15 Interview Questions Every Web Developer Should Know

There will come a time in every web developer’s life when he/she will have to interview for a position. If you really want to nail your interview and make a good impression with the hiring manager, you may want to polish up on what I think are the 10 interview questions every web developer should know. Check out the ten points below to make sure you stand out at your next big interview.

1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

This is probably one of the most common interview questions, but it gives you a chance to tell the interviewer a bit about yourself. WHATEVER YOU DO, do not ask the interviewer what do they want to know. If you do that, you will have just commited a major interviewing sin.

The more concise you can be the better, this is a good time to tell the interviewer some things about you but make sure stay on point. Some good responses to this question that are concrete and tie into the job are:

  • How you got started as a web developer
  • When you knew you wanted to do xyz
  • Briefly tell them about your last two or three jobs
  • Where you see yourself headed professionally

2. What kind of experience do you have?

If the interviewer asks you about your experience, be sure to only use examples that relate to the current position. Give two or three examples of the last few times you had to call on this experience. It will be a big plus if you are able to relate your exeperiences with how you can use them to benefit the company.

If you are lacking experience in certain areas that is okay, nobody knows it all. Draw from your experiences which drove you to persevere and successfully accomplish your tasks. Just remember especially in this case to demonstrate how the experience ties into the job or how it can be beneficial to the company.

Some common responses about your experience could be:

  • How you have learned to streamline a process
  • Techniques or knowledge that can help enhance a company function
  • Your understanding of tasks related to your job as a result of your experience

3. What did you do at your last job?

Here you can talk about some of the day to day tasks that you completed or things that you were responsible for. The more you can relate your past tasks with how you can incorporate them into the new position the better.

At the end of the day, the company is only interested in hearing about how your talents can benefit the objectives of the organization. Make sure that you present these topics in a manner that coincide with the role while keeping it short and sweet.

A few responses that are appropriate for this particular question are:

  • I was responsible killing n bugs every week
  • Everyday I would run reports for my boss
  • Developed tools let administer machines in a another data center
  • Make sure all code was developed and checked in before the development cycle ended

4. What do you know about xyz company?

Here the interviewer wants to see if you have prepared for the interview by researching the company, possibly the company’s objectives or even more so if you have researched some of the technologies that are behind the company if possible.

Ultimately, the interviewer is looking to see if you have taken the initiative to understand how you may fit into the role or to see if you understand what is the company even does.

Hopefully, you have done your research and rattle off three or four things that the company does or strategies that they employ that make them the success that they are. My personal go to responses are below, you can use them as is or tailor them for your own specific need:

  • The XYZ company is a global leader in creating tiny widgets for virtual apps
  • You noticed that the company uses xyz technology or cms to power its backend
  • To your knowledge, the company has at least four e-commerce websites all focusing on different industries but employ the same templating system`

Questions like the ones above do nothing to measure a candidates ability to think. If you really want to put the developer in the hot seat, ask them questions like:

Whatever you say, just make sure that you can identify overall what the company does and more specifically, any interesting facts about the company or website that you are able to observe.

5. So what are you looking for in this position?

This question is actually pretty simple, the most important thing to remember is that what you want should mesh with the needs of the company and the position. This definitely is not the place to give your life story.

This is not the place to tell the interviewer that you want to work here because you heard that they pay well, or that your buddies work here or that this is just a temporary job to help you pad your resume. That right there will get you zero callbacks.

A few strong responses that you can use are:

  • A dynamic team that you can contribute your talents to and be successful with
  • Challenging projects that you can take on regularly
  • A position that you grow in and eventually move up once you have proven yourself

6. Have you used any frameworks lately?

Typically, this is a question in my opinion to gauge how current your skillset is, and additionally to measure the breadth of your skillset. Here is where I typically rattle off the technologies that I use day to day such as:

  • Bootstrap
  • Laravel
  • CodeIgniter
  • Angular
  • jQuery
  • Node
  • MVC
  • Etc.

7. How did you use them?

This question is pretty self-explanatory although I would suggest only mentioning the most important or outstanding projects that you have used them with.

