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Software Developer Interview Questions And Answers

Job interviews, as we all know them, are outdated and deeply in need of an overhaul. With interview intelligence platforms like Pillar, hiring managers can ensure that they are selecting the most qualified candidates. Preparing for unbiased and well-structured interviews takes time, both for the hiring managers and for the interviewees. 

Hiring software developers is more of a challenge these days because there is so much demand for these roles, so it's important to know the best software developer interview questions and answers to help you create a fair and accurate interview process. When interviewing, you’ll want to develop your interview process specifically to the skill level that you’re looking to hire for. In other words, develop entry level software engineer interview questions if you’re prepared to hire someone new to the field. If you’re more interested in hiring someone with years of experience, developing senior software engineer interview questions will help you weed out the competition and ensure that you’re hiring the most qualified individual for the position. 

Some specific categories you should consider when interviewing a software developer or software engineer are:

-Experience level
-Managerial skills
-Teamwork and leadership skills
-Technical abilities
-Knowledge of coding languages, development tools, and code testing procedures
-Problem-solving skills to help you assess their ability to think on their feet
-Behavioral questions to help you determine how the candidate interacts with others and handles situations involving conflict

Semi-structured or open-ended questions can also be a helpful way to determine what the candidate thinks and how they assess different situations. These kinds of questions allow you as the interviewer to give the candidate information to work with but to ultimately show you their own thought processes and ideas through on-the-spot reasoning. Some potential questions to ask may include:

-What is the most difficult technical challenge you’ve ever faced in your work and how did you overcome it?
-Our company has considered using technology X on project Y. What is your familiarity with this technology and what would be your technology of choice for the same project?
-How do you stay up-to-date with the technology trends in your field?
-What development tools do you use most often and why are those your tools of choice?
-What coding languages are you most comfortable working with and why?

It can also be beneficial to ask non-specific software developer interview questions and answers to gauge how the candidate might fit into the culture of your company. Some questions to ask might be:

-What do you think are the qualities that make a good manager?
-How do you handle disagreements within your team?
-What is your approach to mentoring team members?

For more senior and entry level software engineer interview questions, we invite you to explore our ebook, “How to hire great software engineers.”

Software Developer Technical Interview Questions

When it comes to software development, there are a lot of different questions that can be asked during an interview. If you are being interviewed for one of these positions, there are some key questions that you should always be prepared to answer. Below are three common software developer technical interview questions and answers that will help you stand out from the rest of the candidates:

1. What is your experience with coding languages?

This is one of the most important questions to answer during a software developer technical interview. Be sure to list all of the different coding languages you are familiar with and highlight any experience you have working with each language. Interview tip: It can be helpful to do research in advance as a candidate so that you’re aware of what coding languages are used by the company you’re interviewing for. You’ll want to provide relevant answers that will help you stand out in the interview. 

2. What projects have you worked on?

When it comes to software development, your past projects can speak volumes about your skills and experience. Be sure to highlight any relevant projects you have worked on, especially those that are similar to the position you are interviewing for. Your interviewers will be looking for you to provide relevant information and work experience details that make them feel confident in your preparedness to do the job they’re hiring for. Be prepared to give a detailed response that indicates how skilled you are, some of the troubleshooting you may have done on the project, and how you managed to complete a successful project in the end. 

3. What is your approach to problem-solving?

As a software developer, you will be tasked with solving complex problems on a daily basis. This question is designed to gauge your problem-solving abilities. Be sure to provide a detailed, step-by-step explanation of your approach to problem-solving. No matter what level of position you’re being hired for, from entry level to senior, your hiring committee will want to see evidence that you are a team player, a good problem solver, and fit in with the culture of the company you’re applying to work for. Doing some background research about the company can help you ensure that you’re providing the most relevant information from your own history. 

Remember, the people interviewing you are experts in the same areas as you, or at least familiar with the processes. You can speak with confidence and authority about your knowledge. Sharing your processes helps them to see that you know what you’re talking about, have experience problem solving and working through difficult situations, and have completed successful projects in your field. 

Junior Software Developer Interview Questions And Answers

As a junior software developer or entry level software developer, the questions that the interviewers ask you will vary slightly from those asked of more experienced people. The interviewers have seen your resume and likely your portfolio and still chose to interview you for the position, so can feel confident knowing that they obviously saw something they liked. Start with that understanding before you begin. Exploring some common junior developer interview questions and answers can help you be prepared for your upcoming interview. Here are some software developer technical questions that you should prepare answers for:

1. What is your experience with coding languages?

This is one of the most important software developer technical questions you’ll be asked. While you may not have a lot of relevant work experience, you will likely have a lot of education and internship experience you can still draw from to answer this and other questions. Be sure to list all of the different coding languages you are familiar with and highlight any experience you have working with each language. Interview tip: If you do not have experience in a certain area but the interviewers ask you about it, be honest with them about the level of experience you do have, but also be sure to demonstrate willingness to continue learning more in your field. 

2. What projects have you worked on?

As a junior software developer, you may not have worked professionally on a large number of projects, so be sure to leverage the experience you do have when answering these software developer technical questions. While having a range of past projects can be an excellent way to showcase your skills, so can having a lot of knowledge and confidence about what you do know, even if it’s limited. You’re entry level. Don’t feel bad about it or apologize for your lack of experience. You can shift the narrative simply by showing your eagerness to learn and grow as a software developer. 

3. What is your approach to problem-solving?

This question may scare you a little bit if you don’t have a lot of experience in the field, but it shouldn’t! Fortunately, problem-solving skills are also life skills, so as your prepare for your interview, try to come up with a few examples of interpersonal problem-solving, perhaps from a class or group project, as well as technical problem-solving, possibly from a major project you completed during school or an internship. Your interviewer will be looking for your thought process as you problem solve as this will show them the kind of thinker you are, and by extension, the kind of employee and coworker you will be if hired. 

Again, doing some background research about the company can help you ensure that you’re providing the most relevant information from your own history. 

Looking for our junior software developer interview questions and answers PDF? Sign up for the ebook here.

Senior Software Developer Interview Questions And Answers

When it comes to interviewing for a position as a senior software developer or engineer, preparation is key. Explore senior developer interview questions and answers as well as senior software engineer technical interview questions and answers so that you’re prepared to answer a well-rounded series of questions, in case they come up. 

Always do your research before you begin so that you have a better understanding of the company and their requirements, as well as how your skillset could fit with their needs. It’s always a good idea to come up with a few relevant examples of work experience, problem-solving, and completed projects before you go into the interview, specifically so you don’t have to think on your feet about every single question that is presented. 

If you are the interviewer, it’s important to consider the best ways to draw your interviewee into the conversation so that they will open up about their history, experience, and knowledge. Interview intelligence provides you with a more balanced approach to interviewing, ensuring that each candidate is asked the same questions so you can easily compare responses. You can ask certain senior software engineer behavioral interview questions to get a sense of how the candidate behaves in situations involving conflict, as well as technical questions about how they perform daily tasks. 

Looking for our senior software developer interview questions and answers PDF? Check out our article about specific questions that you can ask as the interviewer and answer as the interviewee.

Unconscious Bias In Recruitment Training

It’s important to address this issue if you want your company to operate differently. Employers wondering how to reduce bias in the hiring process can use various resources to ensure that this is dealt with, from engaging interview intelligence software like Pillar to keep hiring teams accountable during interviews. Additionally, employers should provide unconscious bias in recruitment training to their employees. This type of training can help employees become aware of their own biases and learn how to avoid them when making hiring decisions. Unconscious bias training should be part of an ongoing effort to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Additional measures, such as blind resume reviews and cultural competence training, can also help reduce bias in hiring. Awareness of bias is the first step toward addressing the issue and eliminating it. 

We’d love to teach you more about interview intelligence and how it can help you conduct unbiased interviews. Schedule a demo today!