- Published on
AI Should be Allowed in Interviews. Now it Can.
- Written by
- Codeium Team
We just made it possible to use AI autocomplete during a coding interview, without the interviewer ever knowing.
There aren’t too many fans of the standard Leetcode coding interview.
Relatively regularly, there’s a rant on the Internet about how these interviews test for a very narrow sliver of required skills, bias towards memorization rather than problem solving, and haven’t shown any correlation with actual efficacy on a job.
Recently, there’s been a new item in that list of complaints: AI powered code assistants a la ChatGPT and Github Copilot make the kinds of tasks in these coding questions irrelevant.
True, but that’s theoretical.
We’ve enabled Codeium, a free yet equally powerful Github Copilot alternative, on interview websites.
Now, anyone taking a coding interview on these platforms can install the Codeium Chrome extension in under 2 minutes, enabling them to see multiline code suggestions in real time, all while being invisible to the interviewer.
The following is unedited (interviewee on left, interviewer on the right). Reversing a linked list and with a unit test as a cherry on top? Less than three minutes:
Now, if you are an interviewer and your first reaction is “Oh these tools shouldn’t be allowed for coding interviews because they can solve all of my interview questions” then honestly, it probably means you need better interview questions. Codeium, ChatGPT, and Github Copilot are all powerful tools, but they do sometimes make mistakes without enough context or if the problem gets sufficiently complex. The underlying models are also trained on publicly available code. So if a generative model like Codeium can spit out the exact answer, then that probably means your coding interview isn’t complex enough or is so standard that the model has seen the answer hundreds of times in public codebases.
Here are some things your coding interview should test:
- Recognizing what approach to use when the problem is not framed in an obviously Leetcode-y way
- Modifying solutions given new constraints
- Comprehension of existing code
- Code organization and abstraction choices
- How well a developer can utilize their tools, including AI
Seriously, Leetcode helps no one in the long run, interviewee or company. Employees are free to use these tools on the job, so interviewers should be testing the skills that they will actually need to use (and even if your company doesn’t allow these tools for security reasons today, options like Codeium’s self-hosted enterprise offering will change that reality very soon).
We’ve enabled this for Codeshare, and depending on how well this is received, we will enable this on more interview sites. In the meantime, Codeium also works on a bunch of standalone IDEs such as VSCode, JetBrains, Vim/Neovim, and Emacs. The Chrome extension can also be used for web notebooks (Jupyter, Colab, Databricks, Deepnote, etc) and popular sandboxing websites (Codepen, JSFiddle, StackBlitz, etc). It’s all free - we want to revolutionize software engineering for all software developers, and we won’t mind the side effect of positively transforming the interview process.
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