  • You used Angular to dynamically generate y
  • There was a need for a custom content management system so you extended the
  • functionality of Laravel to do x
  • I used Yii to build our custom tool that did xyz

8. Why did you use them?

Here you can give examples of why you chose (or had to choose) one technology over another. A few things that you can say are:

  • We used Yii because that was the framework my last employer preferred
  • This ui kit was used as opposed to that one because it did not have enough components

9. Do you know anything about x database?

This is a question that most web developers should be familiar with to some degree. Here the hiring manager or team member wants to know that you have experience with some form of relational database management system.

Here you can outline a few points that demonstrate your understanding of the different flavors of databases, why they are used, and some of the applications that you created which emplyed the use of a database.

I normally discuss topics ranging from:

  • My familiarity with MySQL and SQL
  • Normalization and their forms including 1st, 2nd and 3rd normal form
  • Database query optimizations
  • Binding parameters to avoid SQL injection

10. What is a join?

A join is a database construct that allows you to connect two or more tables using a unique reference. This question will come up more than likely so make sure that you can competently explain the different types of joins such as:

11. What is your biggest accomplishment as a web developer?

With this question you can showcase your best work, if possible do not try to toot your own horn. You can simply say that you you did some really cool things and you can outline them from there

The key is showcase your skills, tie those accomplishments into how they relate to the job or how they will relate to the job and how you can bring that same energy to the current position. Don’t say that you single handedly doubled revenue for the company last quarter when you really only invalidated refunds for the line of discontinued clown shoes.

Some quick leadoffs for your responses could be:

  • I created that an app increased x
  • After noticing x I developed this app that did y and resulting in some value
  • A project that we thought took this amount of time was able to be done this amount time because I….

12. Why should we give you the position?

This is where you have to let your most valuable assets shine because at this point, the interview is almost over. You absolutely have to demonstrate the value that you will bring to the company above all other candidates.

Don’t go overboard, but really drive home the fact through persuasion that you are the best choice for the job. You can do this by using strong arguments like the following:

  • You should hire me because my experience is directly related to the job description
  • Many of the tasks outlined on the job description fit the responsibilities that I had at my last employer
  • Because I am the solution to the problems that you have and I can get the job done

13. What are your strengths?

If you are asked the question, the interviewer is wanting to know what do you really well as a web developer. If your strengths are not directly related to the job, I would not bring them up.

If you do not think that you have any strengths, do not say that. You can for example tell the interviewer that you:

  • Have an innate skill for fixing bugs quickly
  • Work well under pressure
  • That you are a leader and exhibit leadership qualities
  • Aare a stickler for attention to detail

14. What are your weaknesses?

This question will probably come up. It’s a big one and it speaks to how you perceive yourself. Don’t worry, this is not a trick question. We all have weaknesses and the interviewer knows this.

What the hiring manager wants to know is how do you fare despite not being as strong in this area as you are in say another. The best approach is to turn the weakness into a strength, for example. You can say things like:

  • I get frustrated with people who turn their work in late, especially when my work depends on theirs
  • Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but I modularize the task into smaller pieces and complete each micro task one bit bit at a time
  • I obsess over every little detail and get anxious sometimes but I think about the praise that I get and I instantly relax

15. Do you have any questions?

Here is where you have the opportunity to get more information about the job, the team, and more about the responsibilities etcetera. This is probably not the place to discuss salary or benefits unless they bring it up first.

The worst thing that you can do is not ask any questions, or to ask questions that have nothing to do with the position or interview. Even if you really do not have any questions it is best that you ask somee because you want to know what you are getting yourself potentially into it.

I would suggest asking questions along the line of:

  • How soon do you think that you will make a decision
  • Do you mind if I follow-up with you about the position
  • What is a typical day like in the work environment
  • Does the company promote from within

I hope that these tips help you out on your next big interview. Web development is a fun and enjoyable career but it can be stressful trying to land that next big job. The good news is it get’s easier. Don’t forget to practice, and good luck!

11 Steps To A Higher Starting Salary For Web Developers

Boost your chances of increasing your starting salary if you are a new web developer by following these simple 11 steps. Show potential employers that you are worth the salary that you are asking for by being prepared in advance.

Though being a web developer is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding careers both professionally and financially, being a developer can get demanding. It would behoove the new coder just getting started to take this into account when trying to determine a rough starting salary.

