5 Software Engineer Interview Questions You Should Be Asking
- Sep 13, 2016
Finding a software engineer who meets all your firm’s requirements isn’t easy. Many candidates appear to be perfect at the time of their interview. They know the technology your company uses and have what appears to be a solid job background. But everyone’s familiar with this next scenario: you learn your “ideal” hire is not a team player, or is such a perfectionist that performing his or her tasks is taking twice as long as it should. Try asking these five interview questions to dig deeper and increase your odds of finding the best candidate for the job.
Look for Critical Thinking Skills
- What project have you worked on that you've been most proud of? The answer to this question will give you some great insight into what the candidate values, what they know, and how they worked in a team environment. Ask them to detail what they specifically did that worked out well.
- What project have you worked on that you've been least proud of? This isn’t about shaming a potential hire. Rather, it will let you see if a person can recognize a mistake, admit to making it, and learn from it. Software engineers need to understand that perfection is unattainable. Ask the candidate for particular examples of what she or he would do differently.
- If users are getting an error message while trying to access an app, how do you diagnose the problem and explain it to them? This is a great question for learning a candidate’s thought processes, as well as whether they know how to solve problems. You also have the chance to learn about their biases and favored diagnostic tools. There isn’t necessarily one “right” answer to this questions, but you gain insight into how the person thinks.
Find Team Players
- How do you define a team player? This is a better question than “Are you a team player?” because most respondents would answer yes. Listen to how the candidate responds on working styles and preferences to ensure it aligns with your organization’s culture. Follow up with a question on what the candidate is looking for culturally.
- How do you keep your skills sharp, and what professional challenges excite you? Ask about personal projects the candidate may have outside of work — a great way to measure their passion for what they do. Find out how he or she stays on top of changes in the industry and how they choose which innovations to embrace. Pay careful attention to the challenges that excite them — it will give you a clear indication if they are the right candidate for the current job opening.