Getting Started: Interviewers

This document is for technical interviewers who want detailed instructions about how to run interviews on CoderPad. If you are joining an interview as a candidate, please check out our getting started guide for candidates.

CoderPad is a collaborative platform for conducting technical interviews in the browser, with one major difference: we let you and your candidates run the code as you write it.

Registering an account

If you haven’t done so already, you should sign up for an account. An account lets you create new interviews, keep track of interviews you’ve participated in, and grants you administrative powers (like being able to lock the document or disable code execution) during interviews.

To sign up for an account, Register with your company email and a password. This will ensure your account is associated with your company’s organization-wide plan or trial with CoderPad (if applicable).

Preparing before interviews

First things first: if you’re new to using CoderPad, we recommend you start by playing around with the editor in our Sandbox. This will let you get comfortable with the interface and customize your settings without using up any of your interview quota.

Next, head over to the Question Library. This is where you can save your favorite interview questions ahead of time, for easy one-click insertion into an interview once it goes live. Click “Write New Question”, fill in any starting code or instructions, and save. If you like to let candidates choose which language they’d like to code in, we suggest you write and save your questions in plaintext.

If you’re working with a team, it’s useful to agree on a common way to name questions. For example you can add the job title, difficulty rating of the question, or similar details and then search the question menu for these tags to easily locate the right questions for an interview.

CoderPad lets you create custom databases to query from for MySQL and PostgreSQL. Visit the CoderPad Custom Databases Guide to learn how to add and use custom databases if you will need them for your interviews.

Languages

To see which languages CoderPad currently supports and to get detailed information on language runtimes as well as various libraries that are included/can be imported, check out our languages page.

Conducting interviews

If you’re working with your company’s recruiting team, you’ll probably receive an emailed link in the form: coderpad.io/DKHC4J77.

This link will always be associated with this particular interview - before, during, and afterwards.

Both you and the candidate will join the interview by clicking on this link. You can see when everyone has joined the interview by looking for their names towards the bottom left.

Make sure you are logged in to your CoderPad account when you join the pad, otherwise, you won’t be able to access your question library, interview notes, or the End Interview button during the interview.

If you’re setting up an interview yourself, start at your Dashboard and click Create Pad.

Once you click on the link/create a “pad”, you’ll be in the collaborative interview session (as seen below).

The left pane is the code editor, and the right pane contains the terminal-style output plus the REPL for languages that support such.

Rename the pad to make it easier to keep track of (this will be visible to you but not the candidate), then copy the link from the URL bar and email it to the candidate.

You can also send candidates a link to our free practice Sandbox ahead of time so they can familiarize themselves with the coding environment.

If you find yourself in an interview and the candidate has not joined, you can use the Invite button in the bottom left corner to have CoderPad email them the link. There’s also a shortlink in the Invite menu for phone use, but beware - it only persists for an hour.

Some useful features

Both you and the candidate will be able to edit code in the left pane, and see the output/access the REPL for supported languages in the right pane.

The Interviewer Notes section is hidden from candidates and automatically saves any notes and snippets of code you add into that pane with the interview playback.

The Start Call button launches a Skype-style video call with your candidate, within the same browser window.

The Run button executes the code in the right pane in a fresh context each time.

The Reset button clears the terminal-esque pane on the right, but it won’t clear or otherwise affect the code written in the left pane.

Use the Language dropdown to choose a programming language.

Use the Questions dropdown to insert questions from the Question Library into the interview. You can also use questions in your interviews that your teammates have added to the library. When inserting questions, the editor will automatically switch to whatever language the question was written/saved in. There are two options for adding your questions. “Append to pad” will add a new question below the code already in the left pane, and “Replace pad” will wipe the left pane clean and insert the next question. That’s ok, though! All that code is permanently saved and you’ll see it again in playback mode after the interview.

Settings accesses your editor settings, including auto-close brackets, code autocomplete (only available in some languages), tab size, and key bindings. As the interviewer you can also toggle on/off for pad privacy and code execution.

From settings you can also enable Drawing Mode which allows either user to draw or diagram to describe a system or architecture. For more detailed instructions on using Drawing Mode check out our user guide.

Candidates can modify their own editor settings independently. Once your candidate has joined the interview, you can help them get more comfortable if you point out their ability to choose their preferences under the Settings button.

After the interview and reviewing pads

Once you’ve completed the interview, click the End Interview button.

This closes the session for further editing, makes it inaccessible to your candidate, and launches playback mode. You can hit the play button in the bottom left to auto-play the interview, or drag the slider to skip around.

You can access any pad or share it with other CoderPad users within your company by sharing its original URL (in our example, coderpad.io/DKHC4J77). For sharing to work, viewers must be signed in to your company’s CoderPad account.

You can also share, view and take action on all pads from the lifetime of your account from the Pads tab in your dashboard. Depending on the status of the pad you can start, end, edit, watch playback, or delete it.

This comes in handy if you forget to click the End Interview button at the end of an interview, or if you need to rename an unused pad for a different interview.

If you delete pads, keep in mind that deleting is permanent and that all deleted pads still count against your interview quota except for unused pads deleted within 28 days of their creation date.

Final notes

If you have any questions or concerns about how things work in CoderPad, feel free to email us at support@coderpad.io - we’re happy to help!