The high salary and great demand for engineers have attracted numerous job seekers. However, do you know what the popular job interview questions for engineers are? Besides the technical test, general questions will also be asked during engineering interviews. Here are the ten most common job interview questions for software engineers collected and compiled through global job seeking experience, sharing from managers and human resource database.
Further reading: 9 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Job in IT
Top 10 Software Engineering Interview Questions
What do you know about the company?
Why do you want to join us?
The company would like to know if you have done any homework: familiarize with their products, corporate culture and working environment.
If you aren't able to answer these questions accurately, it implies that you do not know this company and do not attach importance to this interview. Presumably, the interviewer is not going to be impressed with you!
What's the most challenging project you've participated in?
What was your role in the project?
What were the difficulties and how did you overcome them?
This is a “must-asked” job interview question for engineers. It helps interviewers understand your contribution to your past projects, how you dealt with pressure and how you overcome problems.
Although not every engineer has to deal with clients in person, when it comes to promotion, it is often considered as one of the most critical factors. Interviewers want to know about your emotional stability, how you deal with stress, and how you handle customers.
Please share the most difficult technical problem you've faced till date, and how you solved it.
This is similar to the previous question, but it is more technical. Employers want to know how familiar you are with programming software, and what kind of resources/methods you use to solve problems.
Do you have experience of handling difficult clients?
How did you deal with them?
What kind of different strategies will you adopt now?
Although not every engineer has to deal with clients in person, when it comes to promotion, it is often considered as one of the most critical factors. Interviewers want to know about your emotional stability, how you deal with stress, and how you handle clients.
Remember that the focus here is "how you solve problem and persuade customers". Do not complain about how unreasonable the clients’ requirements are, or wrongly focus on discussing technical problems.
How do you get access to the latest technology?
Software technology is evolving with each passing day. As a software engineer, it is necessary to keep up with the latest technology. The purpose of this software engineering interview question is to know whether you continue to learn and upgrade yourself during your spare time.
The best way to handle this question is to be truthful. Answer “yes’ if you do and “no” if you do not, do not lie. Otherwise, it would cause negative effect if you are found lying.
Have you developed or learned any new skills last year?
This interview question is similar to the previous one, except that this one is broader. The previous question is more focused on programming/technical aspects. However, this question is more about non-technical skills that can be helpful to the position, such as management skill, foreign language ability, sales ability, and etc.
Although the question is very broad, do not talk about skills that are not related to the position. For example, “I am learning harmonica recently”. Unless the interviewer is also learning, otherwise he/she will not be interested.
What technologies/software/packages are you most familiar with?
The purpose of this software engineering interview question is to understand your practical ability and your degree of familiarity with a technology. There are not many ingenious ways to respond to this. Answer what you know about the technology with examples to substantiate.
What is the coolest code you have ever written?
Which portion of it are you proudest of? Why?
This question is evolved from the previous question. In addition to your degree of familiarity with coding, interviewer also wants to know about your creativity.
The key to this question does not lie in your skill level, but whether you can come up with code or solutions that no one else has thought of.
What role do you play in a team?
When team member refused to cooperate, how would you handle the situation?
Software engineers often need to cooperate with other people to complete a project. Hence interviewers want to know how you work within a team, what role you will play when the team is in difficulty, and what are the contributions you will make.
For manager position:
- You can place emphasis on "leadership" and "guidance".
- Provide examples of how you can inspire and lead the team to overcome difficulties.
For non-managerial position:
- You can place emphasis on how you can assist the team during operation.
- As a collaborator, how you can help leaders lead the team to success more smoothly.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The interviewer wants to know about your future career plan. There is basically no right or standard answer to this question, but the general direction is: do not mention about career change. No company would be happy to see their employees keep switching jobs.
Apart from well-rehearsed answers, body language is also an important factor during job interview! How to crack positive body language?