An interview is an integral part of every successful web developer job application. You need to offer compelling, comprehensive, and well-structured answers to convince them you can deliver value to the business. In this article, we discuss popular web developer interview questions and example answers to ensure you're well-prepared for a successful interview.
What is a web developer?
A web developer creates web applications and websites using their knowledge and understanding of programming languages such as HTML and CSS. They collaborate with other programmers and designers to provide a webpage that meets the needs of clients.
What are the essential skills to demonstrate in a web developer interview?
Here are some essential skills that you must demonstrate in your answers to web developer interview questions:
1. Knowledge of coding and testing
You must demonstrate that you have experience coding by showing your understanding of languages like SQL and HTML. You should also be able to test your page for errors and solve them. Finally, you can talk about your previous experience creating optimized and error-free codes for websites.
2. Excellent communication skills
You must be able to communicate and collaborate with clients to understand their needs. You should also demonstrate that you can work in a team and collaborate with designers to achieve set goals. Companies look for web developers that can produce an excellent product, and this skill convinces them you can.
3. Design skills
You should show your understanding of responsive design to increase your chances of success. Because of the difference in screen sizes, companies now require pages that can adapt to these changes. Show that you can design pages that satisfy both mobile and desktop devices.
4. Analytical skills
To create optimized and functional sites, you need exceptional analytical skills. This skill is vital to understanding client needs and identifying the best way to meet them. Companies look out for candidates that can achieve this, and demonstrating this skill gives you an edge over other candidates.
Read more: Analytical Skills: Essentials for Every Job
5. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is at the heart of web pages, thanks to the increasing importance of website traffic. As a result, companies are looking for web developers to provide optimized pages that attract more visitors and increase revenue. Therefore, you need to convey your considerable experience creating optimized web pages.
What you should expect in a web developer interview
Companies tailor their web developer interviews to identify individuals skilled in web development. Web development is an integral skill, and the industry continues to grow and change. Hiring managers are interested in finding out whether you have the key technical skills to perform.
You should expect questions that test your knowledge of areas like backend development, frontend development, entry-level development and full-stack development. You should also expect behavioural questions like how you multitask and manage time, as it showcases your ability to fit into the environment. Finally, like every other interview, expect general or personal questions that provide insight into your personality and motivation.
Popular interview questions for a web developer
Hiring managers design questions for a web developer interview to test the candidate's capabilities and compatibility with the organization. When answering these questions, prioritize showcasing your knowledge of technical areas and the relevant skills that you possess.
To achieve this, use the STAR method to answer the questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action and result, and it helps you highlight your skills and knowledge using your experience. Here are some of the popular web development interview questions you should prepare for:
1. Tell us about an important project and the techniques you used to complete it
This question is vital to show the type of tasks you enjoy doing and the methods through which you complete them. You need to describe your skills and expertise beyond what you wrote on your resume.
Speak on the development methods you're proficient in, as this ensures you can display your vast technical knowledge. You should remember to describe your experience clearly to show your interviewer that you can transform your knowledge into real-life solutions. This is a great time to use the STAR method as it allows you to demonstrate your experience.
Example: “In my last project, I needed to create a website for a clothing brand's customer loyalty scheme. I had a great experience meeting with the client, and identifying and understanding their needs and vision for the web application. The objective was to design a functional website that appealed to young ladies in their 30s. My task required me to focus on user experience, which led me to use these research methods to design a wireframe: I developed a proposal, discussed with stakeholders, developed a product blueprint, interviewed eventual users, and designed the layout using these responses. Through this, my team completed our first draft easily, which laid the foundation for the present website.”
2. What is your preferred programming language, and why?
Comprehensive knowledge of programming languages is vital to the role of web developers as it is what they use to write the codes that become pages. Usually, companies prefer web developers with knowledge of various programming languages. So, before you state your preferred language, demonstrate that you understand various programming languages.
Beyond this, use your experience and the STAR technique to demonstrate your preferred programming language and why you prefer it.
In my web development journey, I once received a request to develop a server-side tool using Python. The tool was to help end-users interact with the business product database from their carts. In addition, the company intended to target existing customers through this backend resource. Python got the job done as it allowed me to interact with the company's backend database while easily isolating the information. Through this, I was able to develop a vital code string that helped existing customers locate products."
3. How would you transform a slow webpage into a fast one?
Slow web pages frustrate users, so companies want web developers to create fast web pages or transform slow ones into fast pages. This question allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the various techniques to increase a page's speed.
Although this is a technical role, ensure you provide your answers in simple language and without ambiguity. This way, you can carry your interviewer along and show that you're fit for the role.
Example: "From my experience, there are various reasons a page might load slowly, so I start by checking that the page is not working harder unnecessarily by cleaning up bulky codes. I'd also reduce and compress videos and images on the site to improve the page's speed and keep their clarity.
4. Describe how you would make a web application or website more accessible to a user
User experience stands at the core of every web development and business—a better experience for users means they are more likely to patronize the business. This is why companies prioritize web developers with experience designing accessible user interfaces. You need to show that you have the technical skills to design an accessible site by explaining how you'll achieve it.
You can opt for the STAR method to discuss when you had to make a website more accessible. Likewise, you can also just explain how you would achieve this.
Example: “I recognize people use various devices and browsers to access websites, so I thoroughly test my product to ensure a consistent experience for users. I then employ solutions such as screen reading program to confirm the accessibility of my projects. To make the process effective and meet the needs of both users and clients, I identify requirements from end-users and stakeholders.”
5. Tell us about the development cycle at your previous job—what did you enjoy about it, and what should change?
Hiring managers are always looking to determine your compatibility with the company, so they require web developers with experience working in a similar system. Your employer's work process might differ from yours; however, you can make up for this by demonstrating critical and analytical thinking. Remember to remain positive as you describe your former employer.
Example: "**My former employer preferred the waterfall methodologies. Still, I enjoyed how we completed a stage before proceeding to the next. It allowed me to focus on a task and deliver optimally. However, I sometimes love the feeling of new projects as it offers me a new perspective on older tasks. Agile approaches offer increased opportunity for that."
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.