The Ultimate Guide to Online Whiteboard Interviews: How to Use Them for an Effective Interview
Updated: Dec 25, 2022
In today's world, just about everything can be done online. This includes job interviews. Online whiteboard interviews are a great way to screen candidates for a position without having to meet them in person. In this guide, we will discuss how to use online whiteboards for an interview, and the techniques and tools that are available to help you do so effectively. Let's get started!
Before you start
The first thing to understand about online whiteboard interviews is that they are very different from in-person interviews. In an in-person interview, you have the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the candidate. With an online whiteboard interview, you don't have that luxury. You need to be prepared to ask specific questions and evaluate the candidate's answers.
It's important to remember that you won't be able to understand the candidate's body language clearly in an online whiteboard interview even if their video camera is turned on. This means that you need to pay close attention to their words and how they interact with the board.
So the question is how do you conduct the interview, synchronously or asynchronously?
In a synchronous online whiteboard interview, both you and the candidate are in front of a computer screen and can see each other's board. This type of interview is more like an in-person interview and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the candidate in real-time.
Synchronous interviews are best for positions that require a lot of interaction and collaboration. They are also good for positions where the candidate needs to be able to work with you in person.
In an asynchronous online whiteboard interview, you and the candidate are not in front of a computer screen at the same time. Asynchronous interviews are best for positions that don't require a lot of interaction or where the candidate is not available to meet in person.
This type of interview is more like an assignment or task type of test interview which may require a longer time to perform. Or you will need to send questions to the candidate, and they will have a set amount of time to respond.
Now that you know how to conduct an online whiteboard interview, let's discuss the different techniques and tools that are available to you.
Techniques and tools to use on the online whiteboard interview
There are a number of different tools that you can use on an online whiteboard to have a visual conversation. Pen, shapes, lines, sticky notes, and colors for visual communication are the most frequent tools. Here's how you can make the most of them:
Drawing diagrams or charts: Use the pen or shapes to draw diagrams or charts. This will help you explain things more clearly.
Typing out the text: Instead of writing it by hand type out the text. This will save time and make it easier for the candidate to read.
Images or screenshots: Use images or screenshots from websites or software to explain things. This will help the candidate understand your points more clearly.
Highlight or underlining text: Highlight or underline text to emphasize important points.
Sticky notes: Add sticky notes or comments to ask questions or provide feedback.
Uploading files: Upload a PDF or files to visually explain something in more detail.
Now that you know about the different techniques and tools that are available to you, it's time to start preparing for your online whiteboard interview!
Skills to look for when it comes to an online whiteboard interview
The ability to highlight or mark up text can also be helpful when evaluating analytical skills. If the candidate is able to quickly find and analyze information on the board, this is a good indication of their skills.
The online whiteboard you are using for interviews can be helpful when evaluating candidates. For example, the ability to take notes or draw on the board can help you better understand the candidate's skills.
These are the skillsets that we can judge with the help of Online Whiteboard Interviewing:
If the candidate is able to quickly find and analyze information on the board, this is a good indication of their skills. Are they able to think on their feet and come up with a solution?
In an online whiteboard interview, you can evaluate the candidate's problem-solving skills by giving them a scenario and asking them to solve it. This is a good way to see how they think and how well they can communicate their ideas. For example: design a process flowchart for a new product, evaluate the pros and cons of two different software options, or create a timeline for a project.
The way a person communicates can be very telling. If the candidate is able to communicate their ideas effectively, this is a good indication of their skills.
In an online whiteboard interview, you can evaluate the candidate's communication skills by having them walk you through a process or explain their solution to a problem. Look for if they can communicate effectively and clearly, this is a positive indication. Are they able to think on their feet and explain their ideas? Can they keep calm under pressure? Do they take direction well?
Can the candidate work well with others? Online whiteboard interviews are a great way to test collaborative skills.
If the candidate is able to work well with others, this is a good indication of their skills. By using an online whiteboard you can see how well the candidate collaborates. For example, design challenges or questions that ask the candidate to come up with a solution within a given amount of time. As an interviewer, try to adopt the mentality of a team member rather than an outsider. This will give you a better idea of how the applicant interacts with others.
Can the candidate think outside the box? Online whiteboard interviews are a great way to test creativity.
Creativity is an important skill for any job. If the candidate is able to think outside the box, this is a good indication of their skills. For example, design challenges or questions that ask the candidate to come up with a solution within a given amount of time. As an interviewer, try to think of some challenging questions that will test the candidate's creative skills.
Are they able to demonstrate an understanding of the necessary technical abilities? Online whiteboarding interviews are a fantastic method to assess technological competence.
As an interviewer, you should be aware of the necessary technical abilities for the position that you are hiring for. Then, you can test the candidate's skills by asking them to do things such as a walk of how they would program a specific task or explain a complex process. You can also ask them to solve coding challenges or design problems.
Questions to ask in Online Whiteboard Interview
There are several techniques that you can use during an online whiteboard interview. The following are a few of the most common ones:
Walkthrough their resume:
One of the best ways to use an online whiteboard for an interview is to have the candidate walk you through their resume. This gives you a good idea of their skills and experience. You can also ask questions about specific projects that they have worked on.
Ask the candidate to design a solution to a problem:
Another great way to use an online whiteboard interview is to ask the candidate to solve a problem. This will give you a good idea of their problem-solving skills.
Have the candidate explain a process:
If you want to test the candidate's knowledge of a process, have them walk you through it on the online whiteboard. You can also ask them questions about it.
Evaluating the candidate's answers:
Now that you have seen the candidate's skills in action, it's time to evaluate their answers. Here are a few things to look for:
How well do they communicate?
Are they able to think on their feet?
Do they seem to understand the problem?
How well do they solve problems?
Are they able to work with others?
Sample Online Whiteboard Interview Questions
Now that you know how to use online whiteboards for interviews, it's time to ask some questions! Here are a few questions that you can use in your next interview:
How do you think we can improve our customer service process?
Can you walk me through how you would design a website for a new business?
If you were given a project to work on and had no instructions, what would be your first step?
Can you explain a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer or client?
Tell me about a time when you had to work on a project that was outside of your comfort zone.
If our company were to switch to new software, how would you go about training the employees?
How do you think we can improve our sales process?
What are your thoughts on our company's marketing strategy?
If you were in charge of making a presentation to the board of directors, what would be your main points?
What are some of your favorite tools and websites for designing?
How would you go about solving this coding challenge?
Can you explain the process you went through to come up with this solution?
If our company were to switch to new software, how would you go about training the employees?
These are just a few questions that you can ask in an online whiteboard interview. By using these questions, you can get a better understanding of the candidate's skills and abilities.
The possibilities are endless! As an interviewer, it's important to be creative and think of questions that will test the candidate's skills.
The bottom line is that online whiteboard interviews are a great way to evaluate candidates. By using the techniques and tools listed above, you can conduct an effective interview that will help you find the best candidate for the job.
Now that you know how to use online whiteboards for interviews, it's time to start preparing for your next one. Good luck!