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20 Core Web Developer Interview Questions

These 20 web developer interview questions can help you identify the right web developer candidate for your business.

17 min read

Last Updated: October 15, 2021

Whenever a potential and disrupting business idea strikes your mind, what are the very first things that immediately come to your mind? “Revenue, company brand, and unique product.” - these are the most common answers that a business person will get. There is no doubt that these things are essentially important when it comes to solidifying your business base. However, another yet significant factor that lots of entrepreneurs seem to lose out of their sight is the web design and development of their marketing website. Sure enough, the process of producing a website for your own business does not sound that complicated. However, there is much more to it than you might think at first.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in web development will grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all other occupations. And currently, many, if not the vast majority of all entrepreneurs are seeking candidates who have the right qualifications, personality, and enthusiasm to thrive in the right position. While the web developer interview questions are deeply touching several subjects that any expert web developer has to correctly answer.

So, for a business owner to prepare for an interview with a potential candidate for your position as a web developer, we prepared a list of all core web development interview questions. You can use them as a cheat sheet of your own or differ them from your custom ones. Without further ado, here are the core web developer interview questions.

Core things you should consider when hiring a web developer:

Before you even begin talking to your candidates, you must understand that the web development interviewing process can be considered as a negotiation. As a student, you might probably be told to be very serious during every interview process and answer properly to each question to make a favorable impression. This is truly not far from the truth.

However, as you will be standing in the shoes of someone who will be employing people, a favorable impression is only a small detail that can only add up to the whole picture of a candidate. They must be able to talk freely, confidently and most importantly they must have passion when they are talking about the job that they are eager to receive.

Typically, most employers search for the following characteristics when employing new people:

  1. Personality
  2. Technical qualifications
  3. Culture fit
  4. Enthusiasm

One must have a compatible personality, which means that they should be able to speak with their colleagues directly and without any difficulties. Alongside, a strong candidate must ask direct inquiries while still providing complete and detailed responses. So in short, his communication skills can be described as dependable, open, and structured.

The technical qualifications are directly tied to the candidate’s knowledge, expertise, and relevant experience in the business industry field.

The culture fit directly relates to the candidate’s personality. They must be able to communicate effectively with your team and foster an environment in which everyone enjoys working. A good candidate should be able to quickly dive into the working environment that your team and you have created for everyone.

Finally, your candidate should have an unquenchable passion for and enthusiasm for the tasks that he will be given.

Web Developer Interview Questions

This section is mostly filled with the most common, general, and bold questions that you must ask a potential web developer. Even though they are very typical, they may describe your candidate from different perspectives and present his skillset in a matter of 5 minutes or even less.

Can you tell me more about yourself and what do you do?

If a web developer candidate has been focusing exclusively on technical difficulties and memorizing solutions to problems, this question may be the hardest of them all. Simple, open-ended, and non-technical, it's likely to surprise and make a tech-savvy person sweat. Instead of being an interview question, a candidate should take an opportunity and demonstrate their personality to the employer. It can be an excellent chance to understand what kind of person your potential candidate is.

The trick of this question lies in the creation of a brief introduction in advance. While many can be too tempted to freestyle this straightforward question, it can be really risky. One risks taking too little and leaving the interviewer in the dark about a candidate’s personality. Alternatively, deviating from the script can result in being sidetracked and leave a negative impression. An ideal time to answer this question should be roughly one minute. The objective of this question is not only to learn about a web developer himself but also about how he or she expresses themselves. The communication abilities, that is.

Simply put, an opening should start from a background, current role (or situation), and some of the previous experience. Another thing to include here is to conclude with what you want to do next with your career: beginning with the role on offer and the skills you can bring to it.

What exactly has thrived you into the world of web development?

This question will give an employee a glimpse into the level of experience of a given candidate for a web developer position. While it may not be necessarily about solid programming language experience, you should seek more than a web developer’s portfolio and technical capabilities. You should look for the enthusiasm and motivation that they have.

