Skype recently introduced a feature designed to cement its place among business users who aren’t as interested in things like emoji reactions or “Stories.” It now supports conducting technical interviews via its service through a new Skype Interviews feature. From a dedicated website, interviewers can test candidates in seven programming languages over Skype using a real-time code editor. It allows to comfortably conduct coding and technical interviews.
Of course, there are already a number of solutions for conducting interviews with remote technical talent on the market, like HackerRank, Codility, Interview Zen, CoderPad, Remoteinterview.io, HireVue’s CodeVue (née CodeEval), and others.
But the benefit to using Skype is the platform’s ubiquity, which makes it a regular tool for doing remote video calls of any kind. Bundling in an interview testing feature within Skype could speed up the interview process, as subjects won’t have to switch to a different tool to complete the technical screening.
The new preview feature will allow the user to host a video call on top of a code editor that runs in the Microsoft Edge or Chrome browser (version 32 or above). This means that the users need not download any applications and can access Skype.com on their browsers.
Currently, the new interview feature only works for browsers whose default language is set to English. Whether this feature will be introduced on the redesigned desktop version of the application in the future is not yet known.
For those interested in trying out the new platform, can go over to Skype’s interviews website and click on “Start Interview,” then invite someone to the call and begin the interview – all with a real-time code editor. Interviewers can also test on multiple programming languages in the same session. There is a button in the upper-left that lets you switch between the various options.
The addition comes at a time when Skype rival Slack is gaining traction in the workplace. Last month, TechCrunch reported Slack is raising $250 million at a $5 billion valuation. Microsoft had once mulled an $8 billion bid for Slack, and Amazon has eyed the startup as well. But Microsoft ultimately decided to invest in making Skype more competitive in the business market. Adding a tool for HR departments and recruiters could play a role in furthering that agenda.
The feature is still in testing, as Microsoft is looking for feedback about the new addition. It did not say when the feature would exit preview mode. It would make a native app version available.