9 Software Engineer Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared For

Is 2024 the year you advance your tech career?

Maybe you’ve been working in the software engineering space for a while and you’re ready to take on a more senior-level role within your company. Or, perhaps this is your first foray into the tech world, and you want to pivot from one professional space to the next.

Either way, it’s important to plan ahead. While you might have a few jitters as you apply, knowing what to expect ahead of time can make the process easier. One way is to practice answering a few software engineer interview questions before you take that next step.

Today, we’re sharing nine sample questions to get your wheels turning and help you prepare.

1. Why Do You Want to Become a Software Engineer?

Let’s start with one of the most straightforward software developer interview questions. When you meet with the company’s hiring team, they’ll want to know why you chose this particular career path.

Remember to be honest and transparent. Explain the positions you’ve held and the decisions that got you where you are today.

Are you coming from the field of data analytics or web design? What about software consultancy or mobile development? Describe how your experience fueled your current passion, and your dedication will shine through.

2. What Project Management Tools Are You Familiar With?

As a software engineer, you may use a range of different project management tools. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Trello
  • Wrike
  • Microsoft Project

You may have used some of these tools in a previous position, such as teaching. Briefly explain which tools you’ve used and the capacity in which you used them.

3. What Programming Languages Do You Prefer to Use?

This is one of the most important inquiries you’ll face, especially when answering full stack developer interview questions. Some of the top programming languages include:

  • Java
  • C++
  • C#
  • JavaScript
  • Python

4. Have You Used Object-Oriented Design in a Recent Project?

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a software development design standard. Most software engineering interviews will mention it, especially if you’re applying for a Python development role.

Within Python, OOP refers to the use of classes and the importance of creating scalable, testable code. Your interviewers may want to know how familiar you are with this concept and if you’ve implemented it recently.

When answering, remember to mention the four pillars of OOP:

  1. Inheritance
  2. Polymorphism
  3. Encapsulation
  4. Abstraction

Sharing these pillars shows you have a working knowledge of the standard, but it’s also helpful to mention any projects that you’ve worked on that incorporated OOP. If you’ve worked with Django, Flask, or any other application programming interface (API), you should have examples to pull from.

5. What Front-End/Back-End Technologies and Development Frameworks Have You Used?

For entry-level software engineer or QA engineer positions, you might not get too deep into front-end and back-end tech. However, this question may come up if the interviewer wants to know more about your full stack developer skills.

Full stack development requires developing both the front and back end of an application or website at the same time. This covers three layers: the presentation layer, the business logic layer, and the database layer.

Some of the most common front-end framework tools include:

  • AngularJS
  • BootStrap
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Python
  • ReactJS

On the back end, frameworks like Django, NodeJS, and Express are commonly used. For the database layer, some of the most popular options include:

  • Apache Storm
  • Cassandra
  • MongoDB
  • MySQL
  • Sphinx

6. Can You Explain the Concept and Benefits of Continuous Integration?

Continuous integration (CI) is a DevOps practice where different developers write code for a piece of software, which is merged into a central repository at pre-determined intervals throughout the day. From there, developers can make automated builds and run tests.

There are several benefits to this approach, which are important to mention during your interview. CI helps developers:

  • Find and resolve bugs quicker
  • Move software projects at a faster rate
  • Improve software
  • Validate and release new updates more easily

7. Can You Talk About Your Familiarity With Database Management Systems (DBMS)?

Database Management System (DBMS) helps manage and organize data in a structured manner. You can use a DBMS to make, modify, and query a database, as well as manage its security and access controls. Before starting work as a software engineer, it’s helpful to know how this process works.

If you’ve used a DBMS in the past, share that information with your interview panel.

8. How Do You Make Sure Your Code Is Secure?

You might think that only cybersecurity professionals are responsible for securing code at an organization. However, all developers can play a role in creating code that is safe and protected from external attacks.

Your interviewer may want to know which steps you take to optimize code security. Examples can include:

  • Randomizing your session IDs
  • Limiting information shared in error code text
  • Enforcing rules for strong passwords
  • Building account lockout feature into login pages
  • Implementing plug-and-play security features
  • Documenting secure code-writing practices and building repeatable frameworks

9. What Is MVC (Model-View-Controller) Architecture?

During your interview, you may need to share your understanding of MVC architecture. In short, this is an architectural model that divides each application into three components:

  • Model: The internal representation of data
  • View: The user-facing interface
  • Controller: The software that links the model and view

Each of these components handles a certain development aspect of the app, keeping the business logic separate from the presentation layer. Originally used for desktop graphical user interfaces (GUIs), MVC architecture is now considered an industry-standard development framework.

Ace Your Software Engineer Interview Questions

As the day of your big interview approaches, it’s natural to feel some nerves. This means you’re invested in the outcome and you want to do your best!

To make sure you’re prepared, try answering these software engineer interview questions before you go in. You can work in front of a mirror, or ask a trusted friend to take on the role of the interviewer.

At Coding Temple, we’re proud to be the top pathway for high-growth tech careers. Our software engineering curriculum can give you the skills and knowledge you need to stand out in this space and land the job of your dreams. Apply now and get started today!