Perhaps a candidate has a deep passion for CMS systems, became absorbed in changing the HTML of a WordPress blog, and developed an interest in frontend programming. Or maybe a potential candidate has experienced a complete dissatisfaction towards a website of their previous employer and exactly that inspired them to pursue a career as a full-stack developer. So, in short, try to understand what kind of story and motivational strive a candidate has that directly demonstrates how they developed an interest in coding and how it can benefit your prospective company.

What kind of skills do you think a web developer must have?

A web developer builds and maintains websites and web applications with the consumer's interests in mind. The web developer's profession involves the use of the most common coding languages. The backend part ensures that every single function is correctly working and it accurately controls the website, database, or any other related actions executed to the server. The frontend part is responsible for the visual assets placed on the website, which can be interacted with the user actions. And that’s just the basic responsibilities of a web developer. Apart from that, there are other things that an employer should consider when hiring a web developer. Here are four key characteristics that make a great web developer stand out from an average, competent developer.

Problem-solving skills

A professional web developer should be innovative along with a strong technical foundation. Additionally, the capacity to resolve any issues efficiently and the ability to correctly debug the occurred issue in the code is critical. So, pay close attention, how your candidate is explaining this type of skill. Perhaps, you may want to provide him with a specific scenario or ask for a real example of his own.

Constant learning

If someone wishes to be successful in some certain field, staying ahead of the main trend line is critical. Continuously learning advanced technologies, programming frameworks, as well as following all of the design trends and consumer needs, is necessary for success. More than that, it is very significant that you review and prioritize the projects that a candidate has produced according to these trending metrics.

Time-management

A web developer's job is complicated and at the same chaotic. Each junior or senior web developer is confronted with pressing deadlines and stalled projects; as a result, he or she must be able to manage time effectively to remain efficient and sane. Try to understand how exactly a candidate is managing his own time daily. What kind of habits does he follow and what does he do to stay efficient throughout the entire day?

Soft skills

To produce an exceptional product, the majority of the development team (including a technical and marketing side simultaneously) must work in a single unison. As a result, joint communication is critical when it comes to project delivery. Therefore, a smart web developer should be able to comprehend and explain complex technical concerns in simple words so that the rest of the team understands the project's timeframe, potential risks, and reasons for delays. During a series of web developer interview questions, you want to simulate a scenario of a deadline delay and ask your candidate how exactly he would handle this kind of scenario.

Remember the most successful project that you have accomplished. What have you done to successfully implement it?

This is a critical interview question when it comes to website creation. It reveals a candidate’s professional ambition, as well as his point of view on success and the workflow of the web app projects. Additionally, this question is intended to prove their candidacy and to speak about successes.

Remember, that a specialist who is effective in a team environment is referred to as a team player. Take note of whether a candidate is emphasizing their efforts or the team's collective efforts. Another thing to pay attention to is: a successful expert has a well-defined strategy and action plan prepared for most of the unforeseen or at least critical situations (feedback analysis, rapid problem resolution, and oversight of the quality assurance process) that result in the project's successful conclusion.

Remember a moment when you got stuck with the coding process. How exactly did you handle this scenario?

Broken code, system errors, and bugs are all a part of a web developer's job. Not only can a skilled programmer simply write some code, but they can also solve issues swiftly, creatively, and efficiently. This is one of the interview questions on web development that demonstrates how a candidate handles a problem. Perhaps they seek assistance from their mentors almost immediately, or they require a few hours of relaxation or work continuously until the issue is resolved. Attempt to locate a developer who meets your requirements.

A smart web engineer takes risks to demonstrate his/her mental flexibility, originality, and breadth of expertise. A full description of the problem and the specialist's answers would be an outstanding response to this issue and a good sign of an expert web developer.

How would your previous project managers describe you?

Employers should evaluate not only an opinion of a candidate’s abilities and values but also their self-awareness. If they are unprepared, however, this is another that could catch them off guard and may show that they might not have any experience in it whatsoever. Constant self-evaluation is a necessary skill for any developer, whether independent or in a team.

