The COVID pandemic might have disrupted the economy worldwide, but interviews still go on, and talented developers are getting hired. Job applications have already transformed into a completely online process, courtesy of the new social distancing guidelines. So it’s important that anyone looking for work understands how to succeed in an online interview.
In this article, we’re going to go over the most commonly asked questions during a full-stack developer interview. By preparing for these questions in advance, you’ll be ready to offer up thoughtful responses and ace your interview - whether it’s held in-person, on the phone or over Zoom.
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Sample Full-Stack Developer Interview Questions
There's no better way to prepare for an interview than practice. We recommend writing out these interview questions on flash cards and talking through each one with a friend or family member before any phone or in-person interview.
If it's crunch time and you don't have a willing volunteer or roommate ready, try rehearsing the answers to yourself in front of a mirror. This way you'll think through the key points you want to convey, and also catch any common habits like talking too fast or fidgeting.
If the interview is over the phone or Zoom, you might have a bit less pressure - but you'll still need to have your answers prepared and ready so you come across as professional and confident.
Here are some of the more common questions you should expect in any software development interview.
How would you describe the role of a full-stack developer?
Depending on the project, they can work with databases building user-facing websites, a mobile stack, or a native application stack. Full-stack developers work on both the client-side as well as server-side software. Since they work on the entire stack of an application, including front-end technology, back-end development languages, databases, servers, API, and version control systems, they are therefore called "full-stack" developers. A full-stack developer has the knowledge to work on all three layers of software development, which are presentation, business, and database.”
What characteristics make you a successful full-tack developer?
This question can be considered as an extension of the previous question. However, the key difference lies in the fact that this question asks about your perspective of being a full-stack developer. The interviewer might be looking for something more than a textbook definition, which you’ve already provided earlier. This is about your understanding of what it takes to become successful as a full-stack developer.
You can occasionally spot job openings for specific languages; for instance, “Full-Stack Ruby Developer Required” or “Opening For Full-Stack Python Developer”. Some full-stack developers also take up other courses like product management or UX design to make their stack ‘full’.
Describe some pros and cons of working in full-stack development?
Full-stack developers are well aware of the industry techniques and products. This means that they can always provide valuable feedback and suggestions on a product or design based on their expertise. From another perspective, they can also assist other members of the team in ‘developing’, thereby reducing time and technical costs related to team communication and technology docking.
What skills do you bring to the role?
Your interviewer likely won’t ask you this exact question, but you should know about the various skills listed below to answer related questions easily.
- Development Languages: Many experts feel that companies rarely need someone with expertise in three or more languages. This is applicable for full-stack developers, too.
- Basic Design Ability: Fundamental know-how of designing is recommended to make it as a successful full-stack developer.
- Database And Cache: Knowledge about Database Management Systems, or DBMS technology is another significant criteria required to be a full-stack developer. Some of the widely used systems for this purpose are MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, and SQL Server. Also, being familiar with caching mechanisms such as varnish, Memcached, or Redis, is always an added advantage.
- Server: A full-stack developer should also possess sufficient experience in handling web servers like Apache or Nginx.
- Working With APIs (REST & SOAP): Having hands-on knowledge about Application Programming Interface (API) or web services is also necessary for full-stack developers. And, understanding REST (Representational State Transfer) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) services is a desirable trait.
So there it is: full-stack web development requires a sound technical foundation, strengthening your core skills, and continuing to learn to deal with challenges. But even more than that, to become a successful web developer for your dream company, you’ll need to also learn how to ace an interview.
By becoming familiar with the questions and answers listed above, and being educated in web development, you’re set up to succeed in your next online interview. If you’d like more guidance on kickstarting your career in tech, Thinkful’s team is ready to give you all the support you need to guide you in the right direction.
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