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

In the process of recruiting a software developer, it is crucial to select an individual that is not only proficient but also passionate about contributing to your organization’s triumph. It can prove troublesome to ascertain if a candidate is suitable for the job, hence it’s imperative to be familiar with the execution of effective interview questions that will validate the competence of a software engineer and lead to the acquisition of the right employee.

With over eight years of experience in IT recruitment, Works has had the pleasure of assisting several businesses in finding the best software engineering talent from across the world. As experts in remote IT recruitment, we have put together a list of the top ten technical interview questions that are ideal for both onsite and remote software engineering applicants, ensuring the best possible candidate selection. Software engineers can benefit from these frequently asked questions during an interview process.

By asking a set of carefully constructed top 10 interview questions, it is possible to differentiate between respectable, remarkable, exceptional, and exceptional software engineers, enabling you to evaluate their individual abilities to find the best-suited candidate for the software engineer position. These questions will aid in identifying the most qualified applicants for the role.

Describe the most significant software engineering project you have been involved with, and what was your contribution to it?

Asking this question has the ability to demonstrate a software engineer’s problem-solving skills, their depth of knowledge and experience in the field. This insight into the candidate will allow for a better evaluation of their abilities rather than only relying on their CV. This question is crucial in identifying the right candidate for the role.

What strategies do you use to manage and monitor numerous related components through a project that spans a long duration? Can you give an example?

Evaluating the responses to this question is crucial in determining the candidate’s ability to multitask and work with tight timelines. The answer will depend upon the nature of the software developer’s project management. For instance, if they are utilizing the Agile methodology, they may recommend methods like daily stand-ups, breaking down projects into smaller chunks or sprints to deliver incremental progress.

What methodologies have you worked with previously?

Institute a project management process that suits your organization’s needs. The Agile methodology is the preferred way for leading businesses as it is efficient in handling all aspects of a project, ranging from task management, meeting deadlines, design stages, and debugging. Therefore, when hiring software engineers, it is critical to evaluate their proficiency in Agile and Scrum principles. This assessment should be done prior to scheduling an interview.

When was your most recent usage of X language/tool?

In case you decide to hire a DevOps engineer to enhance your business software, it is important to consider the most popular programming languages relevant to these engineers. Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, C/C++, Go and Java remain popular and receive regular updates and bug fixes, for instance, version 3.8 of the Python programming language was launched in October 2023. Hence, while assessing potential candidates, it is crucial to consider their experience, qualifications, and how recently they have acquired relevant experience in their chosen programming language and how they continually develop their proficiency in these tools.

Have you worked in a dynamic work environment before?

When evaluating a candidate, it is important to enquire about their experience working in dynamic settings to gain an understanding of their readiness to face the potential challenges that such an environment may present. It is essential to determine their ability to cope, adapt and their enjoyment with working in such an environment. Many software developers previously worked for larger corporations and were acquainted with the structured corporate setting. Hence, when recruiting for a tech lead or at a startup, it is crucial to assess their approach to handling complex tasks and distributing the workload. The success of any business depends on how well-equipped its team members are to perform their tasks effectively.

How would you respond when asked what you do if you encounter a problem with a task?

Does the candidate have the potential to resolve issues and troubleshoot problems? An ideal candidate for the job is someone who has the ability to provide a prompt and relevant reply to this question while referencing resources such as team members, a specific tool, a developer network, or a resource book. Such a response demonstrates their preparedness to manage any situation they may face. It is crucial to acknowledge that no candidate is perfect, but someone who possesses self-awareness about their limitations and actively seeks guidance when in need of assistance is likely to be a valuable addition to any team.

If you were asked to explain the duties of a software engineer, how would you describe it?

For remote workers, having exceptional communication skills is crucial. One way to evaluate a software engineer’s fluency in expressing complex technical concepts is to request them to guide you through a series of technical procedures. This insight can help in making informed decisions, such as which approach would be the most effective in improving website speed. Alternatively, if the candidate does not have the required technical expertise, hearing their explanation of the issue in simpler terms can still offer valuable insight and aid in decision making.

Have you ever worked in a remote team? If yes, what did you find the most enjoyable aspect(s)? On the other hand, if there was something that you disliked, could you please share that with me?

Despite the numerous advantages that technology offers, remote work is not suited for everyone. It would not be prudent to employ a software engineer who is not comfortable working independently or is unwilling to participate in video conferences. It is crucial to hire individuals who demonstrate comfort and enthusiasm towards this mode of working to save both time and costs. Besides, evaluating the candidate’s responsiveness to frequent contact, such as check-ins, feedback, utilizing tools, instant messaging, and screen sharing is also important.

What is your viewpoint on conducting code reviews?

Conducting code reviews is a crucial aspect of the software development process. This process allows for questions to be asked, providing insight into the developer’s ability to take constructive criticism and collaborate with the team productively. Additionally, this presents an ideal opportunity to evaluate the candidate’s experience and skill set, as well as their development approach, like whether they follow test-driven development or similar methodologies.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

This question may evaluate how well the candidate understands their personal priorities. Rather than delving into the specifics of how they manage their work-life commitments, it is crucial to assess their motivation and behavior. A candidate who comprehends the importance of maintaining a balance between work and personal life will be able to complete their work efficiently while still creating time for leisure activities like hobbies and spending quality time with loved ones.

Is the process of interviewing potential software engineers too burdensome?

When executed poorly, the recruitment process can be prolonged and tiresome. The interview questions hold the key to a streamlined and successful hiring process. It is unquestionable that the ideal software engineer should possess the following qualities:

  • A good cultural fit
  • Expert in finding solutions
  • Backing up their words with technical expertise
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in a business environment

Hopefully at Works, we firmly believe that a well-crafted set of interview questions can assist in selecting the ideal software engineer for your company. Moreover, it is essential to include questions that are relevant to your company’s culture, technology stack, and preferred programming language to ensure that you find the perfect fit. Our expertise in remote tech hiring is unparalleled, and our goal is to help companies recruit highly qualified tech talent that is also compatible with their culture and specific requirements. With our assistance, you can begin working with a top-notch programmer in as little as two weeks.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs