The most common web developer interview questions and answers

Whether you are a front-end, back-end, or full-stack software developer, these common computer science interview questions will help you in your preparation for the next coding interview

August 25, 2020

In this article, we’ll talk about the principles behind the developer interview process — the most common web developer questions you can expect from interviewers and how to answer them in a fascinating way that will put a WOW expression on their faces (even if they want to rip your head off, rearrange your face, or just clean their shoes ;-) ).

A software developer interview is a negotiation

To start off, you need to realize that the web dev interviewing process is more like a negotiation. You’ve been probably taught that you need to be flawless during interviews and answer every question accurately to make a good impression and get hired.

Yes, of course, you need to make a good impression. But if you think that making a good impression comes down to awkwardly staring at your interviewer, frozen, while answering every developer interview question like a robot… you’re highly mistaken my friend.

You need to be able to communicate with your future employer freely while at the same time exuding confidence, knowledge, curiosity, and most importantly, enthusiasm.

Here are the main things employers look for when hiring people:

  1. Personality
  2. Basic qualifications
  3. Culture fit
  4. Enthusiasm

You need to have a fitting personality, meaning, you need to be able to easily communicate with your team without any hassle whatsoever. You need to ask clear and concise questions while at the same time, giving thorough and detailed answers.

Of course, you also need to possess basic qualifications for the job you are applying for. Yet, many people seem to put tons of attention to that one (which is perfectly fine), but it’s just ¼ of the whole equation.

Culture fit — this ties back into your personality. You have to be able to sync with your team and develop a culture that everyone enjoys working in.

And finally, have a burning passion and enthusiasm for your job. You’ll be surprised how helpful enthusiasm can be.

For example, you may not have as good a resume as the guy in the next room that’s also being interviewed… but if you display a burning enthusiasm and willingness to go out of your way, you can beat other candidates and win the job. Of course, that may not always be the case. Still, it’s much more likely for an employer to hire you as a hyper enthusiastic person than as an average employee.

Alright, let’s take a look at some of the most common web developer interview questions (and answers) you may encounter. We’ll first start with professional software engineer behavioral questions and then switch over to more technical questions.

Whether you are a front-end, back-end, or full-stack software developer, these common computer science interview questions will help you in your preparation for the next coding interview.

NOTE: Some of the behavioral questions can also be noticed in web design interviews. So if you are a web designer, this article will highly prepare you for the next web design interview.

What got you into coding? Or Why are you interested in a career as a software developer?

Most interviewers start off with introductory questions. Just follow the common sense when answering these software engineer interview questions. Try to be as transparent as possible. Tell them what really sparked your interest in coding and why you applied for this job.

What’s your experience with coding so far?

If you are applying for an entry-level web developer job, interviewers won’t expect years of experience (they may even skip that question) as you’ve probably just graduated or finished a coding boot camp. Yet, if you are applying for a senior software engineer position, you need to have years of experience to back up your application for that web development job.

What specific language are you working with

As simple as that. You might want to focus on the specific languages that your web development job will require you to use most frequently.

Lately, having experience with multiple languages will definitely widen your interviewer’s eyes in astonishment.

What’s your strongest language?

Credits to Andrew Mallonee, CEO at Mallonee Media.

Be transparent and give a thorough explanation.. Sometimes, the interviewer might follow up with, “Do you get excited by using these languages?” but rarely. Obviously, reply with Yes and explain why you feel excited.

Are you interested in further developing your skills?

It’s more of a soft skill interview question. Software engineering is a job in which you need to always thrive and sharpen your skills. Employers need to know that their developers are on the cutting edge using the latest technologies and constantly honing their skills. So, the answer to that software developer interview question would obviously be “Yes” — but expand further by telling them what interests you the most when it comes to learning new coding skills.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

Talk about projects similar to the projects you are going to be working on in the position you are applying for. If not, be genuine (always) and tell them what really sparks your passion for software development.

Tell me about the software engineering project you’re most proud of. What did you do that worked out particularly well?