If you are going to subject yourself to the rigors of a mentally taxing career, you might as well get paid handsomely for it right?

With that being said, here are 11 steps that you can take to command a higher starting salary as a new web developer.

  1. Know What Technologies Are Currently In Demand. By knowing what technologies are currently popular, you can get an idea of what professional web developers are using in the industry. Some of the basic core technologies used by web developers are:
  2. Make Sure You Have A Portfolio
    Having a portfolio shows that you have a body of work to demonstrate your skills. Recruiters, managers and clients are going to want see examples of your work so it is good to make sure that you have something to show.
  3. Git Your Code On The Web
    If you plan on going up for a position that entails programming, make sure that you have coding examples on GitHub. Most hiring managers and team members are going to want to peruse your work. Reading a developer’s code helps us to get a sense of their style and programming sophistication.
  4. Setup a profile on LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is the go-to destination for employers, recruiters and other web developers. Having a LinkedIn account will allow others to reach out to you with possible work opportunities, it also opens up your prospects for networking with others.
  5. Create Or Update Your Resume
    If you haven’t done so already, create your resume and if possible have someone review it for you. If you already a resume, make sure that it is up to date. Also make sure that you include your contact information and links to:

    An even better idea is to make your resume available from a link entitled ‘Resume’ from the navigation bar on your website. You should make the document downloadable as a .PDF or .DOC file. That way if a recruiter ask you for a copy, you can point them to your website and quickly fetch a copy without you having to do anything.
    An even better idea is to make your resume available from a link entitled ‘Resume’ from the navigation bar on your website. You should make the document downloadable as a .PDF or .DOC file. That way if a recruiter ask you for a copy, you can point them to your website and quickly fetch a copy without you having to do anything.

  6. Read Job Descriptions Before You Apply
    I can not emphasize this enough, make sure you read the job description before you apply. There is nothing worse than receiving email from recruiters who have sent me job requisitions for jobs that do not relate to my skills. Same goes for hiring managers, they are busy and do not want to receive resumes from unqualified candidates.
  7. Shop Your Resume To Recruiters / Employers
    So you have found some jobs that you think that you are a good fit for, great! You are now ready to shop your resume to recruiters and employers. Thankfully, applying for jobs in this day is relatively straight forward. Most job boards let you apply for jobs by simply uploading a file or emailing a resume.Upon submitting your resume, all you have to do is sit back and let the phone ring. I will suggest getting Google Talk telephone number because many times you will be inundated with phone calls from recruiters. Some good places to submit your resume are:

  8. Research Current Rates For New Developers In Your Market
    Do some research to get an idea of what web developers are making in your market. When you talk to the recruiters they are going to ask you what your rate is or what you want in terms of a starting salary. Don’t be afraid to ask to for the higher rate or salary, the most that they can say is no. One thing to keep in mind is that the recruiters will be taking a cut of your pay, which means that they can afford to take LESS and pay you MORE.You do the work not them so it is only fair. Some of the more popular resources to research starting salaries are:

    The amount that web developers make per hour varies so be sure to factor in this in when determining your amount.

  9. Research Companies Before You Interview
    The time will come when you will eventually get a callback for a telephone interview or a face to face interview. Make sure that you research the company and understand what they do. Research their competitors and some of their main products or services. You will get bonus points with the interviewer if you can identify some of the technologies that power their website. One other thing that you might want to do is research what the starting salary is for similar positions in the company if possible.
  10. Crush Your Interview By Knowing What To Say To Hiring Managers
    I will be the first to admit, I had no idea what it took to interview well. Nobody ever taught me, until someone pointed it out to me. After watching some videos by Don Georgivich, I learned that I was doing it all wrong. Good thing that happened for the both of us because I learned how to interview and I am sharing my experience so that you will be prepared. A good resource to learn about what to expect is my article 15 Interview Questions Every Web Developer Should Know. This is a good primer on what to expect during your interview. You may also want to peruseĀ  5 Tips for Hiring a Great Web Developer which talks about what hiring managers should look for during the search and hiring process for web developers.
  11. Be Confident
    The most important thing that you can do to command a higher starting salary is to be confident. Companies want to see leadership and decisiveness and they are willing to pay for it, within reason.