Software Engineer Interview Questions For A Mid
The following questions help you for interviewing or re-interviewing a mid-level software engineer:
Question 11: Explain the importance of the Agile methodology in software development.
Answer: Traditionally, many software development projects used the Waterfall methodology. This methodology prescribes the completion of a phase like requirements analysis or specifications design before proceeding to the next phase. E.g., a software development team should finalize the requirements before starting the specifications design phase.
The development team undergoes detailed reviews after each phase. It obtains sign-off from the relevant stakeholders before proceeding to the next phase.
While the Waterfall methodology is structured, it can sometimes be hard to use. Technology is evolving rapidly. New possibilities are emerging, and requirements keep changing. Working with a fixed set of requirements can often be unrealistic. The Agile methodology offers a solution to this.
Agile development teams work very closely with end-users. The methodology uses an iterative approach, where the requirements can change. The technical solutions change according to the requirements. Close collaboration between the business stakeholders and the development team helps to work in this fluid environment.
Question 12: How do functional requirements differ from non-functional requirements ?
Question 13: What does a runtime environment do?
A few popular runtime environments are as follows:
What Programming Languages Are You Familiar With
A software engineer should have experience with a wide range of programming languages. This knowledge is vital to having success in this role. Before your interview, review the job description to see if they mention whether or not you’ll need programming language experience for the role. Respond with languages you’re familiar with that match the employer’s needs.
Match Your Qualifications To The Job
To prepare for these questions, also match your skills to the job requirements. Review the skills mentioned in the job listing. Then think of times that you have demonstrated those skills in the workplace.
- What would you do if a coworker asked you to review their code, and it was full of errors?
- Describe your ideal level of interaction with coworkers that would allow you to achieve the most success.
- Tell me about a time you worked with coworkers to solve an issue at work.
- Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem, but you didnt have all the necessary information about it in hand.
- Imagine your manager wants to buy new software for the office, but you think it will decrease productivity. What do you do?
Also Check: Questions For Data Engineer Interview
How Are Projects Prioritized And Planned
Understanding how a company picks which projects to put its resources toward and how it goes about bringing those projects to fruition can tell you a lot about whats important thereboth in terms of products and in terms of engineering values. For example, is the company prioritizing tech debt or only focusing on new features? Are they able to focus on doing a few things well or do they try to do a little bit of everything? Are they building things to last or are they over-engineering?
But thats not the only reason to ask this question. The answer can also indicate how much influence you, as an individual engineer, might have. If you have a great idea, what would it take to make it a reality? Is there a lot of red tape or would you have a good amount of freedom to test things out? If they mention holding hackathons and actually implementing features inspired by hacks, for example, it can indicate an openness to ideas coming from anywhere.
Popular Interview Questions For Engineering Managers
I recently completed a loop of interviews for a software engineering manager position. Below is a collection of 100+ mostly management and behavioral questions I was asked on phone screens and by panels during onsite interviews for engineering management positions at a variety of big-name and top-tier tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Salesforce, Intuit, Autodesk, et al. No one asked all these. I didnt write notes in the interviews so these are taken from memory.
I was also asked a variety of technical questions in my field e.g. most often system design but also sometimes algorithms, reviewing code or documentation and commenting on it, and even some whiteboard coding. This varied by the company as to how important it was for an engineering manager to be technical and close to the code, or more a people manager. Finally, one company asked me to deliver a technical presentation and do a mock interview.
Hopefully, if you are interviewing these job questions will help you prepare, or if you are hiring give you ideas as to what you might ask an engineering management candidate yourself.
If you want to learn more about this topic see The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide my comprehensive, no-nonsense book about landing an engineering leadership role at a top-tier tech company.
Recommended Reading: How To Write A Thank You For An Interview Email
What Are Your Thoughts On Imperative Vs Declarative Paradigms Such As Functional And Object
With questions like this, employers want to gauge your familiarity with more abstract concepts in software engineering. There are many approaches to writing high-quality, maintainable software. Intelligently implementing a programming paradigm requires knowing at least some benefits and trade-offs of each.