Can you describe a situation where you solve a disagreement with a colleague?

Without any preparations, this question could floor a candidate and lead them into a sticky situation. To avoid playing the blame game honesty is the resolution for everyone. Don’t shy away from the question and pretend nothing has ever gone wrong. It’s about how you respond to disagreements which counts. It’s also helpful to talk about what you learned from solving the conflict. How would you avoid such a conflict in the future? What would you do differently?

What are your best soft skills?

This is another question that makes most of the candidates surprised and may even be caught off guard if they’re not fully prepared. Essentially, the employer is attempting to ascertain what is missing from a candidate’s resume. It can be proof of your management skills, professionalism, cultural sensitivity, expertise, or portfolio. The list may go on and on depending on the business field the company is involved in.

Those transitioning from another career often have an advantage here, since they may draw on a more broad background to demonstrate these soft skills. The interviewer should also ask a candidate a situation in which they need to use soft skills.

Technical web developer interview questions and answers are aimed towards specific and narrow technical knowledge of a web developer. However, it won’t involve some super complex or impossible technical challenges that a common web developer cannot answer. This section is oriented to clear any suspicion from a candidate. Therefore, here are core questions that an employer should consider when conducting a web developer interview.

What are the programming languages that you are proficient in?

HTML, PHP, SQL, CSS, Python, and JavaScript are just a few of the common programming languages that a web developer should be able to work with. This question will reveal the strengths and shortcomings of an applicant, as well as indicate their plans, abilities, and willingness to learn. A potential employee should indicate the level of proficiency. A professional will tell in detail what their basic programming languages are, what languages they want to learn, why, and how actively they are working on it.

What is CORS and what does it do?

CORS is a method that enables several website resources to be requested from a domain other than the one from which they originated. It is a method enabled by HTML5 that allows for the management of XMLHttpRequest access to a separate domain.

CORS modifies the HTTP headers to include new ones that grant access to permitted origin domains. For HTTP methods other than the GET method, the specification requires browsers to first send an HTTP OPTIONS request header to the server to obtain a list of supported methods. After that, the actual request can be submitted. Additionally, servers can inform clients whether or not to send "credentials" with requests.

Can you name differences between GET and POST methods?

Both are HTTP request techniques. In general, GET is used to download data, and PUT is used to upload data. However, we may perform both downloading and uploading using GET/POST.

GET:

  1. If one will send parameters with a GET request to the server, then those will be visible in the URL. Since all of the parameters are appended to the URL. As a result, there is a lack of security throughout the upload process to the server.
  2. A GET request can only provide a limited quantity of data since the URL has a maximum length and cannot append a big data string to the URL.

POST:

  1. When utilizing the POST operator, parameters can be included in the body area of the request. Additionally, it is slightly more secure to deliver data after encrypting the body of an HTTP request.
  2. With POST, one can send more data.

What’s the difference between ‘==’ and ‘===’?

Even though both of these operators are directly tied with the comparison operator category, the ‘==’ operator checks the value of the variable. The ‘===’ operator, on the other hand, checks both the value and the type of the given variable.

What is the use of the $() function in jQuery?

The $() function wraps objects, allowing users to call any method specified for the jQuery object. Additionally, selectors can be provided to the $() function, which returns a jQuery object containing the matched DOM elements.

What APIs have you worked with?

All candidates should have experience working with APIs for well-known commercial projects. Along with that, they should understand how exactly they can use it together with such services as Twitter, Slack, Dropbox, and Google's API suite. Candidates should be able to discuss how to invoke API functions and incorporate their output into their design. Some advanced candidates may have contributed to the development and documentation of their APIs, so do discuss their collaboration with their development team and understand how they construct secure user interfaces.

What’s the difference between HTML and HTML5?

In a broad sense, HTML was a basic language for arranging text and images on a web page, but HTML5 can be considered as an application development platform that accomplishes all HTML does and more, including improved support for audio, video, and dynamic graphics.

