Questions to Ask During an Interview for a Programmer
When you interview a programmer, you have to take into account many factors. Although technical skills are of great importance, they are not everything. You have to know the soft skills of the candidate. Can you communicate effectively? Can you work under pressure? Does your profile fit the organizational culture of the company? In this article, we have compiled 19 basic questions to interview a programmer that will help you detect the technical and soft skills of the candidate and thus select the best professionals for the position.
1. What motivates you to work on a project like this?
Knowing the motivations of the programmer to work on a project will help you analyze if the aspirations of the candidate are aligned with the organizational culture of the company and if they can make a good fit with the work team.
2. Having a wide field within the sector, what led you to choose this area over others?
This question is to know the passion that the programmer has in the area he works, whether he is a Backend, Mobile, or Full-Stack programmer, a programmer who has no passion for what he does in his area, is a programmer who is hardly going to deliver good results in a short time.
3. What did you like about your previous job and what was it you didn’t like?
If something that the candidate did not like in his old company, is present in your company, probably he will not be very happy within the systems team. Now, if they liked something present in your company, it can be adapted faster to the team.
4. What has been the biggest problem you have ever faced in a software project? What did you do to solve it?
This question is for the candidate’s ability to adapt to problems. The candidate must be able to explain what the problem was and the steps they took to solve it.
5. What programming languages and frameworks have you worked with? In what professional projects have you used them?
This question should always be asked by default in an interview with a programmer. This way you know if the candidate knows the technologies required for the position. If the candidate knows most of the technologies and has used them in work projects, they are a good candidate for the position. Otherwise, you must evaluate if the candidate has the technical knowledge to fill the vacancy. Still, don’t immediately rule out a candidate because they don’t know one of the required technologies for the position. Finding candidates who meet 100% of the technical requirements of the vacancy is very difficult. The candidate can enter the company and learn those specific techniques that he does not know.
6. What technologies would you like to learn?
With this question you know if the candidate wants to learn technologies that are used within your company or technologies that they plan to use in the future. Furthermore, a good programmer is always hungry to learn about new technologies and continue to develop as a software professional.
7. What is the project you are most proud of?
In this way, you will know the most interesting project that the candidate has done. It gives you an idea of what the candidate knows how to do on a systems team.
To answer this question, the candidate must choose a project that is current enough to demonstrate its relevance. In addition to describing the project, it is important to focus on the activities of your role, where you added value, and how you helped team members when needed.
8. What is the project that you are not very proud of?
We all make mistakes, and we have all failed on a project. You need programmers who recognize their mistakes and learn from them, so they can do better next time. A candidate who says all his projects have been good maybe a candidate who may not be constructively evaluating his projects.
9. What do you think is the best and worst thing about working with a multidisciplinary team?
The candidate’s response will help you to know how he works in a team with non-technical professionals and if he can communicate effectively with them.
10. Give me an example of a stressful situation you had at work; how did you handle it?
This gives you an idea of what is causing the candidate stress and if he or she can handle it. If these stressful situations are repetitive within your company and the candidate is not able to handle them, it is very difficult for the candidate to be successful in the position.
11. Which programming language are you most familiar with?
Depending on previous work experience, the candidate may be able to name which programming languages and tools he is most familiar with. In this way, the recruiter will be able to understand the candidate’s level of knowledge about different languages and tools for software development.
In this case, the candidate will be able to cite an example of a relevant situation where he used a specific language and was successful.
12. Tell us about a critical problem you solved
This question is to help identify the candidate’s problem-solving skills. This will allow the developer to show how they handle challenges, demonstrating to the interviewer their ability to solve critical problems. In this case, it is recommended that the candidate give an example of recent and relevant experience so that the interviewer can analyze his current skills.
13. What process do you use to find bugs?
This question is important for the candidate to show which bug tracking process they use. Since each developer has his way of finding errors in the programming codes. The candidate will be able to use this answer as an opportunity to show his knowledge about the different debugging tools that he is familiar with. Also, you can highlight your favorite methods.
14. What are you most excited about in development?
This is a seemingly straightforward question in the developer interview. However, it can help to determine the level of the candidate’s involvement in software development.
In general, companies want to hire a candidate who can express their enthusiasm and passion for development. In this answer, the candidate will be able to show his excitement by discussing the elements of the work he likes most.
15. What is your favorite feature of the company’s product?
The strongest candidates will be able to describe insights into the different features of the company’s product. As well as, offer an understanding of the different stakeholders and involved in the construction of these resources.
In this case, the professional will be able to talk about the different characteristics of the product. Above all, you will be able to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have studied the company’s products.
16. How do you communicate effectively with non-technical colleagues?
This question gives the interviewer a view of how the developer works with non-technical teams productively and collaboratively.
In this case, the language and terminology that the candidate uses to describe his working relationship with non-technical colleagues will be observed. For example, sales or marketing professionals.
17. What personal projects are you working on?
Companies seek to hire developers who are committed to constantly improving their technical skills and who can take responsibility for their learning.
The ideal candidate will also be able to talk about side projects showing their enthusiasm for programming, but outside of their professional experience.
In this case, this is likely to be the subject that arouses the most enthusiasm and interest in the candidate. Undoubtedly, they are attractive qualities in possible hiring.
18. Why would you like to work for this company?
A simple question, but one that can be revealing, as it demonstrates the level of interest in the company and the function that will be developed.
In this case, the candidate will be able to explain why he feels compatible with the company’s culture and how he sees himself working within the team.
To stand out from the other candidates, mention specific features of the company’s product and how your skills would be aligned with the job requirements.
19. Describe your ideal development environment
In this question, the interviewer wants to understand what working conditions the developer needs to work in the best way. For example:
If the candidate needs a quiet environment to code?
If the professional can do programming and code review in pairs?
How does the developer work in a multidisciplinary team?
Asking a programmer, the right questions will allow you to understand the candidate’s technical skills, understand their soft skills, and determine if the candidate fits into the company’s business culture.