Customize phone interview experience

As part of a series of changes to improve the phone interview experience, our latest update allows you to choose the font size of the code written by you or the candidate during a CodePair interview. This option is available from the settings menu just like the other customization options of selecting the editor mode, turning on/off intellisense. 

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Upgraded CodePair availability

Earlier today, we rolled out an upgraded failover feature for CodePair. This allows a CodePair interview to continue on a secondary server if for some reason the primary server goes down. Even though our data center already guarantees 99.95% uptime, we believe it’s important to get that value as close to 100% as we possibly can, which is why we’re upgrading our failover system.

The way this feature will work is simple: if the primary server experiences downtime during a CodePair interview, both the interviewer and candidate see this pop up:

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When the user presses “Continue”, their CodePair interview session restarts on a secondary server with all of the session’s previous details and code completely intact. The interview will continue with minimal interruption and no data loss.

If you have any questions about this failover functionality, please write to us at support@hackerrank.com.

Authenticated test links in invitation emails

The test invitation email has been improved to provide a better experience to the candidates. The email will contain a “Start Test” button (see image below) instead of candidate email and password. Clicking on this button will take the candidate to a test login page which will be authenticated for that specific candidate and they will not be required to enter their email and password. Candidate will have to enter other fields, like “Univ/College Name”, “Full Name” etc (as applicable to the test) before starting.

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Test invitation email
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Test login page

Note

  1. This change doesn’t apply to cases when a candidate uses a short test URL or public test URL (one where password is not needed) e.g. http://hr.gs/arpit. These links will behave exactly as they do today.
  2. This change doesn’t apply to cases when the core email template is modified. By core email template, we’re referring to the part of the email which is non-editable from the invite candidate interface. It can only be modified by HackerRank support team as of today. The invitation emails sent for these cases will continue to include a password.
  3. This change doesn’t impact CodePair.

Improved interview state management (CodePair)

We’ve rolled out a change to improve the state management of CodePair interviews. Before this change, if an interviewer did not click the “End” button at the end of an interview (see image below), that interview continued to be listed in the “In Progress” field of “Reports” and was accessible by the candidate, indefinitely.

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Ending CodePair interviews

 

The change ensures that all “In Progress” interviews are ended, and moved to the “Completed” state automatically after 60 minutes of inactivity. An interview is considered inactive when all the participants (i.e. the interviewer(s) and the candidate) leave the CodePair session.

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We’ve also cleaned up all the old interviews in “In Progress” state as a part of this change. Please note that an interview may be re-opened (and moved back to “In Progress”) at any time by the interviewer by logging back into the session (at which point the candidate may re-enter, as well). It cannot, however, be re-opened by the candidate.

 

Improved video chat in CodePair

CodePair helps you get the best out of technical phone interviews. Besides the ability to see the candidates code real-time, one of the things that makes phone interviews more effective is to see candidates while talking to them. We’re excited to share 2 significant improvements to the video chat experience on CodePair:

Video call notifications: When someone initiates a video chat, it will notify the other interview participant(s) to join. This prevents any confusion and overhead communication between the candidate and interviewer around having to start the video chat at the same time.

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Chat in full-screen: There’s an option to have an enlarged video chat so you can have a proper conversation looking at the candidate. The minimal video mode can continue to be useful when the interviewer wants to focus on reading the candidate’s code.

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We hope these changes will help you conduct more effective phone interviews. Feel free to share any comments/suggestions.

CodePair Editor Improvements

The code editor in CodePair has been improved to help the interviewees feel at home. We strongly believe that CodePair must let the candidates remain focused on the interview questions and they shouldn’t have to spend time adjusting to the platform. Two of our recent changes will help candidates significantly:

Auto-complete: Intellisense, or suggestions for code auto-completion, is one of the most important feature offered by IDEs. This feature is now enabled in CodePair for C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby and PHP. If needed, it can be turned off from the settings menu.Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 7.13.46 pm

Vim/Emacs editor mode: Many programmers are used to their own editor. With CodePair, one can now select Vim or Emacs as the editor mode and use the relevant shortcut keys.

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We continuously strive to give the best possible experience to candidates so they are fully equipped to showcase their technical strengths in an interview. If you’ve feedback or suggestions wrt this, please comment in the section below.

Introducing Company Insights: Make hiring data-driven

We’re very excited to announce the beta release of Company Insights, one of HackerRank for Work’s most anticipated new features. With Insights, we’ll show you all the key data on your HackerRank for Work usage so that you can make your recruitment process truly data-driven. Here are just a few of the ways that Insights will quench your thirst for recruiting data:

  • Account summary: An aggregate measure of how much you’ve used HackerRank for your technical hiring, as well as the ability to drill down further by segmenting your data over time or by different teams within your organization.

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  • ROI Calculators: Built-in ROI calculators will give you the power to to see exactly how much you’ve saved on tech hiring since your investment in HackerRank.

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  • Industry benchmarks: Get an inside view of how your recruitment team is performing against other companies based on their size, industry, and location.

