40 Interview Questions Every Junior Web Developer Should Know
The Ultimate Junior Web Developer Interview Question Bank: Be Prepared for Anything
Programming is quickly becoming one of the most popular skills of the decades.
Just in the last 2 years alone, I have spoken with a dozen people wanting to get into programming and start studying the basics of a programming language.
When I hear that I still remember my commute to a little town just outside London where I did the interview to get my first junior position as a developer.
That experience helped me a lot, and that’s why I want to write this article and share some thoughts with you.
In this post, we will discuss the most common interview questions for Entry-Level Web Developers and what can you do to increase your probability to get the job.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is a Junior Web Developer?
The role of an Entry-Level or Junior Web Developer is to write software applications and programs that meet the basic needs of their requirement.
Developers use their technical skills to design, develop, test, and maintain software applications.
Do you want an example?
Let’s meet Nico. he recently graduated with a degree in computer science and has always been passionate about web development.
Nico lands his first job as a junior web developer at a digital agency.
In his role, Nico works closely with the development team and reports to a senior web developer.
he is assigned various tasks related to website development and maintenance.
One of his first projects involves creating a responsive landing page for a client’s new product.
Nico starts by collaborating with the design team to understand the client’s requirements and the visual concept.
Throughout the development process, Nico consults with his senior colleague, who provides guidance on best practices and helps him overcome any challenges he encounters.
They review his code, offer feedback, and suggest optimizations to enhance the performance and efficiency of the page.
As Nico gains more experience, he takes on additional responsibilities.
he learns how to handle user input securely and build dynamic web applications.
Nico’s role as a junior web developer also involves testing the websites and web applications he builds, identifying and fixing bugs, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the client’s projects.
he learns about version control systems like Git, which helps him collaborate with the team and manage code changes effectively.
Nico’s growth as a junior web developer is nurtured by the opportunities he gets to learn from experienced colleagues and work on diverse projects.
Over time, he hones his skills, expands his knowledge of web development frameworks and tools, and gains a deeper understanding of the industry’s best practices.
As Nico continues to develop his skills and accumulates experience, he may eventually progress to a more senior role, taking on more complex projects and assuming greater responsibility within the web development team.
This example demonstrates how a junior web developer like Nico contributes to web development projects, learns from experienced team members, and gradually evolves into a seasoned professional within the industry.
The interview process is a crucial step for both the employer and the job applicant, as it allows the employer to assess the applicant’s skills and suitability for the position.
Time has passed since my first interview and now I have run quite a few interviews as the interviewer myself.
Below I have listed what I believe a wannabe programmer should know when he comes for an interview.
In my opinion, good skill in problem-Solving is the most important factor that an employer looks for in a junior software engineer.
These are essential skills for any programmer.
I usually ask the candidate to analyze the problem and develop a solution.
I can ask the candidate to solve problems related to logic and reasoning.
Also you as the candidates, should explain the thought process behind their solutions.
Another question I may ask the candidate is to solve problems related to debugging and troubleshooting.
They may ask the candidate to find the root cause of the problem and suggest solutions to fix it.
Here are some examples of questions I have asked in the past:
- Walk me through your problem-solving process when working on a project.
- Can you tell me about a difficult problem you faced while developing a website and how you solved it?
- How do you approach debugging a complex issue in your code?
- Have you ever had to work with a team to resolve a coding issue? Can you tell me how you contributed to solving the problem?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to refactor a piece of code to make it more efficient or effective? How did you approach the task?
- Tell me about a time when you had to come up with a creative solution to a problem while developing a website.
- Have you ever had to optimize the performance of a slow-loading webpage? Can you walk me through the steps you took to improve its speed?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult client or team member to solve a problem?
- How do you stay up-to-date with new technologies and tools? Can you give an example of a new technology or tool that you recently learned and how you plan to use it in your work?
- Can you walk me through how you would approach troubleshooting a website that’s not loading correctly?
These questions definitely helped me assess the candidate’s problem-solving skills, their ability to work in a team, their creativity, and their willingness to learn and stay up-to-date with new technologies and tools.
It’s also a good idea to ask follow-up questions and to have the candidate provide specific examples to demonstrate their problem-solving abilities.
Communication Skills Questions:
Communication skills are important for software engineers as they work in a team and interact with clients.
As the interviewer, I need to ask the candidate to explain their experience working in a team and collaborating with others.
I may ask the candidate to describe a project they worked on with a team.
My role is to make the candidate explain their experience with project management tools and methodologies, such as Agile or Scrum.
I also need to understand what was precisely their role in the team while doing these projects.
Also if I know the candidate will work directly with clients I need to be sure he has a bit of experience interacting with them.
To do so I usually ask the candidate to describe a situation where they had to communicate complex technical concepts to a client, bear in mind this does not have to be programming.
Here are some questions in this category from my notebook:
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to communicate a technical concept to a non-technical stakeholder?
- How do you handle conflicting priorities or deadlines while working on a project? Can you give me an example of how you communicated with your team or client in that situation?
