Top Software Developer Interview Questions with Example Answers [2022]

Prepare for your Software Developer interview by going through these most asked Software Developer interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: Can you tell me about yourself?
  • Question Overview: This is an open-ended question that gives the candidate a chance to tell you about their background, experience, and interests. It's a good opportunity to learn about the candidate's personality and cultural fit for your organization.

    Sample Answer: I was born in New York City and I've lived there ever since. I graduated from NYU with a degree in computer science. I'm a big fan of the New York Yankees and I love to travel.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Personality
    • - Cultural fit

  • Question: If you are a web administrator, and you receive an DDoS attack, were there are "N millions" of hits at the same time, how do you avoid your servers going down?
  • Question Overview: A candidate should be able to describe the steps they would take to mitigate a DDoS attack.

    Sample Answer: I would contact the network team and ask them to increase the bandwidth of our servers. If that didn't work, I would ask them to move our servers to a different network with more bandwidth.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Technical knowledge
    • - Ability to think on their feet
    • - Ability to solve problems creatively

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  • Question Overview: This question is designed to assess a candidate's career goals and their ability to see the big picture. A candidate should be able to describe how they will grow professionally and how their role in the company will change over time.

    Sample Answer: I'd like to be a senior developer in 3 years and a lead developer in 5 years.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Career goals
    • - Ability to see the big picture
    • - Awareness of long-term career goals

  • Question: How do you differentiate between SOA and MVC, and how can one help you scale your application?
  • Question Overview: SOA and MVC are two different ways of structuring a software application. SOA is a more general term that refers to a loosely coupled system that can be scaled by adding or removing modules. MVC is a specific implementation of SOA that uses three distinct components to handle requests. A candidate should be able to explain the difference between the two and how they can be used to scale an application.

    Sample Answer: SOA stands for service-oriented architecture and refers to a loosely coupled system that can be scaled by adding or removing modules. MVC stands for model-view-controller and is a specific implementation of SOA that uses three distinct components to handle requests.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of SOA and MVC
    • - Ability to explain complex technical concepts

  • Question: What are your hobbies?
  • Question Overview: A candidate's hobbies can reveal a lot about their personality and interests. A candidate should be able to describe several activities that they enjoy outside of work.

    Sample Answer: I like to play golf in my free time. I also like to read books on my Kindle.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Hobbies
    • - Personality traits
    • - Cultural fit with an organization

  • Question: What are your expectations from this job?
  • Question Overview: A candidate's expectations from a job are often a good indicator of whether they will be a good fit for the organization. A candidate should be able to describe what they expect from the job in terms of salary, benefits, and work-life balance.

    Sample Answer: I expect to be paid a competitive salary and to receive excellent benefits. I also want to work for an organization that values work-life balance.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Salary expectations
    • - Benefits expectations
    • - Work-life balance expectations

  • Question: How would you design a LRU cache?
  • Question Overview: A candidate should be able to design a cache that uses the least recently used data first to optimize memory usage.

    Sample Answer: I would use a linked list to store the data in the cache. I would use a hash table to store the data by key.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of data structures
    • - Ability to design efficient data structures

  • Question: How will you count the distinct pairs of integers that sum up to a target number?
  • Question Overview: This is a classic computer science problem that requires the candidate to use a combination of loops and recursion to solve it. The candidate should be able to explain their solution in terms of the problem and how they arrived at it.

    Sample Answer: I would start by writing a loop that counts the number of pairs of integers that sum up to the target number. Then I would write another loop that counts the number of pairs that don't sum up to the target number. Finally, I would subtract the second number from the first to get the total number of pairs.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to solve a complex problem
    • - Problem-solving skills
    • - Ability to explain solutions

  • Question: How would you design a 'latest viewed item list' type function for Amazon?
  • Question Overview: Designing a user interface is a complex process that requires a developer to consider many factors. A candidate should be able to explain how they would design a user interface for a specific task. This question is designed to assess the candidate's ability to think through a problem and communicate their ideas in an organized way.

    Sample Answer: I would use a table with the most recently viewed items at the top. The table would be sorted by date, and the most recent items would be at the top.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to design user interfaces
    • - Ability to communicate complex ideas

  • Question: What are the differences between HashMap and HashTable?
  • Question Overview: This question tests a candidate's knowledge of data structures. A HashMap is a data structure that stores key-value pairs. A HashTable is a data structure that stores key-value pairs in an array.