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  • Recruiter Performance: Detailed stats for every recruiter on your team gives you direct insight into who is sourcing from the best channels and how their hiring funnels compare against each other. You also get to measure the effectiveness of the screening questions and the interviewers.

We’re rolling this out today as a limited beta so if you’re interested in enabling Insights for your account, please reach out to us at support@hackerrank.com. Feel free to share your comments/feedback in the section below.

Introducing DbRank: Assessing SQL made easy

We’re very excited to announce the launch of DbRank, our latest automated platform for assessing SQL skills. It simplifies your hiring for a variety of database-related roles like Data Analysts, Business Analysts, Data Scientists, Application Developers and many more. The platform supports four of the most commonly used databases: Oracle, MS SQL server, DB2 and MySQL.

 

How DbRank works?

DbRank is a new question type in HackerRank for Work, such that when you create a new question you’ll select “DbRank” as your question type.

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Step 1:

Write the problem description (just like you would for any other new question)

Step 2

Select a set of databases that the candidates will be allowed to leverage to write their queries. Next, create a set of tables which will be available to the candidates in their test database. This involves writing the SQL queries for table definitions and inserting data in these tables as needed. There’s also an option to generate the SQL automatically by uploading a CSV file.

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Step 3

Define the expected output which will be used to automatically grade the question by matching it against the output from candidates’ queries.

 

How will candidates solve DbRank questions?

Candidates will solve DbRank questions in the same way that they solve any other Coding question. They’ll choose the database they want to use from the available options and then write their SQL queries in our online editor (which also supports syntax highlighting). The queries are written on the tables which were created as a part of the question. They’ll run their queries to see if their output matches the expected output.

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DbRank now makes it very easy for you to assess database skills in an automated way without waiting for an in-person interview. We would love for you to try this new offering by HackerRank and share your comments and feedback with us.

Introducing Insights for Tests/Questions

Today, we’re beginning to roll out Insights for Tests/Questions on HackerRank for Work to help you understand how your tests and questions are performing.

 

Thousands of companies who’re looking for technical talent use HackerRank Tests to screen candidates effectively and make their recruitment process more streamlined and cost effective. Now for the first time you can gain insight into how your Tests and Questions are performing and how you can improve them over time.


Test Insights

Go to any HackerRank test and you’ll find a link to Test Insights in the left pane. Note that there’s also a link to Question Insights for each question added to the test.

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Test page

The first thing you’ll notice is aggregate test statistics on the top right of the page. These include % invited candidates who end up attempting the test, median attempt time, median attempt time to full score and median score. Next, you’ll see a distribution of candidate scores. This gives a very good picture about the difficulty of the test.

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Test Insights

Next, you go one step deeper and look at question-level statistics. This helps you understand

  • How candidates are dividing their time across questions and whether the time limit for the test is sufficient or not
  • Whether the score of the some questions is out of proportion to the time candidates take to solve them and you should adjust question scores

Last, you get to see the conversion funnel of candidates i.e. % of candidates who qualify the screening round.


Question Analytics

To check out the Insights for questions, you can open the question list of a test (as mentioned earlier) or go to Library.

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Library

The aggregate statistics, similar to the Test Insights, give a good idea about the difficulty of the question and the score distribution further gives a breakdown by candidates scores.

For coding questions, you see a very interesting breakdown by programming language. This helps you understand

  • What languages are most commonly used by candidates to answer the question?
  • Is the question relatively easier to solve in some languages than others? Some languages might give candidates an unfair advantage to solve a question much easily, which you might not want to allow going forward
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Question Insights

Next, you see the usage of question over time. This tells you how long the question has been out there and whether it’s time to stop using it as it might already be popularly known to candidates.

 

We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to empowering you to make your recruitment process more data-driven. Providing more insights around your HackerRank account usage, quantified returns of using HackerRank, industry-wide stats (including comparison to peers) and many more related things are among our top priorities today. We would love to hear your feedback on the Test/Question Insights and more about what insights will help your organisation.

Faster and better Library

One of the building blocks of HackerRank for Work is the Question Library: a collection of all the questions accessible to a user. These questions are used in Tests and CodePair (our tool for technical phone interviews). We’ve just released a number of improvements to the Question Library interface to help make it easier for users to browse available questions, add them to Tests, and keep their personal Library more organized.

The first thing you will now notice is that the Library page is much faster to load. We’ve made some key optimizations and brought the page load time down by 75%. One of the reasons for this remarkable speedup is our use of pagination: you will now be able to view 10 questions at a time.

There are two other important feature enhancements in this release:

  1. Add to Test: Now, you have an easy option to add questions from Library directly to any of your Tests. Previously, this was only possible from a Test’s question listing page.

    Questions Library

  2. Archive Questions: Over time, a user’s personal Library can become cluttered. Some questions may not even be relevant anymore, or some may have just been used enough already. Users now have the ability to archive those questions. Archived questions will not be available to be added to future Tests or CodePair interviews. They are, however, still available through a separate link in the left-hand navigation bar, and can be restored to the active library at any time if needed.