- Have you ever had to explain a complex issue in your code to a colleague? How did you go about it?
- Can you describe a time when you had to give feedback to a colleague on their code or work? How did you approach the conversation?
- Tell me about a time when you had to present a project to a team or client. How did you prepare for the presentation, and how did you communicate the project’s details and benefits?
- Have you ever worked with a team where there was a language or cultural barrier? How did you communicate effectively with your team members?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a team member or client? How did you communicate to find a solution?
- Can you give me an example of how you prioritize and communicate your progress to your team or client when working on multiple projects at once?
- Have you ever had to communicate a technical limitation or constraint to a client or stakeholder? How did you explain it, and how did you manage their expectations?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with a client to gather project requirements. How did you communicate with the client to understand their needs and ensure that the project met their expectations?
These questions can help you assess the candidate’s ability to communicate technical concepts to non-technical people, their ability to work in a team, their conflict resolution skills, and their project management abilities.
As with the previous question, it’s also a good idea to ask follow-up questions and to have the candidate provide specific examples to demonstrate their communication skills.
Culture Fit Questions:
Cultural fit is also an important factor for employers when hiring a software engineer.
Each company I worked for had its own values and motivation.
Some of them are more corporate, others are more informal and fun to work at.
I often ask the candidate to explain their understanding of the company’s values and vision.
It is interesting to see if the person in front of me did some homework learning about the company.
I also ask the candidate to describe how their personal values align with those of the company.
Another point I like to focus on is their motivation.
I question the candidate about describing a situation where they had to work on a project for an extended period and see their reaction.
Lastly, it is fundament to understand if the person is excited about this career path.
I ask them to explain their interest in personal development and growth.
I try to discover a situation where they had to learn a new skill or technology to solve a problem.
Here are a few questions you should know the answer to in your next interview:
- What inspired you to pursue a career in web development, and how did you get started?
- Can you tell me about a project you worked on that you’re particularly proud of, and why?
- How do you stay motivated when working on a challenging project or facing tight deadlines?
- Can you give me an example of how you have demonstrated teamwork and collaboration in a previous job or project?
- How do you approach learning new technologies and tools, and what steps do you take to keep your skills up-to-date?
- Can you describe a project you worked on where you had to use your creativity and problem-solving skills to find a solution?
- What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful web developer, and how do you embody those qualities?
- Can you describe a time when you faced a setback or failure in your work, and how you responded to it?
- What do you see as the most exciting trends or developments in web development today, and how do you plan to stay involved in those areas?
- Can you describe your ideal work environment and how you would contribute to a positive and productive team culture?
These questions help me assess the candidate’s passion for web development, their willingness to learn and adapt, their teamwork and collaboration skills, and their ability to handle challenges and setbacks.
Technical Skills Questions:
Eventually, I need to know what technical skills these guys own.
I put this as the last category because for a junior position knowing how to code well is not that important yet.
I am expected to see as many errors as I did when I was in that position.
But I want to see the willingness to improve on a daily basis.
I ask the candidate to solve problems related to the programming language they claim to be proficient in.
To do so I give the person a task and I want him to be able to solve it.
I don’t care if the final solution is working or even if it is a finished product.
What I am looking at at this moment is his thought process with the tool he has in hand.
Also, I want to know if the candidate has experience with software development tools and frameworks, such as Git, Jenkins, or JIRA.
I may ask the candidate to explain the usage of these tools.
Below there are a few examples of questions I might ask:
- What are some of the core concepts in PHP that you think every web developer should know?
- Can you give me an example of a PHP function or feature that you frequently use in your projects?
- Can you explain how PHP sessions work, and how you would use them in a web application?
- How do you approach debugging and troubleshooting issues in PHP code?
- Can you describe a project you worked on where you had to integrate PHP with a database like MySQL or PostgreSQL?
- Can you explain how you would use object-oriented programming principles in a PHP project, and give me an example of a PHP class you have written?
- How do you ensure that the PHP code you write is secure and protected against common web vulnerabilities like SQL injection or cross-site scripting?
- Can you explain how you would use a PHP framework like Laravel or CodeIgniter in a web application, and what benefits it would provide?
- Can you give me an example of how you have used PHP to interact with third-party APIs like Stripe or PayPal?
- Can you describe your experience with PHP testing frameworks like PHPUnit or Behat, and how you use them to ensure the quality of your code?
These questions can help me assess the candidate’s knowledge of PHP fundamentals, their ability to work with databases and third-party APIs, their understanding of object-oriented programming, and their familiarity with PHP frameworks and testing tools.
Once I gauged his experience with PHP I can follow up with more specific questions
In conclusion, the interview process for a Junior Software Engineer position is essential for both the employer and the job applicant.
As the employer I always want to ensure that the candidate has the necessary technical skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and cultural fit to succeed in the role.
The job applicant wants to ensure that the company is a good fit for them and that they can grow and develop in their career.
By preparing for the most common interview questions, the person that applied can increase their chances of success in the interview and land their dream job as I did back in the day.