As with any subjective question, there can be strong opinions on the topic. While it’s important to answer confidently and with supporting experiences, it’s very easy to slip into speaking negatively about your less-favoured approach. The interviewer could have the opposite opinion, creating avoidable tension. Focusing on objective obstacles you face with the approach can help you avoid the situation and potentially open a friendly dialogue on the pros and cons of each.
Example:âThere was a project where the manager tasked us with reworking the browser client application. It used an imperative, object-oriented approach, with many of the custom controls getting much of their functionality from a growing inheritance hierarchy. We took this as an opportunity to shift to a more declarative approach. After the conversion, we saw a dramatic decline in state-related bugs as we were no longer manually updating the interface in response to events. This had previously been the most common type of user-reported bug.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
How Do You Handle Team Members That Are More Talented Than You
Some of the most challenging people to manage are those that are more talented than you in some technical aspects. Your engineer manager needs to have the charisma to command respect from everyone on the team, including those who are better than them in some aspects. Your goal is to determine if the candidate has experience handling such people and how they were able to do it.
Software Engineer Interview Questions
David is a software engineer with over 13 years in the industry and a passion for web technologies. His work experience ranges from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Related: Top 6 Common Interview Questions and Answers
Jenn, an Indeed Career Coach, breaks down the intentions behind employer’s questions and shares strategies for crafting strong responses.
When interviewing for a software engineer position, the hiring manager may ask you a variety of questions related to your skills and experience. As you prepare for your next interview, it may be helpful to review some of the most commonly asked questions and prepare answers for them.
In this article, we discuss some of the most common software engineer interview questions and we offer examples of how to answer them effectively.
How Would You Prioritize The Following Tasks
This type of software engineering manager interview questions helps shift the focus from abstract discussions to practical, hands-on decisions.
Give a candidate a list of tasks and ask the professional to rank them by urgency this way, youll see how realistic a managers estimates are and how skilled your prospective hire.
Heres a to-do list you can present a candidate with:
- Build a WPA interface
- Fix a concurrency code error.
- Update a database
Don’t Miss: What To Say In An Exit Interview
What Distinguishes A Great Software Engineer From A Good One Do You Feel You Have Those Qualities
It helps to understand how a candidate feels about what makes someone the best in their career and how they feel about their skills and what makes them a good or great software engineer. What to look for:
- Thoughts on software engineering
- Honesty and introspection
A great software engineer has a healthy balance between perfectionism and pragmatism. Too often engineers want their code to be perfect, while losing sight of the overall goals of the project. A great programmer also learns not to fall in love with their own code, to keep a healthy skepticism until its been thoroughly tested, making sure it is the right choice for the project at hand. And yes, I believe have the qualities of a great programmer, though working on my need to be perfect is an ongoing battle.
Tell Me About A Time When You Failed Or Made A Mistake
Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are looking for engineering managers who take risks and are constantly learning. So interviewers will want to know about the risks youve taken in the past, and the lessons youve learned from when they didnt work out.
Here is an example answer to get you started. Again, this is a shorter version of a complete example answer that weve used to illustrate a behavioral answer framework, which you can find out more about here.
In my last position, my team was working with a lead PM to build out a key feature of a new product that was about to be launched. I told the PM that my team would be finished a week ahead of schedule, as we had beat every deadline leading up to that moment. She rearranged the launch date of the product accordingly.
However, I soon realized that my team would not be finished testing the feature by the new deadline that I had imposed. I had allowed myself to get swept up in our previous progress without considering the intricacies of the last tests and details that would be necessary to finalize it.
As it was my mistake to move up the deadline, I took full responsibility for the mistake. I reported the issue to the lead PM and took it upon myself to speed up the process, so that the updated launch date could be met. I worked overtime every night for two weeks, alongside a few members of my team who elected to help.
How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview
Software engineering manager interviews at top tech companies are significantly challenging even for experienced engineers. To answer challenging software engineering manager interview questions, spending a good 5-6 weeks preparing is highly recommended.
Interview questions for software engineering managers at top companies are fundamentally around core data structures, distributed systems design, and behavioral psychology. Given the seniority of the position, there is a higher focus on design and behavioral interviews for software engineering managers.
In this piece, weâll look at some popular software engineering manager interview questions asked at FAANG+ interviews. These questions will give you a good idea of the type of questions asked and also guide your prep strategy.
