If you’re a web developer—someone involved the process of building and maintaining websites—you’ll be one of three kinds: a front-end developer, a back-end developer, or a full-stack developer.
Front-end developers code the front end of websites, which is how the web design is implemented and executed. The job of a front-end developer is to connect the design with the technology of web development.
Whenever we visit a website, the elements that we see, click, and touch are the user-facing parts of the website. These are integrated by front-end developers, who focus is on user experience or UX.
Get Hired as a Front-End Developer
In a world that is constantly digitizing, front-end developer jobs are highly sought after. But before we delve deeper into the process of getting hired as a front-end developer, let’s look at the skills required to become one.
When it comes to your knowledge and experience, in the eyes of the job market, you’ll either be a beginner , intermediate, or experienced professional. Students and graduates need to develop the following skills and knowledge to get started in a career as a front-end developer:
- Version control or Git
- Responsive design
- Testing and debugging
- Browser developer tools
- Web performance
- Building and automation tools
- Soft skills like communication and teamwork
There are many ways to develop these skills, from the traditional path of a college degree to learning through a web development bootcamp. Once you’ve earned the required skills, you can move on to the next stage of your journey to becoming a front-end developer.
Create an Outstanding Portfolio
The first step after completing your education should be to build a portfolio to showcase your experience and certifications, as well as your ability to communicate across disciplines. A good front-end developer portfolio should include the following sections.
- Introduction – Your introduction should let employers know who you are. Briefly introduce yourself, what you do, and a create a summary of what you’ve done professionally so far, or what you’re interested in doing.
- Education – List your education and skills in front-end development. This could include your degree, skills certifications, seminar and workshop participation, or bootcamp certificates.
- Personal projects – Include web projects you’ve worked on and showcase your practical knowledge with examples.
- Links – Link your portfolio to your GitHub or CodePen projects. You can also provide links to your social media profiles like LinkedIn.
- Context – Whenever you’re mentioning a project you worked on, be sure to provide context like who was the project for, what the requirements were and when it was completed,.
- Awards – Include any awards or recognition you’ve received.
All of these components are crucial if you’re serious about getting hired as a front-end developer.
Prepare for the Interview
The interview process for front-end developers can be challenging. To ace the interview, you’ll need extensive knowledge in areas like web performance, system building processes, CSS layout engines, and the fundamentals of computer science.
Below are a few steps you can follow to prepare for the interview:
- Find out the format of the interview. If possible, find out whether the interview will use online text editors like CoderPad or a whiteboard. You’ll need these details to align your interview prep accordingly.
- Eliminate any doubts you have about the questions before starting to work on the code. Doing this will highlight your communication skills as well as ensure you’ve understood what the question is really asking.
- Keep your interactions with the interviewer engaging, so they understand your thought processes.
- Be open to different approaches and solutions to a question if the interviewer raises any concerns.
- Try to look at the problem from various angles and adopt a multifaceted approach to your solutions.
- Convey a sense of curiosity to the interviewer. This will show that you’re enthusiastic about the process of front-end problem-solving.
Below is a brief guide to some of the most popular topic areas for front-end developer interviews:
General Web Knowledge:
- HTTP requests like GET and POST and their headers like Cache-Control, ETag, and transfer-encoding
- REST vs RPC
- Security topics like when to use CORS, JSONP, and iFrame policies
- Critical rendering path
- Service workers
- Image optimization
- Lazy loading images and video
- How to traverse the DOM
- Adding, removing, copying, and creating nodes in the DOM tree
- Semantic markup
- Tag attributes
- Accessibility concerns
- How to declare your doctype
- Layout processes
- Placing elements next to each other
- Responsive and adaptive design
- Concepts like namespacing
Front-End Developer Interview Questions
Most technical questions for front-end developer positions will be drawn from the areas mentioned above. The technical component of the interview will gauge the depth of your web development knowledge. Your interviewer will ask questions about areas like:
- CSS preprocessors – usage and pros and cons
- Difference between Flexbox and CSS Grid, their usage, strengths, and weaknesses
- Block Element Modifier (BEM) conventions and usage
- ECMAScript 6+, arrow functions and their work
- Difference between Async/Await and Promises
- PureComponent – how you can take advantage of it
- Higher-order components and their use in practice
- Benefits and usage of React Hooks
But for front-end developers, the behavioral assessment is equally important.
Behavioral Interview Questions
Front-end developers often work in a team and rely on strong communication skills. The purpose of a behavioral-based interview is to assess your soft skills, how you behave in certain situations and how well you’ll fit in with the team.
Through this non-technical part of the interview, recruiters evaluate your past experiences and behaviors to predict how you’ll perform in the future. Your answers in a behavioral interview will also give the recruiter insights into your thinking processes, how you react to challenges, how you resolve conflicts, and whether you're a team player.
Behavioral questions usually include:
- In previous front-end developer roles, tell me about a time when you:
- Handled a challenge
- Made a mistake and later corrected it
- Set a goal and achieved it
- Failed in achieving a goal—how did you deal with it?
- Describe a situation where you:
- Had a conflict with a team member—how did you resolve it?
- Had to work under pressure—how did you handle it?
- As a front-end developer, give me an example of a time when you:
- motivated one of your teammates
- spotted a minor problem before it turned into a major one. What measures did you take to prevent it?
- Tell me how you approached a situation where you had the responsibility to execute a major project. Did it go as planned? How did you tackle any obstacles you faced?
- Tell me about a professional situation, working as a front-end developer or in a related role, where you were successful in convincing management to accept one of your ideas.
Below are a few tips to help you prepare for these questions before your first front-end developer interview:
- Practice ahead of time. Research these questions and practice your answers and anecdotes beforehand.
- Take your time to think and formulate your reply before answering each question.
- Embrace a positive and solution-oriented outlook in your answers. Keep the focus on the positive takeaways and successes, even when discussing failures or setbacks.
- Follow the STAR approach:
- Situation: Briefly describe the key details about the challenge that you were facing.
- Task: Describe what role did you play in handling the challenge.
- Action: Explain the action taken by the team while highlighting your role in the process.
- Result: Share the outcome.
How to Ace a Virtual Front-End Developer Interview
Even before lockdowns and social distancing, job interviews were increasingly taking place via video calls. If you find yourself preparing for a virtual front-end developer interview, we’ll save you time with some pro tips:
- Make sure your internet connection is working properly before the call. Have a friend video call you so that you can check the video and voice quality.
- Maintain a pleasant and professional tone. The tone of your voice can convey a lot of information. Remember to breathe if you get nervous.
- Maintain eye-contact in video calls to show you’re engaged in the conversation.
- Prepare well in advance for how you’re going to answer the behavioral questions.
If you’re looking to get hired as a front-end developer, it’s never too soon to start preparing. Check out our article on how to highlight your soft skills in a virtual interview for more great advice that will have you feeling confident in no time.
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