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Mobile Developer Interview

20 Questions and Answers by William Swansen
| William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.

Question 1 of 20

Can you talk about the mobile apps you've developed?

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Mobile Developer Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Can you talk about the mobile apps you've developed?

      This is a typical opening question that the interviewer will use to begin the conversation, learn more about your background, and collect information they can use throughout the interview. This question allows you to guide the interview toward a subject matter area you are comfortable talking about. When answering this or any other question, keep your response brief and to the point. The interviewer will ask follow-up questions if they need more information or want to explore the topic in more depth.

      William's Answer

      "I've developed a wide range of mobile apps for the Android environment. The majority of my work has been in productivity apps. These allow users to track their activity, set up lists of tasks, and integrate these into their calendar applications. Many of the applications I have developed all are similar to the ones that your company produces. I believe this experience and the skills I have acquired will apply to the type of work your organization performs."

  2. 2.

    Give me examples of when you elect to use infinite scroll and pagination.

      Another way an interviewer can ask you a technical or operational question his request that you provide examples. The answer to this question is similar to when you are asked to discuss or describe a technique or methodology. If possible, you should try to provide examples similar to the features of the applications you are likely to be working on for the organization. Remember to keep your answers brief and to expect follow-up questions from the interviewer.

      William's Answer

      "I am incorporating infinite scrolling into my applications more frequently. This is because infinite scrolling provides the user with a better experience since they can use simple gestures to advance the page. An example of this is an article or blog which contains ads. The user is more likely to click on the ads when scrolling rather than advancing to a new page. I still use pagination if there are distinct artifacts or components within the application the user is searching for or may want to access. Pagination works better than infinite scrolling for this type of activity. An example of this is e-commerce applications or informative articles similar to Wikipedia."

  3. 3.

    What are cards in the context of mobile design, and how are they used?

      This technical question asks you to first define the technology used by mobile application developers and then describe how it is used. Technical questions always follow a specific format. They will ask you to define a term or concept, describe how a technology is used, compare two or more technologies or terminologies, or any combination of these. It is vitally important that you listen to the complete question the interviewer is asking before you begin your answer to provide the information they are looking for.

      William's Answer

      "Cards are a relatively new technology used in the design of mobile applications. Cards work by collecting individual pieces of information and aggregating them. They then present only the information the user needs at that time, based on the requests they make through the interface. This approach enables programmers to adapt their applications across many devices and interfaces."

  4. 4.

    Tell me about some best practices when designing icons for a mobile product.

      When asked to discuss best practices, the interviewer seeks to understand the techniques you use when developing a mobile application. Your answer to this question will qualify you for the position and help the interviewer understand if your techniques and methodologies align with those of their team. You should perform a great deal of research before the interview to understand the type of applications the company develops and the techniques they use. You may also want to contact some of the organization's current or former developers to discuss these topics.

      William's Answer

      "Icons are very important when developing mobile applications. Icons can replace long strings of text and economize on the device's interface space. Certain icons will be standardized based on the development platform or the mobile device's operating system. Others can be customized within a specific application. If the application is part of a group or family, the icon should be standardized across each product within the group. Icons can also function as standalone graphic elements of the application. These will have no function but will enhance the application's appearance and user experience."

  5. 5.

    Can you discuss the difference between native mobile app design and responsive web design?

      This is an example of a technical question. Technical questions ask about concepts, terminology, techniques, and processes used in this job. The best way to respond to technical questions is briefly and directly. Make sure you listen to the entire question before formulating your answer. This is a common error many people make during an interview. Failing to do this may result in you not answering the interviewer's question or answering it incorrectly.

      William's Answer

      "The difference between a native mobile app design and a responsive web design is how the software presents itself to the user interface across different devices and environments. Native design is written for a specific platform or web browser to optimize the user interface. Adaptive designs present a common look and feel across various devices and web browsers. Adaptive designs sometimes require the programmer to compromise the program's performance or graphical interface features."

  6. 6.

    What is your strategy for keeping the team updated during a development project?

      One of the critical elements of a software development project is keeping all of these stakeholders up to date on the project status. The benefits of this include ensuring that the resources you need are available and informing the team of any issues that will impact the schedule. You should be able to define the methodology you use to communicate regularly with the project stakeholders. As with any operational question like this, you should anticipate follow-up questions when providing your answer.