Here, interviewers particularly want to hear about severe problems, not many people on your team were able to solve, yet you were. Something important to remember is not to try to impress the interviewer — the scales will fall from his eyes immediately. Instead of making a good impression, you’ll make a desperate one. Be casual when talking about the problem that no one was able to solve except you. You, thus, exude confidence and knowledge. Being humble in the answer of this web dev interview question is key.

Tell me about the software development project you’re least proud of. What would you do differently?

Another soft skill interview question. Life is about learning from your mistakes. Be as transparent as possible and openly admit the mistakes you’ve made in the past. Talk about the lessons you’ve learned. Basically, explain how you coped with your worst failures and came out stronger.

What do you know about our company?

Research a lot prior to the interview. Go through all of their social media profiles to find little nuggets of information that would impress your interviewer. Show passion and enthusiasm for the company. Enthusiasm plays a huge role in the interview process.

Any particular projects at our company that you are excited about?

Same as previous — conduct thorough research and analysis before the interview. Show passion and enthusiasm. Tell the interviewer why you would love to work on those particular projects. They can thus see the reason behind that enthusiasm and wind out the thoughts of all that being a mere fluff.

These web development interview questions can happen over the phone or onsite.

The following technical interview questions typically happen onsite, but sometimes they can take place remotely. If it’s remotely, the interviewer will ask you to share your screen to watch over your shoulder while you are coding and at the same time answering software development interview questions.

Keep in mind that the technical questions you are being asked highly depend on the position you are applying for. We’ll try to cover some of the most common software developer interview questions and give you reasonable answers that you can adjust to your situation easily.

How do you organize your class modules and assets?

Credits to Michael Miller, CEO at VPN Online.

There are lots of ways you can write your code, and all of them are correct. The company you want to join probably has a set standard for writing code and will perhaps compare your answer to that standard. Usually, most companies look for developers who take the simplest approach to code and try to weep out those who praise the sophisticated way of coding. That’s because companies want to easily maintain and document their code.

Tell me about AJAX (JavaScript) in detail. Can you give me an example of when you last used it?

Java developer interview questions are quite common. When interviewers ask you such software engineer “explanatory” questions, the point really is not to explain the definition but to tell how you are going to use it in your code. This signals the interviewer that you can actually “think.” And it also displays the way you approach coding.

AJAX is the abbreviation of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX is a new technique for creating better, faster, and more interactive web applications with the help of XML, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

How would you explain APIs to non-technical stakeholders?

It’s the messenger between software products. It allows software systems to communicate with each other and synchronize. For example, you can use, say, Facebook’s API to display your Facebook posts on your website. And allow people to share or comment on your posts directly from your website without switching over to Facebook.

Explain a non-functional requirement and a functional one?

A non-functional requirement describes a system’s type (accessibility, maintainability, security). Whereas a functional requirement describes the specific functionality of that system.

What is the difference between black box and white box testing?

Black box testing is only used for establishing a correct output given an input. In contrast, white box testing also covers the implementation of that particular function — it tests whether its implementation is correct or not.

What is a recursive function?

A function that calls itself directly or indirectly. The recursion continues until it reaches a set of parameters that return a value instead of calling the function recursively. A recursive function can solve specific problems quite quickly.

What’s your experience with object-oriented programming (OOP)?

You can refer to this thoroughly-explained guide about OOP on freeCodeCamp. It breaks down the concept in detail.

What about your SQL skills?

Even though databases may not be at the core of your work, you need to understand how data is structured. Any practical SQL experience that you can tell about will definitely add extra points to your web application interview.

So that pretty much makes it — the most common software developer interview questions and answers. Whether you are a junior web developer or a senior software engineer, hopefully, you were able to find these interview questions and answers useful. You can go through the post again to boost your confidence even more.

And remember — how you perform at your web development interview means nothing to your software engineering skills. If you screw it up the first few times — no big deal. Just move forward to the next software development interview. Eventually, you’ll land a position at your dream company, and all the developer interviews you went through will all be worth it.

Thanks to codegiant


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