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Interview Guide: IT Developers

A list of interview questions to ask when hiring IT developers.

Published on

February 28, 2020


The role of an IT developer varies greatly based on organizational needs. It may involve building and maintaining systems, developing applications to perform specific tasks, or performing back end and/or front end software development. Pick and choose questions based on the specific IT development role or the requisite skills.

Interview Questions

Initial Questions

  1. How long have you been coding?
  2. Tell us about your career path and what led you to your most recent role.
  3. What did the average day look like in your most recent role?
  4. What did you study in school? Which IT-related courses were you most passionate about?
  5. Are you part of any user groups or meet-ups to develop your skills or share ideas?
  6. What projects are you working on at home? Who do you typically consult with for ideas?
  7. What is your development language of choice and what tools do you most like using?
  8. Which project are you most proud of, and why? Which project are you least proud of, and why? Explain if you met your deadlines and stayed within budget. What were some of the issues you encountered along the way? What lessons did you learn from each situation?
  9. How do you ensure you meet deadlines? How do you balance competing priorities?
  10. Tell me about a time when you were faced with a requirement / enhancement that was not feasible. How did you handle the situation?
  11. Can you show me examples of your work? Can you show me code samples?
  12. Have you been in any client-facing roles? If yes, in what capacity?
  13. Have you been in any leadership roles or done any training? Did you enjoy it? Please explain.

Technical Questions

  1. What technologies are you most familiar with?
  2. Do you have any certifications (JAVA, .NET, Sharepoint, other) or additional training or learning?
  3. Which certificates and/or additional training have you acquired in the past 3 years?
  4. What (if any) technologies are you intending to learn in the next year or so?
  5. What type of development is your strength (i.e. web, client server, mobile)?
  6. What database environments have you used? Do you have a preference?
  7. Tell me about your project experience. Have you worked through design, development and implementation? Did you support existing applications? Were you involved in architecture or design work?
  8. What formal application architectures are you most comfortable with?
  9. What is metadata, and why is it important to a developer?
  10. Have you worked on any form development (i.e. fillable PDFs)?
  11. When highlighting a portion of text, why would you want to avoid using different colours?
  12. How comfortable are you working with the Agile or an Agile-like development methodology?
  13. How would you bring a product from idea to deployment?
  14. Describe the techniques used to elicit user and business requirements.
  15. What is Joint Application Development (JAD)? Have you participated in JAD sessions?
  16. What are the characteristics of a good requirement?
  17. Can you name different techniques for specifying requirements? Which work best and why?
  18. How do you ensure you’ve identified the principal requirement?
  19. How do you handle requirements that are incomplete or incomprehensible?
  20. Can you list non-functional requirements?
  21. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using screen mockups in the requirements gathering process of a system solution?
  22. Describe the use case realization process. What type of information should be documented in a use case specification?
  23. What are some guiding principles or tenets of UI design?
  24. What is responsive design and why is it important?
  25. When using or designing a logical data model, what information should be included?
  26. Describe how you translate business requirements into technical specifications.
  27. What different techniques are there for prototyping applications?
  28. How do you evaluate the impact of a requirement change on the project?

Testing and QA Questions

  1. How do you test your own work? Do you regularly conduct unit testing?
  2. What testing have you done on your own code (or others)? Did you write test scripts? Interviewer note: Look for an answer that links the QA (Test Cases) to the business requirements (Business Use Cases).
  3. What tools have you used for testing?
  4. What are the advantages of fixing bugs early?
  5. Do you know what a regression test is?
  6. How do you verify that new changes have not broken existing features?

Website Developers

  1. What size websites/projects have you worked on in the past?
  2. Who was your target audience on your most recent website/project?
  3. What is the difference between HTML and HTML5?
  4. What technologies have you worked with? (JavaScript, Knockout.js, bootstrap, jquery, Angular.js, Node.js, React, Backbone, Ember, Grunt, CSS, Sass, LESS, VBScript, etc.)
  5. What Content Management Systems have you used? (Drupal, WordPress, Joomla!, Webflow etc.)
  6. When working on a website, were you involved with development, design, or both?
  7. Have you worked with government or W3C compliance? (CLF, WCAG)
  8. Have you developed websites in both official languages? If yes, what challenges did you face as a result?
  9. What types of testing should be considered when developing a website?
  10. How do you evaluate the impact of a requirement change on the website?
  11. What are some guiding principles or tenets of ease-of-use in a website?
  12. What is your approach when a client wants high performance, usability and security?
  13. What is important when updating a website that is in production and is being used?
  14. How can you make sure that changes in code will not affect any other parts of the website?
  15. Have you integrated social media and other services into your website (Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?
  16. How can you debug a system in a production environment as it’s being used?

Web Application Developers

  1. What technologies have you worked with (JAVA, VB.NET, C#. ASP.NET, PHP, C++)?
  2. Tell me about your current projects.
  3. Have you developed applications that comply with CLF or WCAG?
  4. In what stages of the development process were you involved?
  5. Describe the process used for writing code from requirements to delivery?
  6. What types of testing should be considered when developing web applications?
  7. How do you manage web application conflicts when different people are editing the same data?
  8. Which controls would you use when a user must select multiple items from a big list in a minimal amount of space?
  9. What different techniques are there for prototyping applications?
  10. What limitations exist in a web environment vs. a Windows environment?
  11. What measures can guarantee correct and robust data?
  12. What is Service-Oriented Architecture?
  13. What is Model-View-Controller?
  14. Have you developed or utilized web services for your application?
  15. What web service protocols have you used?
  16. What is your experience with mobile app development?
  17. What source code or versioning tools have you used (i.e. SVN, CVS, Team Foundation Server)?

.NET Application Developers

  1. How many years of experience do you have with .NET specifically?
  2. What .NET languages do you program in the most (C#, VB.NET, ASP.NET)?
  3. Have you used any standard modelling tools to develop diagrams /reports (i.e. UML)?
  4. What are the main components of the .NET framework? What versions have you used?
  5. Have you done any front-end development? What tools did you use?
  6. Have you used GUI frameworks like WinForms, Silverlight or Windows Presentation Foundation?
  7. Describe any architectural patterns you have used (i.e. MVVM).
  8. What do you care about most when reviewing another developer’s code?
  9. Which controls would you use when a user must select multiple items from a big list in a minimal amount of space?
  10. Have you used WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) to implement and deploy a Service Oriented Architecture? Please explain how you used it.

Java Developers

  1. What is the most recent version of Java you have used?
  2. Do you have experience with enterprise or mobile Java development?
  3. What versions of the Java computing platform have you used?
  4. Which application frameworks have you used with Java (Spring, Struts, EJB, Hibernate)?
  5. Have you used any of these application frameworks concurrently?
  6. Have you done any front-end development, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, etc?
  7. What tools have you used to create dynamically generated web pages (i.e. JavaServer Pages (JSP))?
  8. What design patterns have you used in the development of Java applications (i.e. MVC, MVP)?
  9. Have you used AJAX in your web development? What advantages did this have?
  10. What Integrated Development Environments have you used on your Java projects (i.e. Eclipse, NetBeans, IntelliJ)?
  11. What build automation tools have you used to create a software build (i.e. Ant, Maven)?
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