    Sample Answer: HashMap is a data structure that stores key-value pairs. It uses a hash function to calculate an index into an array of buckets. HashTable is a data structure that stores key-value pairs in an array. It uses an index to find the location of the value in the array.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of data structures
    • - Ability to compare and contrast data structures

  • Question: How will you find the intersection of two given arrays?
  • Question Overview: This is a classic programming question that tests a candidate's ability to think through a problem and come up with a solution. It's also a good way to assess their knowledge of basic data structures like arrays.

    Sample Answer: I would use the formula A[a] = B[b] - C[c] + A[a] to find the intersection of two arrays.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Problem-solving skills
    • - Knowledge of data structures
    • - Ability to research solutions

  • Question: What is MVC and what does it mean?
  • Question Overview: MVC is a software design pattern that separates the presentation layer of an application from the business logic and data storage layers. It's a common pattern that many developers use to build web applications. A candidate should be able to explain what MVC means and why it's useful.

    Sample Answer: Model-View-Controller is a software design pattern that separates the presentation layer of an application from the business logic and data storage layers.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of software design patterns
    • - Ability to explain complex concepts

  • Question: How will you implement insert and delete for a trinary tree?
  • Question Overview: A trinary tree is a special type of binary tree that can be used to store data in a way that makes it easy to find items. It is a common interview question for developers who are familiar with binary trees. Candidates should be able to explain how they would implement insert and delete operations for a trinary tree.

    Sample Answer: Inserting an item into a trinary tree is similar to inserting an item into a binary tree. The difference is that we need to check the middle node of the tree to see if it's empty before we insert the new item. Deleting an item from a trinary tree is more complicated because we need to check all three nodes in the tree.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of data structures
    • - Ability to explain complex concepts
    • - Problem-solving skills

  • Question: How will you sort an input string based on their frequency?
  • Question Overview: Sorting is a common programming task that developers need to know how to do. A candidate should be able to explain the different sorting algorithms and describe how they would implement them in code.

    Sample Answer: I would use a bubble sort algorithm because it's simple and easy to understand.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of sorting algorithms
    • - Ability to implement sorting algorithms

  • Question: How did you lead a group project?
  • Question Overview: Software development is a collaborative process that requires strong leadership skills. A candidate should be able to describe their approach to leading a team of developers.

    Sample Answer: I was the leader of a group project in school, and I made sure that each member of the team had a clear understanding of their responsibilities. I also made sure that we met regularly to discuss our progress.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Leadership skills
    • - Ability to manage a team
    • - Ability to motivate a team

  • Question: What are your projects?
  • Question Overview: A software developer's portfolio is a reflection of their skills and experience. A candidate should be able to describe several projects they have worked on in the past.

    Sample Answer: I've worked on several projects in the past, including a website for a local business and an app that tracks employee time off.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Technical skills
    • - Ability to work on a team
    • - Past experience

  • Question: How will you differentiate between an array and a linked list?
  • Question Overview: A candidate should be able to explain the difference between two data structures that are commonly used in software development. An array is a linear data structure that stores data items in a sequential manner. A linked list is a non-linear data structure that stores data items in a non-sequential manner.

    Sample Answer: An array is a linear data structure that stores data items in a sequential manner. A linked list is a non-linear data structure that stores data items in a non-sequential manner.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of common data structures
    • - Ability to explain the difference between two data structures

  • Question: What problems did you solve in OA2?
  • Question Overview: The OA2 is a project-based assessment that requires candidates to solve a series of problems in a short amount of time. Candidates should be able to describe the problems they encountered and how they solved them. This question is a good way to assess the candidate's ability to work under pressure and communicate with teammates.

    Sample Answer: I had to create a program that could read a text file and sort it based on the number of lines in each file. I used a hash table to store the files and then used a binary search algorithm to sort them.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to work under pressure
    • - Ability to communicate with teammates
    • - Problem-solving skills

  • Question: What is a hash table and when would you use it?
  • Question Overview: A hash table is a data structure that stores information in a way that makes it easy to find. It is often used to store data that is accessed frequently. A candidate should be able to explain how it works and when it would be useful.

    Sample Answer: A hash table is a data structure that stores information in a way that makes it easy to find. It is often used to store data that is accessed frequently.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of data structures
    • - Ability to explain complex subjects