Top Python Interview Questions

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 22, 2022

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Computer programming careers require that individuals be familiar with one or more programming languages such as Python. Expect to answer some questions on Python during the interview if you desire to pursue a career in software programming or IT in general. One of the best ways to prepare for a Python interview is to familiarize yourself with the common questions and answers. In this article, we delve into the general structure of a Python interview, general questions, technical questions, and sample answers to some of the questions.

What does a typical Python Interview look like?

Python interviews are normally conducted by senior programming engineers or hiring managers. They ask questions about your education, work experience, coding and technical expertise level. You will need to prepare to answer the general questions and also a wide range of technical questions depending on the job requirements. You should also be ready to solve some practical Python issues.

Related: IT Interview Questions (With Examples and How to Prepare)

General Python interview questions

Not all questions will be technical. Questions about your work history, skill set and goals fall under the general category. Other general questions during a Python interview may include:

  • Define Python

  • What are the benefits of using Python?

  • Discuss the drawbacks of using Python

  • What kind of Python experience do you have?

  • How did you learn Python?

  • What do you like about Python?

  • What do you dislike about Python?

  • What interests you about Python?

  • What inspires you to work in the coding industry?

  • What skills are you bringing on board to the team?

Technical Python interview questions

Technical questions are meant to test your proficiency in the Python language, your knowledge of Python language terminology and your ability to solve practical problems. Technical Python questions normally cover three areas namely, definition, proficiency and demonstration. Below are some technical questions that you may be asked:

Definition questions

  • Define Pep8

  • Name the key features of Python

  • Define namespace

  • What does a negative index mean?

  • Describe Flask and the benefits

  • Define a module and package

  • Define a pass in Python

  • Define functions

  • What is a generator?

  • What is a Python iterator?

  • Define slicing

  • What are docstrings?

  • What is a Dict and List comprehension?

Proficiency questions

  • Name the top three benefits of using Python?

  • Is Python interpreted or uninterpreted language?

  • Explain how Python manages memory

  • List and tuple, explain the difference?

  • Explain how code checking is done in Python?

  • Is Python language case sensitive?

  • Is indentation a requirement?

  • How does one randomly generate Python numbers?

  • Explain the difference between range and xrange?

  • How do you copy an object in Python?

  • How is a number converted into a string?

  • How are comments written in Python?

Demonstrative questions

  • Demonstrate the right method in handling Python errors

  • Show us how to delete a python file

  • How are modules imported in Python?

  • Explain how a string can be converted to all lower case

  • Show an MVC pattern application with an example

  • How is a module written in Python accessed from C?

  • Show the function of Len ()

Related: Programming Interview Questions and Answers for Coders

Python Questions with example answers

Planning how to answer questions during an interview can help you boost your confidence and enhance your preparation. Here are some possible questions that you may be asked during a Python job interview and how you can answer them:

What is Python?

Python refers to a refined comprehensive, engaging, object-based programming language. Its main purpose is to make content that is highly interactive among internet users. This programming language makes use of English keywords alongside punctuations.

How is Python interpreted?

From the source code, the Python program converts the source code into an intermediate language then again gets translated into a machine language to be executed.

How would you describe memory management in Python?

Python memory manager manages memory in a collection known as blocks. A collection of the same size of blocks are called pools and 64 pools make up a heap. Additionally, variables and objects are stored in the heap memory. When the two are returned, dead objects are collected as trash. Python manager does not return memory to the operating system but back to the interpreter for future use.

What is a Python decorator?

Python decorators are the specific changes made in Python syntax to allow easy alteration of functions.

Are there any differences between a list and a tuple?

While the list is mutable, the tuple is not.

What is a namespace?

When a name is introduced in Python, it has an abode and it can be looked for. This is what is referred to as namespace.

What is pass?

A pass is a no-operation statement in Python. When there is a blank, you do not write anything.

What is the unittest in Python?

Unittest is a unit testing Python framework. It supports the sharing of setups, testing, automation, aggregation of tests and shutdown code for tests.

What is slicing?

In Python, slicing refers to selecting various items from sequences such as strings, tuples and lists.

What is a docstring?

A documentation string in Python is called a docstring. It is a method of documenting Python modules, classes and functions.

Why are you interested in Python?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question as you need to share your personal experience. You can mention what influenced you to pursue a career that involves using Python. This is a question that helps the interviewer to know you better. Possible answers may involve your educational background, experience with the language and future career goals.

What Python skills are you bringing to our team?

This is a question that measures how valuable you will be to a company. You may use this opportunity to share more about your specific skills, strengths and achievements with Python. You may also mention technical, problem-solving and communication skills.

How to Prepare for a Python Job Interview

Most Python job interviews will be technical. It is therefore important that as part of your preparation that you extensively familiarize yourself with the language. You can study books and do courses.

Related: 19 Fun Beginner Projects for Python and Useful Python Skills

Once you are proficient with Python, you may consider practising with some interview questions. Below are preparation tips you can follow:

1. Know and understand Python

It's one thing to have textbook knowledge and another to have practical knowledge at your fingertips. The bare minimum is being able to construct loops, list comprehensions and control flow structures.

2. Demonstrate your ability via Python projects

A Python job interview is a grand opportunity to try and impress the hiring manager with your skills. The best possible way to show that you can code is to handover proof of the same. You can have a simple web, desktop app or data processing script. The aim is to give a taste of your abilities to your prospective employer.

3. Fine-tune your skills with data structures and algorithms

Start with the basic Python data structures like tuples, dictionaries and lists. You may then proceed to deal with generalized data structures such as queues, stacks and lists.

4. Develop the ability to understand and solve problems

Becoming an excellent Python developer is more than memorizing language syntax. What could make you stand out from other candidates is the ability to comprehend problems and see how you can implement them in software. You will need a combination of hard and soft skills. Listen actively to be able to note the key components. Then break down all the information into task units which you can work on.

The employer wants to see how you handle a programming problem, how you identify key information pieces and how you use the information to develop a solution.

How to stand out in your Python job interview

Here are a few suggestions on how you can stand out in an interview during the demonstration session:

Use the right built-in function

Python has a huge standard library but the built-in functions library is small. This small library is always available for use and does not require importation. Get to know each of these functions, how they are used and what alternatives you can use. For example, you can iterate with enumerate instead of range.

Leverage data structures

Algorithms attract a lot of attention in an interview. However, data structures important are important too and shouldn't be ignored. Picking the right data structure can have a major positive impact on your performance. This is because these data structures offer plenty of functionality by default to allow you to focus on other problem parts and save time.

Make use of Python's standard library

Python has a lot of functionality but it is still important to be able to leverage the standard library. This allows you to focus on a small functional unit. It shows your ability to manage tasks and time.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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