Top Software Developer Interview Questions with Example Answers [2020]

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: How would you print all the nodes at the level of a grandson from his grandfather?
  • Question Overview: This is a classic computer science problem that tests a candidate's ability to think logically and solve problems. It's a good idea to ask a candidate to explain their solution in detail.

    Sample Answer: I would start by printing the grandfather, then print the father of the grandfather, then print the father of the father of the grandfather, and so on until I reach the level of grandson.

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

  • 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