47 Questions I’ve Been Asked In Junior Software Developer Interviews

Interviewing can be difficult, especially if you are the new kid.

Getting that first job is the hardest and you’ll probably have a lot of competition. One of the best things you can do to stick out is prepare yourself! Get an idea of what you may be asked and have an answer prepared.

As a newbie, the majority of your questions will likely be cultural/behavioral. These questions are rarely of the “yes/no” variety, so you’ll have to have some stories ready to go. These are a little difficult to pull out of your back pocket when you’re in a stressful situation. Know what you’re going to tell your interviewer when they ask about a time you dealt with coworker conflicts, code breaking, group programming experiences, etc.

To help you get started, here are questions that I have been asked throughout my “first job search” journey!

Cultural Questions

1. Tell me about yourself/elevator pitch

2. Why do you want to work at (company you are interviewing for)?

3. Why should we consider you over another candidate that has similar educational background?

4. Why should we consider you over a candidate who has a CS degree?
Conversely, if you have a CS degree, you may be asked why you should be considered over a candidate who has bootcamp experience

5. Tell me about your experience at (bootcamp or university)

6. Tell me about a time you experienced a problem with (specific project on resume) and how you solved it/overcame it

7. Tell me about a challenge with (specific project on resume)

8. Tell me about your favorite part of working on (specific project)

9. Tell me about an issue you encountered with a teammate/classmate (personal or code related) and how you resolved it

10. In a group setting, do you pin yourself as more of a leader or a follower? Why?

11. If you take on a leader role, what is your philosophy on leading others?

12. If you take on a follower role, what is your philosophy on being a quality team contributor? Do you see yourself as a leader eventually? What makes you not take on leadership qualities now?

13. Which of our specific company values do you identify with the most and why?

14. What makes you want to change careers from (current/most recent career) to software development?

15. What skills from (your previous career/job) can you adapt to software development? How will they help you be a better developer?

16. You invested time and money into your most recent career as a (past career/job title)… how do you feel about this? Do you feel like it was a wasted investment?

17. What have you been doing between graduation and now to keep up with technology? What have you been practicing? Have you been working on any personal projects?

18. Tell me about your personal projects and why you chose to work on it. Which one is your favorite and why?

19. In the past 6 months, what have you done outside of work or school to learn more in the field? (book references, classes, etc)

20. You mentioned liking (specific book or podcast or news source), I like it too. Tell me about what you enjoy about this thing and how you would use that knowledge in your work. (great opportunity to connect and geek out with your interviewer OR get caught in a lie! Be careful.)

21. When you were doing that additional learning, what motivated your decisions about what to learn and why? What are three things you found valuable in that learning?

22. What is your view on continuing education and being a lifelong learner?

23. Let’s say you are on the job and come across a problem in your code/whatever. Tell me about your process to figure it out.

24. What does company culture mean to you?

25. Rate from least important to most important to you: company culture, salary, educational experiences, benefits, location

26. Professionally, what are you good at?

27. Professionally, what are you not so good at? Is there anything that you refuse to do?

28. How do you feel taking direction from a superior?

29. What drove you to choose a front-end or back-end focus?

30. What direction would you like to go in moving forward with your developer career?

Technical Questions

31. What kind of language is (language that is on your resume or in their stack)?

32. Why (database on your resume) and not (another database)? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?

33. Tell me about (cloud platform, like Heroku) and your experience with it

34. Tell me about (framework on your resume). Describe it to me like I am a new developer and I am interested in learning more about the technology.

35. Describe to me an MVC framework. What is each component responsible for?

36. How would you set up this data (set of data, probably two models/tables) in a relational database? What relationships would you establish?

37. Can you code “hello world” in (language) for me on the board?

38. What do you like most about (framework/language)? Why?

39. What do you dislike most about (framework/language)? Why?

40. Write a function that gives me the sum of this array of numbers (ex. numbers = [1, 2, 3])

41. Great. That worked. Now do it another way. How can we refactor this? How can we make it more efficient and optimize it? Are you repeating yourself in any ways here with this function?

42. Tell me about how you implemented OAuth in (project)

43. Tell me about the HTTP request methods

44. Describe to me a RESTful API

45. What is the importance of testing your code? Why do you value testing your code?

46. If you were to write acceptance tests for the functionality of a vending machine, how would you write them?

47. Tell me about JSON format

Interviewing gets easier the more you do it. Rejections happen, but you’ll be a better interviewer for your next opportunity. Good luck!

Software engineer & registered nurse based in Boulder, Colorado.

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