Hiring a perfect developer is quite a tough job. If you fail to analyze the right skills and qualities of a developer then you are putting your company at high risk. Programming language is very complicated which includes lot of codes. And so interviewing with the right questions to developers is very necessary to find out the right developer for your organization. The interview process should be very straight forward and up to the point. We have listed a few important interview questions for software developers which you can prefer to ask.
1. Why did you want to be a software developer?
There might be a certain reasons why the interviewee wants to be a software developer, but the most common answer would be, “Because I love coding”. A real developer would be passionate about his work and have deep focus on his ongoing projects. If someone for being a developer just because they are paid high, then it’s better to ignore him.
2. Why should we hire you and not the other applicants?
This is one of the most common questions which are not only asked to software developers but to applicants in other job industries too. So you would better understand what kind of answer the developer should give in order to impress the interviewers.
3. Describe the software development process:
The software development process is like a life cycle of particular software. If the developer can answer and describe the process accurately, that means he be well acquainted with the cycle. The process is composed of the following activities: Requirement analysis > Specification > Software architecture > Implementation > Testing > Documentation > Training and support > Maintenance.
4. What projects are you working on personally?
There might be some projects on which the developer is personally working on from home. If he is a passionate software developer then he would definitely strive hard to make a project successful. Therefore, you should learn about his ongoing projects which he is personally or professionally working on.
5. What projects have you completed till now?
He might have a list of fulfilled projects on which he contributed his skills. Looking at those projects would give you a better knowledge about the practical skills of the developer. You will learn about his experience and the quality of his coding. If he is a bad coder then it will be revealed from those projects.
6. What is the biggest problem you have faced in your projects and how did you solve it?
Every developer has supposedly faced problems while working on a project. If he is a genuine coder then he will definitely state the problems he has faced. Also the developer will explain how he sorted it out and what the biggest challenges while working on the solutions were. Learning about the challenges will help you judge the developer better.
7. Why did this project fail?
If a project fails, there must be a certain reason for its failure. If the developer is genuine then he’ll accept the responsibility of the failed project, if it really didn’t work because of the errors he made. This also provides a better experience next time when he works on similar projects.
8. Which tools do you use to keep a track of requirements?
There are several ways to keep a track of requirements. Although this is a technical question, the developer won’t hesitate to answer it. It can be an excel sheet or any other software he could use.
9. Which design patterns have you used and in what situations?
A good developer would state about the design patterns which he has practically used. For example, if in a particular project he has used Singleton, MVC, Template pattern and Iterator, then he would tell only about these. And if a developer is just pretending to be an all rounder in software development, he would say that he used all design patterns, which is wrong.
10. Ask about his programming patterns:
Programming patterns include a number of variables like source control, testing, variable/file/class and application architecture decisions. If the developer straight away refuses of using any variable then it might be an awful answer. Instead he’d supposed to say like his current employer do not use source control, but he has used it with his previous employers or for his personal projects at home.
11. What is the difference between computer software and computer program?
A computer program is portion of programming code which executes a well defined task and software includes programming code, its documentation and user guide.
12. What are the 3 principles to simplify your life?
This might sound something spiritual and related to life, but this is related to what you’re thinking right now. A developer’s life gets complex with extreme coding and so the 3 principles- KISS, YAGNI and DRY helps him in overcoming it. KISS is ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’, YAGNI stands for ‘You Aren’t Gonna Need It’ and DRY indicates ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’. This question generally stands out for experienced and senior developers, but still you can let the interviewee learn about this to simplify his life.
13. Ask the full forms of abbreviations:
You can ask the full form of abbreviations related to the software development industry. Few known abbreviations include MVP, MVC, MVVM, SRS, SDLC, DFD, HIPO, ER, CASE, etc. A quick response is likely to impress the interviewer. You can also ask about their functions and how are they programmed.
14. What language do you prefer while writing complex algorithms?
Every developer would have a different viewpoint when it comes to the technical questions. Like the preferable language for complex algorithms, the choice might vary. For example, if a developer prefers extremely super high level languages those are dynamic, and then he won’t need to worry about the low level details.
15. Which are the important tools to test the quality of your codes?
The developer will state about the tools that he uses for quality assurance of his codes. A good developer will also explain how those tools help them in quality checking and unit testing of the codes.
16. How to create technical documentation of your product?
A good documentation of product leads to profit. If the developer is a good one then he’ll explain a product documentation strategy which is focused on profit rather than the cost. In terms of marketing, technical documentation can bring you prospects.
17. Analyze CV:
Not to forget, you should give a deep reading to the developer’s CV. Check out the list of skills and experiences he have listed, and question him on that basis. Emphasize on those particular skills and see if he is really proficient with those. A good developer would not showcase any other skills that he doesn’t have and focus on the one that is listed.
18. Ask tricky questions:
Tricky questions refer to problem solving questions which might not be related to the job. Such questions are fired to check the developer’s capability to find the correct solution within short time. Brain racking questions tests the developers thinking skills and how smartly he can solve a problem. Similar questions are, “How would you store 1 million contact numbers?” or “How would you find a good estimate of 2000 samples from this set of data and write a code for it?”
19. Take a short coding test:
If you are still not convinced with the answers then you can take a practical test to judge the developer’s skills. This is even a better option rather firing a bundle of questions. Taking a practical examination will determine the capability and quality of the developer. You can take possible tests like Fizzbuzz during the interview which is a small test. Or may be you can ask him to create a high level design for a small system.
20. Question simply for a reason; he’s been referred:
Referrals have great powers than your skills. When the developer is sent by a referral or company person, you’ll interview him just because you need to. The developer has made strong contacts within the network and now he is capable of getting inside the company with the aid of that particular person. And since a company person or the manager referred him, you don’t have the chance to throw him away.
Basically, employers prefer to ask technical questions to software developers. Since the numbers of developers are quite huge and it’s tough to figure out the perfect one and that’s why the technical tests are indeed necessary to take. Quality lies in coding too and all developers do not know that right quality. So if you are going to interview any developer, these questions would be very helpful to select the one you wanted.