Last updated on January 10th, 2020 at 04:44 pm

A software engineer sits in front of a bunch of computer screens, watching the tests running on the computers.Good old days, when a degree from IT and decent technical skills sufficed one to get a job of a software engineer.

These days are gone.

The interview processes has become much more sophisticated. Technical questions are complemented with behavioral questions and personal questions, and you may even face an IQ test in an interview.

Besides your technical skills and readiness for the job, you will have to demonstrate right attitude to work, high level of motivation, and the value you can bring to the team of IT workers in the company.

The technical questions will actually vary a lot, depending on the applications they develop in the company, the programming languages they use, and your exact role in the process of software engineers. The list below should give you some idea on what to expect in this interview.


Interview questions for software engineers

  • Why have you decided for a career of a software engineer? Talk about your passion for development, say them that you enjoy coding and programming, and that you are good at it. You can also point out a great future of the industry, and a firm belief that you can become a great engineer.
  • What do you like the most about your job? Here you can go with pure love for coding, for finding the most effective way of designing software. Or you can point out a specific phase of engineering process, such as planning, designing, or testing. One way or another, you should speak with enthusiasm.
  • Can you name the main phases of software development process? Market research and analysis, design, implementation and coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance, are the most commonly used phases of SD cycle. You can add your own twist to the mix…
  • Can you name the tools and programming languages you have used in your last software engineering project? A good answer depends on the person who leads the interview with you. Do they have good technical skills? Do they know something about software engineering (an HR generalist and a CTO have different knowledge of the subject). Name the tools, and add technical details, if you find it appropriate, if you talk to someone with technical background.
  • If we speak about mobile apps development, what do you see as a trend in next ten years? The future is in mobile. But what exactly the future will be is hard to say. Perhaps you can go with artificial intelligence, or apps that help us with administrative tasks (mobile payments, virtual IDs, etc). You probably have your own opinion anyway.


More technical questions

  • Which programming languages are you familiar with, and which do you consider the most important?
  • What security test do you consider most important?
  • Describe your opinion about the application of artificial intelligence in software engineering?
  • What is the main difference between the abstract class and the interface?
  • How would you find a string in sorted array?
  • Imagine that a customer doesn’t like many things during acceptance testing of your work. What can be a reason for such a situation, and what will you do to avoid it.

Special Tip: Download a full list of questions in a simple, one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

full list of questions

Work portfolio, and behavioral questions – two key things in an interview

Two Asian interviewers lead a meeting with the job applicant. All people are beautifully dressed. You should prepare a work portfolio for your interview.

A well-designed portfolio will help you to show the interviewers (even those who lack technical knowledge) what you can do, what you have already successfully accomplished in the field.

What is more, a good portfolio can help you to avoid answering additional technical questions. They will see, on  the projects you completed, that you have the skills, and they will not doubt your readiness for the job anymore.

Behavioral questions – an important and overlooked part

The interview process has become more sophisticated. Employers realize that software engineer isn’t an isolated unit, hiding somewhere in the back office with their computer.

Software engineers belong to the team of people. They interact with the other employees. They have an impact on the overall atmosphere in the workplace.

No wonder that the HR managers will ask you questions that relate to your attitude to work and to other people you meet in work.


Great answers to behavioral questions

A job candidate is using his hands,. trying to explain his message to the interviewers.How do you handle conflicts? How do you manage to cope with pressure? Do you struggle explaining technical terms to people who lack technical skills?

You can expect from five to eight behavioral questions in your interview.

Obviously, many technicians struggle with good answers to these questions. And many times it costs them a job.

If you would like to learn how to answer fifteen most common behavioral questions, have a look at Interview Success Package, a product I designed to help people like you to cope with this tough challenge in an interview.

Thank you, we wish you good luck! – Your best job interview coach since 2011.

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