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Area 120’s Byteboard job interview tool measures real-world technical skills

Area 120 — Google’s workshop for experimental projects — has produced social networks, travel tools, and educational apps. Recently, the group has veered toward business services, with the latest being Byteboard, an interview tool that measures real-world technical skills.

According to Google, the technical interview process today is not reflective of real-world skills that job applicants possess. This is especially true for people who actually have experience coding but may not perform so well in interviews.

Unfortunately, many companies still interview engineers in a way that’s entirely disjointed from day-to-day engineering work—valuing access to the time and resources required to prepare over actual job-related knowledge and skills.

On the flip side, the process can be “inefficient” for companies if interviews ultimately reveal “very little insight, and frustrating for candidates, who aren’t able to express their full skill-set.”

Byteboard from Area 120 “redesigned the technical interview experience to be more effective, efficient and equitable for all.”

Our project-based interview assesses for engineering skills that are actually used on the job. The structured, identity-blind evaluation process enables hiring managers to reliably trust our recommendations, so they have to conduct fewer interviews before reaching a confident hiring decision.

Project-based in nature, job applicants demonstrate their skill through real-world problems and coding environments without “high-pressured theoretical tests.”

Our interview assesses for skills like problem solving, role-related computer science knowledge, code fluency, growth mindset and interpersonal interaction. Byteboard evaluators—software engineers with up to 15+ years of experience—are trained to objectively review each anonymized interview for the presence of 20+ essential software engineering skills, which are converted into a skills profile for each candidate using clear and well-defined rubrics.

This new process allows for “data-backed hiring decisions” that have resulted in “onsite-to-offer rates significantly increas[ing].” It’s also more time-efficient for companies as Byteboard is an end-to-end service that develops, administers, and evaluates interviews. It’s already in use by Quibi, Affinity, and Betterment.

Our clients have replaced up to 100 percent of their pre-onsite interviews with the Byteboard interview, allowing them to redirect time toward recruiting candidates directly at places like conferences and college campuses.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: