Here Are the Top 10 Interview Questions You Should Ask Any Prospective Software Engineer (2023)

As you are currently in the process of hiring a software developer, there is a need to be sure that the applicant you choose is both competent and driven to contribute to the success of your organization. It can be difficult to discern whether a candidate is the right fit for the role, so it is essential to be aware of the questions to ask during the recruitment process in order to ensure that you are hiring a qualified software engineer for your project.

Having worked in IT recruitment for over eight years, I have had the pleasure of aiding numerous companies in sourcing the best software engineering talent from around the globe. As specialists in remote IT recruitment, I have compiled a list of the top ten technical interview questions for software engineers, applicable to both onsite and remote applicants.

It is possible to distinguish between decent, outstanding, excellent and exceptional software engineers by posing them a series of top 10 interview questions. This will enable you to accurately assess their individual abilities and identify the most suitable candidate for the role. likely applicants for the position of software engineer.

Tell me about the largest software engineering project you’ve ever been a part of and your role in it.

This question has the potential to reveal the software engineer’s aptitude for dealing with difficult problems and the extent of their knowledge and experience. As a consequence, you will be able to gain a deeper insight into the individual, rather than simply relying on the information contained in their CV.

What techniques do you employ for monitoring multiple related components throughout a long-term project? Can you provide an example?

It is important to consider the potential answers to this question in order to assess the applicant’s ability to manage multiple tasks and adhere to tight deadlines. The correct answer will depend on the type of project that the software developer is managing. For example, if they are using the Agile methodology, they may suggest strategies such as conducting daily stand-ups and breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks.

What kinds of approaches have you worked with before?

It is essential for any organization to establish a procedure for managing projects. Agile Methodology is often adopted by pioneering companies because it is highly effective in managing every aspect of a project, from tasks to deadlines, design stages and debugging. Therefore, when recruiting for software engineering roles, it is paramount to ensure that candidates have a good understanding of Agile and Scrum principles. This should be taken into account before even considering the possibility of an interview.

Whenever was the last time you used X language/tool?

If you have decided to employ a DevOps engineer to improve the software within your business, it is worth considering the most popular languages used by these engineers. Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, C/C++, Go and Java have been around for some time, but they still receive regular updates and bug fixes. For example, version 3.8 of the Python programming language was released in October 2023. Therefore, when assessing potential candidates, it is important to consider not only their experience and qualifications, but also how recently they have gained relevant experience and how they seek to continually develop their proficiency in their chosen language and tools.

Do you have experience working in a dynamic setting?

It is important to inquire about the candidate’s experience working in dynamic settings to ensure they are prepared for the potential challenges that such a working environment may present. It is beneficial to determine whether the individual is able to adjust and whether they enjoy the experience. Many software developers have a background working for larger corporations, and are thus familiar with the stability of the corporate setting. When recruiting a tech lead or for a small, medium or startup business, it is essential to ask questions related to the division of labor in the team. This is a crucial factor in any successful business.

You are asked this question in response to question: “What do you do when you get stuck on a task?”

Are they, in other words, capable of troubleshooting and problem-solving? To find a suitable candidate, look for someone who can reply swiftly to this query, and whose answer references team members, a specific tool, a developer network, or a resource book as sources of data. If they provide a suitable response like this, it shows they are well-prepared to manage any situation. As we are all human and make mistakes, it is impossible to recruit a perfect programmer. Nonetheless, a potential employee who is aware of their limitations and proactively searches for advice when difficulties arise is someone who is sure to be an asset.

When asked, “Can you describe how being a software engineer works?”

The ability to effectively communicate is paramount for any remote worker. To assess the communication skills and understanding of complex technical concepts of a software engineer, it may be beneficial to ask them to guide you through a series of technical steps. This information can then be used to support decision making, such as which approach would be best to improve the speed of a website. In the event that the individual does not have sufficient technical expertise, hearing their explanation of the issue in language that is easy to understand may allow for a more informed decision.

Do you have any experience of working in a remote team? If so, could you please tell me about the aspect(s) that you most appreciated? And, if there was something that you particularly disliked, what was it?

There are clearly certain individuals who are not well-suited to a remote working environment, in spite of the many benefits that technology can bring. For example, it would not be wise to employ a software engineer who is not comfortable with working independently, or who is not enthusiastic about engaging in video conferences. To save both time and money, it is essential to hire those who are comfortable and enthusiastic about this type of working arrangement. It is also important to assess how receptive a potential employee is to frequent contact, such as check-ins, feedback, the use of tools, instant messaging, and screen sharing.

What is your opinion on code reviews?

Code reviews are an essential part of the software development process. By asking questions during the review process, it is possible to gain insight into the developer’s attitude towards constructive criticism and their willingness to collaborate with the team. Furthermore, this is the ideal opportunity to find out more about the applicant’s experience and skillset, as well as their approach to development, such as whether they use test-driven development or similar approaches.

What do you do to strike a balance between work and personal life?

It may be that this question is designed to gauge the applicant’s understanding of their own priorities. Rather than delving into the details of how they manage their work and personal commitments, it is important to determine what motivates them and how they behave. An individual who understands the importance of balancing their work and personal life will be able to complete tasks within the allocated timeframe and work hard, but will also make time for activities outside of work such as hobbies and spending time with family and friends.

Is There Too Much Work Involved In Interviewing Potential Software Engineers?

When executed incorrectly, the recruitment process can become tedious and protracted. The key to a successful hiring process is the questions asked during the interview. It is without doubt that a software engineer should possess the following qualities:

  • The right cultural match
  • Great at finding solutions
  • Putting their words into practise (technically speaking)
  • Superior ability to communicate and convey in a commercial setting

With any luck, this At Works, we believe that a comprehensive set of interview questions can be a great aid when it comes to selecting the right software engineers for your company. It is also important to consider questions that are specific to your company’s culture, technology stack, and programming language of choice, in order to ensure you are finding the right fit. We are unrivalled when it comes to remote tech hiring and our aim is to help any company to find the most qualified tech talent available, who is also a great match for the company’s culture and their particular needs. With our help, you will be able to start working with a top-tier programmer in just two weeks.

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