Best Interview Questions To Ask A Junior Developer

July 11, 2023

best interview questions to ask a junior developer

When it comes to hiring a junior developer, it's crucial to understand this is a role brimming with potential. With the right questions during the job interview, you can determine if a candidate is the perfect fit for your development team.

What are the best interview questions to ask a junior developer?

This article will provide you with top fifteen interview questions to ask a junior developer and explain why these questions are important.

1. Can you explain how syntax differs in different programming languages you are familiar with?

Every programming language has its own syntax and conventions. Asking a candidate about the variations between different languages shows their range and adaptability. This question will also highlight their problem-solving skills and ability to communicate technical concepts effectively.

This question can give you insights into the candidate’s curiosity and self-motivation. Successful developers should be excited about learning new things. This response also provides you with information about the resources they utilize to stay updated, which can be evaluated for credibility and quality.

3. Can you describe a challenging project you have worked on and how you handled it?

This question offers insights into a candidate's problem-solving capabilities and their approach to difficult tasks. It also helps you understand their involvement in previous projects and their ability to function under pressure.

4. How have you used version control systems like Git in your projects before?

A key pillar of collaborative projects, understanding of Git or any version control systems is essential. By asking this question you can gauge their experience in a team-oriented development environment.

5. What's your experience with software testing?

best interview questions to ask a junior developer

This question allows you to assess the candidate's understanding of quality assurance, debugging, and their attention to detail. Confirm they understand the importance of testing their code and how it makes the product more reliable.

6. Can you explain the concept of DRY in programming?

The DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself ) principle is crucial in programming. A candidate's awareness of such principles indicates a good understanding of coding standards and practices, which is a key trait of a polished developer.

7. What project management tools have you used in the past?

Understanding what tools the candidate is familiar with can allow you to gauge how quickly they can adapt to your team's methodology. Be it Agile or Waterfall, knowing their experience can set expectations correctly.

8. Can you describe the difference between front-end and back-end development?

This question clarifies the candidate’s understanding of the overall development process. It can also help you understand whether they have a preference or strength in one development approach over the other.

9. What was the worst coding mistake you've made and how did you handle it?

The ability to learn from mistakes is crucial in any profession. This question also checks if the candidate can own up to mistakes and has the problem-solving skills to rectify them.

10. How would you explain APIs to a non-technical person?

best interview questions to ask a junior developer

This question measures the developer’s communication skills. Conveying complex concepts in simple terms is crucial when working within cross-functional teams.

11. How do you approach debugging when faced with a code issue?

This question assesses a candidate’s problem-solving skills — a vital component of any developer's toolkit. It also reveals their methodology when faced with challenges, which speaks about their patience and determination.

12. Can you talk about your experience working with databases?

Databases form an essential part of building applications. Learning about their experience with SQL or MySQL, querying, optimization, data modeling, etc., can be insightful.

13. What do you do when you get stuck on a coding problem?

This question can provide an in-depth look at a developer's problem-solving process, collaboration skills, and resourcefulness.

14. How can you ensure that your code is both safe and secure?

This question highlights the importance of code security. It will show whether they are trained to code defensively and think about security during the design and build phase, not just during testing.

15. What motivates you in the work you do as a developer?

Understanding what drives a candidate helps you see if they will mesh well with your existing team's culture. This question can clue you into their long-term plans and whether they see this job as a stop-gap or a step towards a longer-term goal.

Ensure to customize these questions as per your organization needs, as these will help you gather insights and identify the right talent for your needs.

Is there another way to assess junior developer skills?

While conducting interviews is a crucial step in evaluating junior developer candidates, it is highly advisable to supplement this process with pre-employment tests, such as programming tests (e.g. Python), aptitude tests (e.g. numerical reasoning) and personality tests (e.g. HEXACO).

By combining interviews with pre-employment tests, hiring managers can make more informed decisions about junior developer candidates.

The data gathered from these tests offers a comprehensive picture of a candidate's technical aptitude, learning potential, and overall fit within the organization.

This approach not only increases the chances of hiring the right candidate but also minimizes the risk of making a costly hiring mistake.

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