews, but now it’s just 5.
  • CoderPad has very limited features for customization and collaboration.

Recommended for

  • Companies that need a simple and affordable tool to interview a limited number of candidates online. Great for savvy engineers who can set up their own interviews from scratch.

Coderbyte

Website | G2 | Subscription pricing | Pay-per-candidate pricing

Coderbyte’s interview feature is simple and easy-to-use like CoderPad, with a few additional options that engineers and recruiters will appreciate. It offers the ability to use a whiteboard and create interview ‘templates’ with coding challenges that you can cycle through to guide an interview discussion. While Coderbyte doesn’t offer video or audio capabilities, a Zapier integration makes it easy to sync with your existing communication tools. Further, Coderbyte allows for multiple interviewers to join a session.

Pros

  • Like CoderPad, Coderbyte is exceptionally easy to set up, taking just minutes to prepare for an interview
  • Pricing is straightforward, begins at $99/month, and offers unlimited candidates on all plans. Coderbyte has never raised funding from venture capitalists or private equity firms and is unlikely to have the same pressure to raise their pricing.
  • The online editor works very well for most languages, including front-end frameworks
  • Integrated video and audio

Cons

  • Lacks enterprise features like SSO.
  • Lacks a filing system or multiple tabs

Recommended for

  • Tech recruiters and engineering teams that care deeply about the candidate experience and want maximum flexibility to test a wide variety of skills.

HackerRank

Website | G2 | Pricing

HackerRank is the most well-known enterprise solution in the code screening industry, and offers a great interview product called CodePair. Like CoderPad and Coderbyte, it enables an interviewer and candidate to collaborate in an online environment to solve coding problems together and sketch diagrams. They provide an easy way to share challenge descriptions with a candidate along with providing them an online IDE to write and execute their code.

Their online editor supports over 35 languages, can be customized by candidates, and comes with built in audio/video capabilities. Their platform also allows recruiters to easily leave feedback about the candidate after the session for the rest of their team to see later on.

Pros

  • All-in-one enterprise-grade solution for all your technical hiring needs
  • Built-in audio/video capabilities
  • Freehand diagrams

Cons

  • Unless you’re a multinational corporation, you will likely find HackerRank pricing to be cost-prohibitive
  • Only supports algorithm challenges and simple programming problems — you cannot test front-end and back-end technologies, e.g. React, Python/Django, Ruby on Rails, etc.

Recommended for

  • Large corporations that require enterprise features like SSO and integrations

Codility

Website | G2 | Pricing

Codility went through an impressive rebrand and updated user experience recently to modernize their platform. Their coding interview product, called CodeLive, enables candidates and recruiters to collaborate online using real-life tasks in a shared development environment. Their tool comes with built-in audio/video capabilities and it also has a whiteboard feature called Canvas which allows users in the session to draw flow charts and diagrams.

CodeLive supports over 40 languages and allows candidates to run test cases against their solutions. It also supports templates so interviewers can easily start sessions with predefined tasks and code templates, making the entire experience more efficient.

Pros

  • Candidates can create and run their own test cases.
  • Built-in audio/video capabilities.
  • Templates can be predefined for new sessions.
  • Freehand diagram.

Cons

  • No pricing information available online, but expect to go through a lengthy sales process and to pay a little bit less than you will with HackerRank, especially if you’re switching

Recommended for

  • Codility is great for multinational organizations that want to switch from HackerRank and lock in a lower price for the same enterprise features

CodeSignal

Website | G2 | No pricing page

CodeSignal’s Interview tool is another suitable option for companies looking to streamline their technical interviewing process. Their platform makes it easy to track and create new sessions, and their online editor makes it easy to collaborate and code with candidates.

Their Interview tool also provides the ability to create diagrams and draw freely. Their platform supports over 40 languages and a great part of their tool is that candidates can run test cases that the recruiter setup beforehand.

Pros

  • Great user experience
  • Built-in audio/video capabilities with recordings
  • Freehand diagrams

Cons

  • There is no free trial or way to get pricing information without requesting a demo

Recommended for

  • If you’re a large company that needs enterprise-grade functionality like SSO and a suite of integrations, but can’t quite afford HackerRank or Codility.

CodeInterview

Website | G2 | Pricing

CodeInterview is most similar to CoderPad because of their minimal platform that focuses on making it easy for engineering interviewers to start new sessions and collaborate with candidates. Their online editor supports over 25 languages, and it’s one of the only other platforms aside from Coderbyte where you can interview candidates in technologies like Vue.js, React, Angular, Express, and other front-end languages.

They have a built-in audio/video capability, along with a code playback feature and other enterprise features like SSO and team collaboration.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use dashboard with modern editor which provides a good candidate experience.
  • They support front-end technologies like React, Vue.js, Angular, and more.
  • Advanced features like audio/video, code replay, templates, and SSO.
  • Very affordable at just $5/interview (and lower pricing available at scale)

Cons

  • If you also need to conduct remote code screening and take-home projects, you’ll need to manage other tools in addition to CodeInterview.
  • Very limited reporting functionality
  • They have monthly pricing options but no option for unlimited

Recommended for:

  • Small companies that don’t need a single platform for code screening and interviewing.

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