      William's Answer

      "Keeping project stakeholders informed about the status of the project and any challenges we are encountering that may impact both the schedule and budget of the project is critical. Part of the Scrum project management methodology I commonly use in the projects I work on includes regular team meetings to discuss the project status, required resources, issues, and challenges. I will also notify project stakeholders of any significant project changes, as soon as they occur."

  7. 7.

    How do you keep current on developments in the mobile app development industry?

      Maintaining your knowledge of current trends, technologies, and tools used in the mobile software development industry is a critical responsibility of any developer. You should have a detailed plan of how you go about doing this and be able to describe it to the interviewer. You may want to follow up your answer with a question, asking the interviewer what continuing education programs and opportunities the organization offers to its software development team.

      William's Answer

      "Staying current on developments within the mobile software industry is challenging due to how quickly the industry moves and things change. However, I enjoy doing this because I am passionate about my profession and want to learn as much as possible and stay on top of current developments. I do this by reading industry publications, following the leading bloggers, attending online conferences, and discussing developments with other programmers within my organization. I am confident that my knowledge about creating mobile software applications is current and up to date."

  8. 8.

    What development platform do you prefer to use when creating a mobile app?

      Although you may have a favorite development platform you prefer to work with, your answer to this question should align with the software platforms the hiring organization uses, and you should state that you are comfortable working across many platforms. You can determine the type of software development environments the company uses by conducting research before the interview. This can include looking at their website, reviewing their current applications, and speaking with both current and former developers who have worked at the company.

      William's Answer

      "I am comfortable writing code on a wide variety of development platforms. These include Android, IOS, Linux, Unix, and Pearl. My favorite platform is Android since it is widely used across a wide range of mobile devices. There are also robust libraries of code available for this environment, which can be repurposed in the applications I create. If I'm not mistaken, this is the platform that your developers use the most, correct?"

  9. 9.

    How do you balance the need to compress information displayed in a mobile app and presenting the full application as it was designed?

      The interviewer is continuing to ask operational questions. Throughout the interview, an interviewer will ask various types of questions. No two interviewers are alike, so the question they ask and the order they ask them in will differ. Additionally, the questions will become more complex as the interview progresses. This indicates that the hiring manager is gaining confidence in your ability and is seeking to explore your background in more detail.

      William's Answer

      "Unlike web browsers or computer-based applications, mobile devices have limited user interfaces. Therefore the information presented needs to be compressed and economized. However, the users expect the same experience they get when accessing applications on larger devices. This requires the developer to carefully decide what information will be presented on each screen and how it will be displayed. Techniques I use to accomplish this include carefully choosing typefaces and font sizes, using various colors and backgrounds, incorporating whitespace into the application, and using graphics and icons throughout the application."

  10. 10.

    How do you use audio to enhance the user experience of your apps?

      The use of audio in mobile applications is becoming more prevalent due to advances in mobile devices' audio technologies. Since this is an emerging technology, the interviewer will ask you about it to determine if you are staying up to date on developments in your field and incorporating new technologies and methodologies into your programming. Even if you have not used the audio in your applications, you should be prepared to speak about it and discuss how it enhances the user experience. Even though the interviewer did not ask for examples, you should feel free to provide them to illustrate your answer and make it clearer.

      William's Answer

      "Incorporating audio into mobile applications is becoming more popular and prevalent within the industry. I started to experiment with this by featuring audio in the user interface for both prompts and user input. The technology I use is similar to that of Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa. To date, I've only used limited voice prompts and recognition, but I'm learning how to expand on this and make it even more robust. I'm also incorporating audio to confirm user actions and enhance the animations I use in my applications. I adapt the applications, depending on the type of device they are running on and its audio capabilities."

  11. 11.

    How are user interfaces extended when using pre-built actions for mobile devices?

      The interviewer is asking you about a process or methodology you use to develop mobile applications. During an interview for this role, you can anticipate that most questions will be either operational or technical. These types of questions are best answered briefly and to the point. If you elaborate too much, you will not allow the interviewer to ask follow-up questions. Follow-up questions are important because they indicate an interviewer's interest in a specific topic and give you a clue as to what is important to the organization. You can use this information when structuring your responses to other questions.