It introduces several new features, like the support for offline data storage for apps, and improves the robustness of the exchange protocols. Thus, such plug-in technologies as Adobe Flash, or Microsoft Silverlight are no longer required, as browsers can now process these elements natively.

To test and verify whether a web developer truly has previously claimed skills, most of the web development interview questions do include practical exercises. Depending on the claimed level of proficiency (junior, middle, senior) the questions can highly differ. However, each of them should not take more than 5 to 7 minutes to answer them directly. Here are a few examples that you might consider using during a web developer interview.

Given two strings, return true if they are anagrams of one another

To answer this question one should create a function similar to this one:

Do you know how to compare two objects in JavaScript

Two non-primitive values, such as objects (including functions and arrays), are held by reference, and so both “==” and “===” comparisons verify only whether the references match, not the underlying values.

For instance, all arrays are by default converted to strings by simply putting all the values together with commas. Thus, two arrays with identical contents are not equal:

What does “use strict” do?

The "use strict" is entered at the top of a JavaScript program. It assists in writing more secure JavaScript code by throwing an error if a global variable is accidentally created. For instance, the following piece of code will fail in its execution:

It will fail because x was not defined and is being assigned to a global variable, which is not permitted under "use strict." This minor adjustment below resolves the error.

What are the DRY and DIE?

Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY) or Duplication is Evil (DIE) are both software engineering principles.

What is a webpack?

Webpack is a tool that creates a dependency structure for all of your programming assets, including Javascript, pictures, fonts, and CSS. Webpack enables you to utilize “require()” in your source code to reference local files, such as images, and control how they are processed in the final Javascript bundle.

Where can I find the right web developer candidate?

There are a lot of opportunities and ways to find the right web developer candidate. Thanks to the Internet, today you can simply browse the web and find the right candidate that matches your preliminary requirements. In the past, however, you would need to see each local candidate in person. However, today it is much simpler than that. So to get started you need to know what kind of platforms you need to visit, to find the right candidate. If you want to hire a web developer, then you can try browsing through the following platforms.

  • Upwork — The most often used platform for hiring freelancers. It's simple to use and includes a variety of options, such as time-tracking and automated payouts for reaching milestones.
  • Codeable — WordPress-specific outsourcing service. Outline your requirements and immediately connect with the appropriate web developers. You may have it all from little chores to full-stack development.
  • Guru — Over three million independent contractors are waiting to work with you. Payment choices include per milestone, per task, and hourly, as well as secure payment methods.
  • Outsourcely — Directly hire and pay remote workers. The platform concentrates on steady, long-term employment. Ideal if you're looking to hire a web developer permanently.
  • 99designs — Initially a crowdsourcing platform for graphic designers. However, now it has expanded and now it consists of web developers too. Post your requirements and professionals from all over the world will provide their suggestions. You may view the results, leave comments, and vote for a winner. Pay only when you are completely satisfied.
  • Freelancer.com — Similar to Upwork, with millions of remote workers available, this platform includes real-time chat and a milestone payout system, among other features.
  • Dribbble — Not a place to hire a web developer. However, freelancers showcase their work on Dribbble, and you may contact them directly through the platform if you like their work.

In Conclusion

And that’s pretty much it for this article, all of the most common web developer interview questions and answers are available at your hand. Whether you are a business founder or a web developer himself, we hope that you were able to find these web developer interview questions and answers useful. If you want to fully prepare yourself for an exciting hiring journey, then consider reading web design interview questions and UX designer interview questions.

Remember, if you're hiring a website developer, make sure you act quickly. Evaluate your developer candidates and immediately contact any candidates that you believe are a match for the role. Web developers are in demand thanks to the tech skills shortage, so a good candidate may not be available for long.

There is no real right or wrong way to hire a web developer, but the real deal lies in the details. So, remember to evaluate your needs and your developer’s skill set to find the perfect match. If you want some more non-technical interview questions, you can also check out these questions to ask web developers.