Interview Questions

Software Engineer Interview Questions

Software Engineers apply principles and techniques of engineering, mathematics, and computer science to the design, development, and testing of software applications for computers. Software Engineers can be responsible for a high variety of tasks depending on the company and industry they work in.

Software Engineer responsibilities include gathering user requirements, defining system functionality and writing code in various languages, like Java, Ruby on Rails or .NET programming languages (e.g. C++ or JScript.NET.) Software Engineers are familiar with software development life cycle (SDLC) from preliminary system analysis to tests and deployment.

Whether you're a job seeker preparing to be interviewed for the role of Software Engineer or an employer preparing to interview candidates for Software Engineer position, these Software Engineer interview questions will help you prepare yourself for the job interview session.

Software Engineer Interview Questions

Below are a list of some skill-based Software Engineer interview questions.

  1. Which programming languages do you know?
  2. Describe some of your projects. If possible, show us your portfolio.
  3. What is the software development life cycle?
  4. What is object-oriented programming (OOP)?
  5. What is Agile software development? What is your view on Agile development practices?
  6. Describe the difference between functional and non-functional requirements.
  7. How do you evaluate whether a software development project is successful or not?
  8. Which project management tools do you have experience using?
  9. What is your quality assurance process for writing code and how do you spot a bug in an application?
  10. Aside from functionality and design, what do you consider to be the key attributes of an application, and how would you test for them?
  11. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a coworker who was behind schedule on a joint project? How did you handle the situation?
  12. Think about the most challenging piece of code you’ve ever written. Tell me about the project. Why was it so challenging for you and what did you learn from the experience?
  13. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a client or a stakeholder on a software engineering best practice. What did you do to resolve the situation?
  14. Can you explain what test-driven development is?
  15. In which cases do you use an abstract class and when do you use an interface?
  16. What is the difference between an interface and an implementation?
  17. How would you explain the concept of polymorphism to a beginner programmer?
  18. When do you use polymorphism and when do you use delegates?
  19. Describe a time when you worked with a team to create a program. What was your role? How did you handle conflict?
  20. Can you name the differences between object-oriented and component-based design?
  21. Describe the process of writing a piece of code from requirements to delivery.
  22. What would you do if you were assigned to work on a project that required you to learn a new programming language?
  23. How do you prioritize program requirements? Mention any different techniques you know.
  24. How do you ensure your code can handle different kinds of error situations?
  25. Can you name some limitations of a web environment vs. a Windows environment?
  26. How do you ensure your program runs smoothly and fast?
  27. Which tools have you used for testing your code quality?
  28. How can you debug a program while it’s being used?
  29. How can you ensure changes in code will not affect any other parts of the product?
  30. Are you familiar with design patterns? What design pattern have you used and in what situations?
  31. Where do you put most of your focus when reviewing somebody else’s code?
  32. What is responsive design? What is the difference between fixed and fluid layouts? 
  33. What are CASE tools? Give examples.
  34. Explain the differences between a Thread and a Process?
  35. What is Data Flow Diagram?
  36. What types of problems have you encountered most often in your programs after deployment?
  37. Describe a time when you managed to reduce the user’s perception of waiting. What features did you use?
  38. What makes you stand out from other software engineers?

Software Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

Every interview is different and the questions may vary. However, there are lots of general questions that get asked at every interview.

Below are some common questions you'd expect during Software Engineer interviews. Click on each question to see how to answer them.

  1. Tell Me About Yourself
  2. What is Your Greatest Strength?
  3. Why Do You Want To Leave Your Current Job?
  4. Why Do You Want This Job?
  5. Why Should We Hire You?
  6. Are You a Leader or a Follower?
  7. What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?
  8. What is Your Greatest Weakness?
  9. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
  10. What is Your Salary Expectation?

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