What kind of technical interview question does a senior developer want to get?

Updated on : December 7, 2021 by Morgan Cook



What kind of technical interview question does a senior developer want to get?

I can't speak for all senior developers, but I think it's at least worth distinguishing between questions focused on generalist software engineering skills and skills focused on areas of specialization.

Dan's answer focuses primarily on the former. In fact, a senior developer should have learned many general skills from experience, and an interview should include questions that allow the developer to demonstrate that they have learned and exercised those skills through experience.

Questions about areas of expertise are a bit different. For example, if someone were interviewing me to be a senior

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I can't speak for all senior developers, but I think it's at least worth distinguishing between questions focused on generalist software engineering skills and skills focused on areas of specialization.

Dan's answer focuses primarily on the former. In fact, a senior developer should have learned many general skills from experience, and an interview should include questions that allow the developer to demonstrate that they have learned and exercised those skills through experience.

Questions about areas of expertise are a bit different. For example, if someone were interviewing me to be a senior search relevance engineer, I would expect questions like:

  • What are the differences between the point, pair, and list approaches to sorting?
  • What are examples of query-dependent and independent relevance characteristics?
  • How would you use personalization to improve search relevance?

These are straightforward questions for someone with specialized experience, in this case search relevance, and they are open enough to give you an idea of ​​the depth of the candidate.

Needless to say, neither Dan nor I is suggesting that you ask the candidate to implement FizzBuzz on a whiteboard. If you are evaluating a senior developer, hopefully you have better ways of verifying that you have the necessary coding skills.

What are some of the bugs you've seen in the past, and how will you help us avoid that kind of problem here?

Other: give me an example where you had to choose between best practices and project delivery as requested. How did you handle this and what factors influenced your decision?

Other: Give me an example of a time when another developer needed help and you were able to remove obstacles for him.

Other: Can you give me an example where you didn't think you could set a deadline, but somehow you did it anyway?

Other: Can you give me an example of how you mentored another developer, a

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What are some of the bugs you've seen in the past, and how will you help us avoid that kind of problem here?

Other: give me an example where you had to choose between best practices and project delivery as requested. How did you handle this and what factors influenced your decision?

Other: Give me an example of a time when another developer needed help and you were able to remove obstacles for him.

Other: Can you give me an example where you didn't think you could set a deadline, but somehow you did it anyway?

Other: Can you give me an example of how you mentored another developer and one of their accomplishments?

If you want to be more technical:

What technology would you suggest if messages between systems needed guaranteed delivery?

What are some beneficial comparisons between XML and JSON?

What frames have you used in the past?

How do you keep up with industry trends and where do you usually go for help when you get stuck?

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