If youâre a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist,interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!
Having trained over 12,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Our alums consistently land offers from FAANG+ companies. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 Million!
Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.
How Do You Break Down Complex Projects Into Smaller Tasks
Your engineer manager will often have to break down big projects into small tasks that he can assign to members of his team. This question will help assess their potential when handling complex projects. You can ask questions about techniques they use in project management such as agile methodology, kanban system, waterfall system, etc. After all, it is a critical ability to assess projects, associated deliverables, and ensure that the right people in the team work on those deliverables that are aligned with their individual skill set and workload.
You May Like: Interview Questions Learning And Development
What Does Your Ideal Day At Work Look Like
When candidates answer such software engineer interview questions, make sure that their workflow description is communication-centered. At the end of the day, you want to hire a manager who understands the importance of talking ideas through with the team and enjoys doing this every day.
For reference, you can compare a candidates answer to this list of software engineering daily tasks.
- Catching up on emails and messages from the team.
- Running team meetings and 1:1 calls to address all questions teammates have from the previous workday.
- Onboarding new talent and off-boarding developers who decided to leave the company.
- Getting on calls with project managers to make sure business objectives and technical requirements of the project align well.
- Reviewing task progress sheets and monitoring the teams productivity.
- Keeping up-to-date work backlogs and updating documentation.
Personal Attributes Or Characteristics
These are some of the most notoriously difficult questions for job candidates to answer in interviews, because no one is truly comfortable talking about themselves. Interviewers know that as well, but these questions can provide valuable insights. This part of an interview is an excellent time to demonstrate how you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Providing examples of a time you overcame an obstacle at work or came up with a new system or solution the company used will make a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Don’t Miss: How To Write An Interview Thank You
What Is The Teams Largest Challenge
This question can be taken in several different directions, all of which could sway you towards or away from the company. For instance, if the department is understaffed, your position could play an instrumental role in solving a critical problem and increasing workplace effectiveness. However, if you discover that your team does not have the support of the company or are lacking the funds to execute their goals and objectives, this could be a potential warning sign.
Slack Software Engineer Interview Questions
I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Slack in Sep 2022
Interview process was poor overall. I applied through a friend referral, which had a quick turn-around time. When I talked with the recruiter, she asked me one small question and after 5 minutes the conversation was over. I attempted to prod and ask some follow up questions, but there was no interest on her part. 30 minutes later, I get an email from her saying they werent going through with my application. Felt like I wasted 5 good minutes on nothing.
I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Slack in May 2022
- Describe one time you were under a lot of pressure at work and what did you do?
Recommended Reading: How To Write Rejection Email After Interview
How Can You Prepare For Technical Interview Questions
Our engineering interviews consist of a mix of technical and soft skills assessments between 45 and 90 minutes long. While some of our technical interviews are more traditional algorithm questions focused on data structures and computer science fundamentals, we have been shifting towards more hands-on problem solving and coding assessments. Even on the algorithm questions, candidates are welcome to work through the problem on a laptop rather than a whiteboard if they prefer. This helps us get a sense of how they write code in a more realistic environment. For our coding questions, we focus less on algorithm knowledge and more on design, code structure, debugging and learning new domains. For example, some of our technical questions will probably use a language/framework you are unfamiliar with so youll need to demonstrate an ability to read documentation and solve a problem in a new area. Other questions involve progressively building a complex program in stages by following a feature spec.
We also adapt our interviews based on the candidates background, work experience, and role. For more fullstack roles, we spend more time on the basics of web communication , browser fundamentals , and API + data modeling. For more low level systems engineering, well emphasize multi threading and OS primitives.
I recommend three things to prepare:
What Aspect Of Our Company Team Or Product Interests You Most
Example:”I was watching an interview with your chief executive officer about your product that aims to disrupt the lending industry. Streamlining arduous tasks, such as loan applications, have enormous potential. I believe the growth in this industry over the last year is a big indication of things to come. In addition, I am excited by the untapped potential of blockchain technology you have recently decided to integrate. I see this as giving your organisation the competitive advantage in this industry, as the verifiable auditability can reduce compliance costs.”
Recommended Reading: How To Train Hiring Managers To Interview