Web development is a rapidly evolving arena, demanding not only technical skills, but a good deal of creativity. If you’re applying for a web developer job, be prepared: In addition to reviewing your résumé and portfolio, hiring managers may want to know more about your passion for web development, your personality, and your ability to innovate.
To help you prepare for a complex web developer interview, here are five examples of questions you might be asked, as well as tips for effective responses.
Which Power Ranger are you?
While off-the-wall questions like “what animal, car or character would you be” may seem silly or trite, they are designed to evaluate your personality and ability to think on your feet. These kinds of analogies also offer opportunities for job candidates: You can use them to easily draw comparisons, highlight desirable attributes, and show off your creativity, flexibility and resilience.
Tips: Treat your answer as an opportunity to spotlight what makes you unique. Use an animal or pop-culture character to demonstrate your own aptitude for teamwork or thoroughness, for instance.
Which of your technical skills makes you a good candidate for this role?
This is your opportunity to show that you've done your research and understand exactly what the role entails—and why your background, skills and experiences make you an ideal candidate.
Tips: It’s always a good idea to weave critical hard and soft skills into your descriptions of your past projects. Make examples of applying your skills to various problems clear and coherent. No matter how much information you provide, you should still expect the interviewer to “take a deep dive” into any frameworks, libraries or tools that you mention.
What are the advantages of HTTP/2.0 over HTTP/1.1?
Hiring managers ask questions like these to see if you’ve remained current with coding, web development tools and processes, and other skill sets.
Tips: In this case, providing a high-level overview of the differences between HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2.0, along with the shortcomings HTTP/2.0 was designed to address, is a concise and effective way to showcase your knowledge. But since web developers are expected to consult with clients and often build a high-performing website from the ground up, be sure to explain how you’ve used HTTP/2.0 to increase web page load speeds and security (for example).
You migrate a completed website over to the client's web host. When you attempt to view it, You get a 500 error. What would you do?
When answering a broad technical question, make sure to walk the interviewer step-by-step through your working process, from diagnosing the problem to double-checking the solution. These questions are designed to show you have what it takes on a technical level to do the job.
Tips: This is truly the time to show how you operate, pointed out Jerome Williams, web developer and owner of JWorks Studios. Take your time and think through the problem, even if it means talking through your troubleshooting steps and analysis out loud. Most importantly, be honest. "I don't know," is an acceptable answer, he noted.
If you can solve a difficult problem on your feet or present an unorthodox solution, Williams is living proof that you could end up walking out of the interview with a higher-level position or even a leadership role.
How does this position fit into your career goals? What does success look like?
“I want to know that the candidate has thought about their career aspirations and where this role fits into their long-term plans,” noted Karl Hughes, a former CTO, founder and CEO of Draft.dev, a provider of technical content for software developers.
“As a boss, I want to know what I can do to help someone on my team continue to advance,” he added. “If it seems like a lateral move, that's okay, but I want to know why they are making it.”
Tips: The best candidates have researched the company, read the job description, and ask really good questions related to career progression and alignment.
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