4 Types of Technical Interview Questions to Prepare For

Getting the right answers to coding interview questions may not be the most important thing in acing the programming interview, but it certainly doesn't hurt to prepare yourself for the types of questions your interviewer may ask. We asked four of our web development course instructors to divulge their favorite technical interview questions and strategies for finding great software engineers to grow their teams. Here’s what they had to say: [bctt tweet="Questions for #coding interviews from @KarlLHughes @nsamuell @SamBackus @bryanl"]

Karl Hughes, Head of Engineering at Packback, Chicago

It totally depends on the level of the person I'm interviewing and the languages they know and what role I'm hiring for. A few that come to mind:

  • Explain the goal of an IoC container
  • Given an array of numbers, find the largest one
  • Write a SQL query to get all rows with a value in a specific field

Neville Samuell, Lead Engineer at Pathgather, New York

I like to ask an open-ended design question like, "walk me through the design of a grocery checkout system," or something equally vague. The goal is to see how the candidate chooses to model the problem, break it down into manageable parts, and ask me questions to help clarify the requirements. In my opinion, "practical" software engineering relies a ton on good communication around "what to build", whereas the "how to build it" part is often pretty straightforward. So, an interview question that tries to emulate how we'd work together to model a problem is key.[bctt tweet="I like to see a candidate break down a problem + ask clarifying q's - @nsamuell"]

Sam Backus, Software Developer at KAYAK, Boston

I'm currently developing some new questions to ask. My old questions didn't scale well and they were either way too easy or way too hard. I'm working on some that I think will start out simple and gradually get more complicated.

Regardless of the question that I'm asking, I like to pair program in interviews. It helps me get a feel for what it's like to work with someone. I look for ability to write unit test, refactor, and communicate.[bctt tweet="I look for an ability to write unit test, refactor, + communicate in #interviews - @SamBackus"]

Bryan Liles, Technical Strategic Outreach at DigitalOcean, New York

The gist of my favorite questions is to determine technical acumen, not a great memory. For example, if interviewing a back-end developer, I'll ask them to design me an API to perform a task. Code is important only to demonstrate knowledge of our platform, as its semantics won't be used to grade the interviewee. This question allows me to see how the candidate approaches problem-solving and what questions they ask when the requirements are vague.[bctt tweet="The gist of my dev interview q's is to determine acumen over memory - @bryanl"]

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