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How To Hold Online Coding Interviews Using Zoom

Sarah Wall
Marketing Director

Interviewing somebody across the world has never been easier.

There are a whole host of services you can use to conduct a remote interview.

Skype, Zoom, Facebook and even WhatsApp all have built-in video calling features.

Although, there is a catch.

These can sometimes fall short for certain types of interviews.

And especially for interviews where work needs to be discussed and talked through.

A great example of this is demonstrating coding abilities.

This simply cannot be done effectively over a typical video call.

But, there are services out there to help with this exact situation.

Read below to find out.


Zoom has a huge amount of functionality for FREE.

There are plenty of tools on the market will allow candidates to demonstrate their coding abilities.

But, we have the most experience with Zoom AND it has the added benefit of offering a large amount of functionality for free.

So far, so good.

Setting up an interview using Zoom is easy, but there are a few settings you need to configure to get the best out of it.

Read our other article here to find out the 5 crucial Zoom settings to you need to set up.

So why is Zoom so good for coding interviews?

It's simple.

Zoom allows for screen sharing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

The host AND the interviewee can screen share by clicking on the Share Screen icon.

It's so simple to use.

And even better:

The host doesn't even need to pass the control of the interview (or make someone else the presenter) to allow the interviewee share.

But wait, there's more.

After selecting "Share Screen" located in your in-meeting toolbar. You can choose to share your "Desktop" or an "individual application/window".

You can access additional screen sharing tools using the meeting toolbar:

These include:

  • Pausing the current screen share
  • Sharing a new window
  • Annotating your current screen share (using a pointer or drawing tool)
  • Remote control; the interviewee can allow the interviewer to control his/her keyboard and mouse.

Additional tips for conducting a successful remote interview

1. Pick a solid platform. None of completely full proof but tools such a Zoom and Skype will be the most reliable.

2. Video calls only! It's very easy to be distracted on a regular 'audio' call. Video meetings require singular and focussed attention.

3. Test the connection before the call. It might be best, where possible, to use a hard line rather than wifi. 

4. Plan your space. As well as testing the connection, ensure that you've checked your 'interview space' before the call. Check the camera angles and distance, ensure your space is tidy and make sure you don't have any light casting shadows over your face. 

5. Use headphones with an external microphone. This will capture the best quality audio (microphones on laptops are never good).

6. Mute all other notifications on your laptop and mobile phone. This allows you to be completely immersed in the call!