Top 10 Interview Questions for Software Engineers and Developers

When you’re seriously looking for a job in any industry, it’s important to knock the interview out of the park. This is the time to showcase your knowledge about your field, sell them on your skills, and demonstrate quick thinking. And the best way to do that is to be prepared!

Of course, you should expect to field the normal interview questions like why you left your last job and where you see yourself in five years; those are pretty standard across industries. Here are some other, slightly more specific questions you might face as you seek a position as a software engineer or developer.

“How do you resolve issues in a team?”

Business people shaking hands in meeting
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In most cases, software engineers and developers don’t work solo. The ability to compromise and cooperate with others is a valuable one, so be prepared with examples of how you’ve handled interpersonal conflicts.

“What language do you prefer for writing complex algorithms?”

They’ll want to know that you’re proficient in the language their company prefers. Be honest! Don’t say you’re an expert in a language you can barely write.

Brainteaser-like Questions

Questions like:

“Suppose that you had 8 identical balls. One of them is slightly heavier and you are given a balance scale. What’s the fewest number of times that you have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?”

You probably won’t encounter this exact question, but chances are they’ll want you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and ability to think on your feet. Put in some practice with a book of brainteasers to keep your mind sharp before the interview.

“Find the number of ones in an integer.”

They’ll probably want you to be familiar with binary, so be ready for a question like this that asks you to use binary representations of numbers.

“What does 'SOLID' stand for?”

It’s an acronym computer programmers should know! Familiarize yourself with all five terms and be prepared to explain them.

“What tools should you use to test the quality of your code?”

If you’re being hired to write code, the company will want to know it’s good code that’ll do what they need it to do. Don’t leave it up to others to test your code; know the tools so you can test it yourself.

“Give some examples of how an application can anticipate user behavior.”

In today’s high-tech world, it’s more important than ever to understand users and respond to their needs.

“How would you test a website before launching it?”

You don’t want a website to go live if it’s not user-friendly or has a lot of bugs in it—it’ll damage the company’s reputation. If you’re responsible for website design, know strategies for beta tests.

“Has there ever been a bug with a piece of software you’ve developed?"

Be honest! Mistakes are part of the job. They won’t expect you to be perfect; it’ll matter more to them that you can take responsibility and know how to fix any problems that do arise.

“What strategies do you use to make sure a project is on time and on budget?”

People in tech careers sometimes have a reputation for being a little scatterbrained. Having good planning and organizational skills will be a huge perk!


Whether you're asked these or other questions in your interview, don't stress out about them. Sometimes interviewers will throw you curveball questions to see how you handle yourself under pressure! Be friendly and sincere -- those things will get you far in any field.