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25 Most Common Web Developer Interview Questions And Answers [2020]

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25 Most Common Web Developer Interview Questions And Answers [2020]

Prep for your next interview with this hand-selected list of top questions you can expect in your next web dev interview.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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You’ve set the alarm for 2:45pm.

The web developer interview is scheduled for 3:00pm.

You are patiently and nervously waiting, tension digging deeper in your chest, hands trembling without any tangible reason, for your mobile phone to ring. You’re wondering what web development interview questions the interviewer is going to fire off at you. Your mind is playing on your nerves. Tension rising notch by notch. “Am I really ready for that coding interview?” — you start beating yourself up.

You check your phone — it’s 3:05 pm. No missed calls. Nothing.

You anxiously recheck your phone — 3:15 pm… still nothing.

You are already 30 minutes under pressure, sweating and silently moaning — your heart races. The latent impostor syndrome arises from the depths. You start freaking out… wondering whether or not you’ve given the wrong phone number… or if they might have forgotten about you.

Your mind is leading a furious battle to overcome your anxious trains of thought. You, filled with a desperate hope, grab your phone with your sweaty pawl and look at it for one last time… and then… it rings.

You pick up and say, “Hello,” trying to hide the trembling notes in your voice, the anxious quiver of your lips and fingers, while battling the excruciating jittery inside your mind. You introduce each other and then… kinds of interview questions for web developers thrown at you, catching you off guard, that you can barely give an adequate answer to.

You realize that you are completely f*cked. The overwhelming anxiety is growing deeper and deeper in you. You feel like you have a 200-kg bench press on your chest that you can’t lift. Vertigo comes along, and you suddenly forget. You forget your location, the person you are talking to… everything. Hands so sweaty that you just can’t hold your phone without it slipping through your fingers.

You know that the chances of making a good impression are so damn low that you’d have more luck if you were to bet on racing cockroaches.

To avoid that, you need strong preparation for the next coding interview. You need to have a grasp of the interview questions for web developers you are being asked. That will boost your confidence and diminish the anxiety before the phone or onsite interview.

In this article, I’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 as a kid that you need to be flawless during interviews and answer every question accurately to make a good impression and get hired.

This couldn’t be further from the truth (coming from someone who got hired by sending out a cold message directly to their employer — no official nor traditional interview process).

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.

Do you have any experience with Agile methodologies?

You need to get familiar with Agile frameworks such as Kanban and Scrum because nowadays companies are adopting Agile practices and moving away from Waterfall methodologies. Interviewers may also ask you questions about the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) process.

What specific languages 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 like C++, Java, and Python 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.

Technical Interview Questions

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?

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 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.

Can you describe the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture?

It separates data from the user interface. The MVC architecture is mostly used for GUI applications. The model layer contains the data, the view layer sends the data to the user, and the controller is the one that makes changes to the model based on user input.

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.

Please explain big-O notation in the simplest terms.

The big-O notation tells how fast an algorithm is. This is very important whether you are evaluating other people’s algorithms or your own.

Big-O notation, also known as Landau’s symbol, tells how the runtime or space requirement of a function grows as the input grows. Which means that the algorithm speed isn’t measured in seconds but in the growth of the number of operations.

How does the A* algorithm work?

It’s a computer algorithm widely used in pathfinding and graph traversal. It works with a heuristic function that estimates the cost of going from node A to B. The nodes in each step are huddled together in a priority queue.

It uses the formula f(n) = g(n) + h(n) to add every, adjacent to the start node, node into the queue along with their cost estimates. g(n) is the actual cost from the start node to node n, whereas h(n) is the heuristic function. At each step, the node with the lowest estimated cost f(n) is further expanded. And a path is finished when the final node is the one that expands.

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.

Write a function to compute the Nth Fibonacci number.

The following code block is borrowed from Geeksforgeeks. It gives a good example.

In C++:

C
 






Reverse a string reverse string(str: String)

An interviewer asking you to reverse a string doesn’t mean they would ask you to actually implement reversed() in your production code. They merely want to see the approach you use to solving problems.

Most big tech problems will undoubtedly ask you algorithm questions, especially the FAANG companies.

The following code block is borrowed from Geeksforgeeks. It gives the perfect example.

Java
 







At the end of the day, companies are looking for smart people, more than anything. Algorithm questions are a great proxy that can weed out a lot of “dumb” candidates.

A coding assignment:

Credits to Leo Polovets for this one.

This is actually a great interview question for software engineers that Microsoft used to ask interviewees.

You have a list of N+1 integers between 1 and N. You know there’s at least one duplicate, but there might be more. For example, if N=3, your list might be 3, 1, 1, 3 or it might be 1, 3, 2, 2. Print out a number that appears in the list more than once. (That is, in the first example, you can print ‘1’ or ‘3’ — you don’t have to print both.)

The most obvious approach is to compare every number in the list to every other number until you find a duplicate with O(n²) time and O(1) space complexities.

Okay, well let’s say the list is pretty big, so you need something that’s faster than O(n²).

I could just use a boolean array and use the integer values as indices with O(n) time complexity to iterate through the list and O(n) space complexity for the array/hash.

Okay, let’s say the list of numbers is quite large, so you’d like to avoid creating a copy of it. Maybe you have 8GB of RAM, and the list takes up 6GB.

I could sort the numbers and compare adjacent pairs. That would take O(n*log n) time and O(1) space if I use an in-place sort like mergesort.

What if you want something faster than O(n²) and you can’t afford to use a lot of extra space, but you also can’t manipulate the original list. For example, maybe the list is on a read-only CD.

(Almost every candidate needs a hint or two at this point..)

I think I can binary search for a duplicated number. For example, I go through the list and count the number of integers between 1 and N/2. If the count is greater than the number of possible integers in that range, then I know there’s a duplicate in that range. Otherwise, a duplicate must exist in the range of N/2+1 to N. Once I know which half of the range the duplicate is in, I can recurse and binary search in that half, then keep repeating the process until I’ve found a duplicated number. The time complexity is O(n*log n) and the space complexity is O(1).

So that pretty much makes it for this post — 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.

Topics:
algorithm, interview, interview answers, interview questions and answers, software developer, software developer interview, software development, web application, web developer

Published at DZone with permission of Momchil Koychev . See the original article here.

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