There are many ways to prepare for a web developer interview and knowing the answers to these technical questions are just one way to ensure you ace your next web developer interview.
If you’re going to enter the job market as a web developer, odds are you’ll be preparing for an interview. In any type of job interview you may go on, it’s important to be presentable, professional, and personable.
While most job interviews follow similar processes, there are some additional technicalities involved in an interview for web developers. But, have no worries — because once you’ve read through these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to nail the interview!
Let’s take a look:
Start by knowing who you’ll be interviewing with. If you’re not in direct communication with your interviewer, but instead are talking to a recruiter or someone in Human Resources (HR), don’t be afraid to ask them some preliminary questions, like:
- What’s the structure of the interview?
- Who will I be meeting with?
- How long is the interview expected to take?
- Will there be any sort of test?
- Is there anything besides my resume that I should bring with me?
Asking these questions will provide you with the basics to feel comfortable walking into the room. The next step is to make sure you’ve read and understood the job description.
By reading the job description, you can deduce more than just your duties. Oftentimes, the job description will share requirements for the candidate, which will give you insight into the kinds of questions you may be asked, the type of work environment to expect, and of course, the scope of work.
After you have the basics down, it’s time to go into deeper research about both the company and the interviewer(s). A general rule of thumb is that most people do like to talk about themselves, so if you perform research on the person who will be asking you questions, you can ask specific questions about their education and current position. They’ll likely be impressed that you performed the due diligence to know these details about them.
It’s also important to research the product, the company’s recent news, and its competitors. Make a list about why you specifically want to work with this company over another. Another really useful tip is to reach out directly to a developer working in the company currently via LinkedIn, social media or email. Introduce yourself and the reason why you’re reaching out so you can ask more about the company culture, challenges of the job, and measures of success.
There’s a certain level of expected professionalism in all interviews. Prepare in advance and have the following items and talking points ready:
For one, it’s important that even though you’ve emailed your resume, you should still bring a printed copy, preferably on thicker card stock paper than regular printer paper.
List of References:
While not all interviews ask for this, most of them do, and it’s better to have a list ready to go for when it’s requested. Be sure to ask your references for their permission to be contacted before sharing their details so they can be ready for the call or email.
If you have a portfolio, spruce it up and make sure it’s up to date and showcases relevant experience for the current position based on the job description.
Have a fact sheet of the general information about the company so that you can reference its founders, major accomplishments, recent updates, etc.
Go through your own resume and highlight specific examples of your experience that are relevant to the position you’re applying for and how it sets you up to improve the company.
Check Google Maps, or your favorite GPS, to see the expected time it’ll take to get to the interview location. Show up at least 30 minutes early to avoid any parking issues, and then enter the interview location at least 15 minutes early.
Despite any nerves you may have, get a good night’s rest so that you are sharp and clear-headed during the interview.
Before the interview, you can practice common interview questions with yourself in a mirror or with a friend or family member. Here’s a list of some typical interview questions for web developers:
These two are particularly important, so be prepared for them for sure:
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why do you like being a web developer?
More General Questions:
- Tell me about yourself. (This is where they want to get a feel of both your personality, but also how your experience is relevant to the position.)
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are you like to manage?
- How would your work colleagues describe you?
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
- Describe a difficult work situation and what you did to overcome it.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- For a web developer position, besides the above generic questions, you’ll likely face more technical and project-related questions, such as:
- Share a project you think worked well and why you’re proud of it.
- If you could change something about a past project, what would it be?
- How do you perform QA?
- How would your project managers describe you?
- Have you been client-facing in previous roles? Is it something you’re comfortable with?
- What tools do you use to de-bug?
- What is CORS?
- If you have more than 1 stylesheet, how do you integrate them all?
- When building an application or site, how do you manage SEO, security, and UX?
- What’s the difference between GET and a POST request? What about PATCH and CONNECT?
- Depending on the position and your experience, they may go into more details and even ask you to perform a test. Brush up on your skills and subject knowledge so you’ll be ready for anything!
5. During the Interview
Combined with the technical knowledge and professionalism you display, you should also remain personable. Here’s a few tips as to how to present yourself as a quality candidate during the interview:
- Be confident
- Sit up straight and don’t fidget
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Have good energy
- Ask for water, and drink it when you need to think of an answer to a question — to get oxygen and time
- Feel ok with taking time to answer a question. Like test-taking, if you don’t know the answer on the spot, simply ask if you can come back to it later on
- Bring a notebook so that you can write your questions down
6. Closing the Interview
More often than not, your interviewer will ask if you have any questions before closing the interview. Even if you don’t have questions, be sure to ask at least four. Have them ready to go from before the interview because it shows your interest.
As much as they are interviewing you, you are interviewing them as well to ensure it’s the right fit.
Here are a few examples of questions you can ask if nothing specific comes up during the interview:
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
- How long have you been here?
- How big is the team?
- What is the biggest challenge in your work / for the company?
- What is the culture like?
- What work will you be doing there? What projects would you be working on?
- What will be the biggest challenge for anyone taking the role?
After you’ve discussed, be sure to take these proactive next moves:
- Ask what next steps are
- Ask how your success will be measured and what the company’s biggest challenges are
- Ask each interviewer for their business card or contact information so that you can perform the next tip with ease
- Be sure to send a follow-up thank you note — send one to each interviewer with something personal from the discussion (these are where your notes from the interview come in handy)
- Follow up a few days or a week later to check-in and stay at the top of their mind (unless they have otherwise told you that they will reach out by a specific time that is longer than a week)
Regardless of the interview questions and process, your personality is the most memorable part about the conversation! Therefore, if you can maintain professionalism, showcase your skills, and leave a lasting impression, you’ll be in good stead to get the job.
Of course, your experience and knowledge are necessary to fill the position, but it’s also useful to show that you have a problem-solving mentality and are up for any challenge so that you can contribute to the team’s success. Since you more than likely have earned your degree in computer science, you know the types of skills that are necessary to be prepared for this field.
You’re not expected to have all the answers from the get-go, but rather, you are respected for your attitude and how you present yourself.
Good luck — you got this!