      William's Answer

      "User interfaces can be extended when using pre-built actions by incorporating features such as gesture recognition, previews, suggestions, and repetitive actions. Elements of artificial intelligence and learning are starting to be incorporated into mobile applications to predict user activities and direct the user towards a specific part or function. Application developers need to work closely with device manufacturers to understand any upcoming pre-built actions they plan to release."

  12. 12.

    When creating a mobile design, how do you deal with input fields?

      This operational question asks you about a process you use as a mobile application developer. Interviewers use operational questions to evaluate your skills, explore your experience, and determine if the methodologies you use align with those their current development team employs. When answering operational questions, one method you may consider is stepping the interviewer through the process in a logical fashion. Make sure to keep your answer brief and concise. The interviewer will follow up with another question if they need additional information.

      William's Answer

      "When creating a mobile design and developing the input fields, the criteria I use are to empathize the important input elements and minimize features that are not critical or distract the user. I accomplish this by using clear labels, graphics, prompts, and default keypads based on the type of information the user is imputing. An example of this is defaulting to a numeric keypad when the user is asked to enter their phone number or area code. I also provide previews of standard information the user has already entered into other parts of the application, allowing them to quickly create the entry."

  13. 13.

    How can you improve User Experience (UX) without changing the application's interface?

      This is a hybrid technical and operational question. The interviewer is asking about a process you would use that involves elements of technology. Keep in mind that your answer should be brief and to the point when answering these types of questions. You should also anticipate follow-up questions from the interviewer indicating that they have a specific interest in this topic and want to explore it in more detail.

      William's Answer

      "It is important to standardize the user interface for applications on mobile devices. This is because users expect a common look and feel across all the applications for a specific device. The easiest way to improve the user experience is to standardize the interface of applications on mobile devices. This is because users expect a standard look and feel across all their applications, making them easier to use and navigate. One way you can enhance the user experience without impacting the application's interface is to add animation. This makes the application more dynamic and captures the attention of the user. Elements that can be animated include how the menu opens and closes, the way the application transitions once the user provides input, zooming in and out of the interface, and confirming user inputs."

  14. 14.

    What search pattern do you prefer for mobile phones?

      This question asks you about a specific preference you have when creating a mobile application. You can answer this question in two ways. The first is to provide an answer that aligns with the employer's preference. You can determine this by researching the employer's current applications or having a conversation with their current or former application developers. The alternative is to state your preference even if it is not the same as that of the employer. The first response will help the employer perceive that your preferences are the same as theirs. The second will demonstrate that you can bring new ideas to its programming environment.

      William's Answer

      "I have used a variety of different search patterns for mobile phone applications. The one I prefer is displaying faceted-search controls in overlays. This technique's benefit is users can employ filters to their search to locate more accurate information quicker. Elements of this include simple controls such as drop-down menus and simultaneously displaying the controls and results. These are typical of many web-based search engines. A common application for this type of search is in e-commerce applications."

  15. 15.

    Tell me how you go about designing a menu and how the user's device interprets it?

      When designing menus used by applications native to a computing platform or web browser, the developer has a great deal of latitude due to the user interface's size and flexibility. This changes when developing applications and menus for mobile devices. Your face is generally smaller, so the information needs to be provided in a specific manner. This question incorporates both technical and operational elements of mobile application development. Remember to keep your answer brief and to the point and to anticipate follow-up questions in case the interviewer wants to explore this topic in more detail.

      William's Answer

      "The key to developing menus for mobile applications is to minimize the content and to present the most relevant information first. How menus are structured is usually determined in the UX and UI design process. Some elements of the menu may be kept hidden from the user. This technology is known as a hamburger menu. Keeping the menu simple and only presenting information the user needs is critical for mobile application development. You can also cascade menus to guide the user to the information they are seeking."

  16. 16.

    Tell about a time when you were part of a development team and had to handle disagreements or differences in development strategies.

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  17. 17.

    Tell about a time when you worked on a project to improve an existing application.

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  18. 18.

    What's the most important thing I should know about your app development experience?

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  19. 19.

    Can you describe your development methodology for mobile applications?

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  20. 20.

    What has been your most challenging experience creating a mobile app?

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