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Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Senior Software Engineer interview, here are 47 interview questions and answer examples.

Senior Software Engineer was written by and updated on May 23rd, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 47

Can you describe a time you were asked to do something you had never done before? How did you react?

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

Interviewers will ask this question to determine how you react to new situations and your attitude toward learning new skills and procedures. Employers prefer employees who are willing to learn new skills and thereby contribute more to the organization's business objectives. Curiosity and continuous learning are traits interviewers look for.

Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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47 Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Can you describe a time you were asked to do something you had never done before? How did you react?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this question to determine how you react to new situations and your attitude toward learning new skills and procedures. Employers prefer employees who are willing to learn new skills and thereby contribute more to the organization's business objectives. Curiosity and continuous learning are traits interviewers look for.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Provide an example of a situation where you were asked to perform a new task. Explain how you readily accepted the job and gathered resources to complete the task. Then describe the results of your efforts and what you learned from the experience. Your answer should follow the 'STAR' response pattern: Situation, Task, Action, Results.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "In my most recent position, I was asked to lead a seminar on implementing new software development methodologies for Mac systems. Even though I only had experience with Windows and Linux systems, and I'd never done this, I accepted the assignment and researched the topic. I put together a presentation using the information I collected and presented it to my entire department. The seminar was a success, and I learned that I could accomplish any task assigned to me with a little effort and the right resources."

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. Please describe a situation where you needed to adapt a process, procedure, or technology differently from how you usually did things.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers are curious to learn how flexible and adaptable you are and if you are willing to learn and expand your knowledge. They know that the job you are being hired for will evolve, and you'll be required to learn new methodologies, processes, and procedures to continue to do the work effectively. They want to ensure that you are capable of this.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to the question, provide the interviewer with a brief description of a situation where you encountered a new challenge and how you addressed it by learning a new process or procedure or acquiring new skills. Describe how the way you reacted to this situation benefitted the company.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Recently, our company switched to a new system to be used to develop and store new code in libraries for reuse. I was required to explain this to our internal clients and help them set up their library management programs. Having never done this myself, I first had to learn the system to explain it to the staff. After doing this and gaining confidence in my knowledge, I put together a tutorial and presented it to the entire organization. They quickly adopted the new system, which increased the number of reusable codes by 20% during the first year."

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. Can you recall a time you were assigned a task that wasn't a part of your job description? How did you handle this, and what was the outcome?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some employees are reluctant to do anything that is not part of their job description. However, in today's fast-paced business environment, people are often asked to do extra work that may not have been part of their original assignment when they were hired. Interviewers seek to understand how you react when asked to do something not part of your normal job and determine how flexible you are.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to answer this is to start by stating that you are always open to pitching in wherever you can to help the company get the job done. You should also emphasize that you are open to learning new skills that will help both you and the company. Then describe an incident to illustrate this.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I have worked for several small companies where the employees wore many hats. I enjoyed this experience because it allowed me to learn new skills as an information security manager outside of my profession. This helped me grow my portfolio of skills and contributed to the companies' success. In one case, I was asked to attend a trade show to research new software development products from a technical perspective. Even though I had no experience in this area, I accepted the assignment with enthusiasm. Attending the show and interfacing with the suppliers taught me a great deal about how products are developed and marketed, which helped me evaluate new product features and make recommendations for adopting them to our management team."

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. Can you recall a time your manager was unavailable when a situation arose that demanded an immediate resolution? How did you react?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While this appears to be a question about leadership, it addresses your willingness to take the initiative. The interviewer is interested in this because it helps them determine your future growth potential. Organizations like to hire individuals who continually improve themselves and develop new skills, allowing them to advance within the company.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, emphasize your willingness to take the initiative rather than complain about the manager's absence. Explain why you felt the need to take action and describe how you did so to resolve the immediate situation and then review the issue and your actions with your manager. Be prepared to answer a follow-up question about what you would do differently next time.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. Tell me about a difficult decision you had to make in one of your previous roles.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is looking for examples of your decision-making process and how you approach difficult challenges or situations. They want to learn more about how decisive you are and whether you are willing to make difficult choices. The interviewer hopes to see that you are willing to put the organization's interests ahead of your personal feelings.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, choose a situation in which you made a decision involving a personal sacrifice or two equally undesirable outcomes. Explain the choice you made, your rationale, and the outcome. Then briefly discuss what, if anything, you would have done differently based on the outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. Can you give me an example of a time you led by example and describe what you did and how your team reacted?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers ask this question to prompt you to talk about your leadership style, hoping you will describe how you lead from the front by example rather than from the back by exercising your authority. They recognize that teams perform better when they believe in their leadership and are willing to follow their example. By asking this question, the interviewer can discern whether you will be an effective leader.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, format your answer in the STAR framework by first describing a Situation and the Task you were required to complete. Then, describe how you Acted by demonstrating the behavior you needed the team to exhibit. Finally, discuss the outcome of the project or task and what your team learned from the example you set. Make sure you communicate how you led by example and how this motivated the team to accomplish the assigned task.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone about an idea or process.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask you this question because they are interested in learning about your communication and leadership skills and how you apply them to accomplish the tasks required in this role. Persuading other people about your ideas and suggestions is a valuable skill. Interviewers recognize that this will make you more effective in the job and reduce conflict between you and other team members.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can answer this question using the STAR format, describing how you seek to understand other people's points of view, acknowledging them, then offering them an alternative and the rationale behind it. You can then describe how you addressed any questions and concerns they had and developed a win-win scenario with a positive outcome.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. Please tell me about a time when something major didn't go according to plan at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Responding to situations that don't go according to plan is a key characteristic that interviewers look for. They will ask you a question like this to determine how you react to unforeseen circumstances. This provides them an indication of your flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a behavioral question, you should utilize the 'STAR' response methodology. Make sure to stay positive, don't blame anyone else for the problem, and don't take full credit for the solution. Demonstrate how you worked with others to resolve the situation. As with any behavioral question, discuss the results you attained and possibly the lessons learned, especially if the outcome wasn't optimum.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9. Can you give me an example of when you had to work with someone difficult to get along with? How did you handle the situation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a behavioral question to which the interviewer expects a 'STAR' formatted answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you react to challenging situations in the workplace. Your description of how you handled this in a previous job will indicate what you will do if hired by the organization. Behavioral questions typically involve challenges, relationships, conflict, or communication errors.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a behavioral question to which the interviewer expects a 'STAR' formatted answer: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers ask behavioral questions to determine how you react to challenging situations in the workplace. Your description of how you handled this in a previous job will indicate what you will do if hired by the organization. Behavioral questions typically involve challenges, relationships, conflict, or communication errors.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    10. What's a misconception your coworkers have about you, and why do you believe they feel this way?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This may be a trick question to get you to identify a weakness you have or are perceived to have. Interviewers will ask this to uncover a weakness or determine how self-aware you are. They also want to know if you'll answer this question positively or say something negative about yourself or your coworkers.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since the interviewer is asking you to reveal either a real weakness or behavior that appears to be a weakness, it may be hard to answer this question. Your answer should either point out a minor flaw that you are working to correct or discuss a strength your coworkers and managers are unaware of. In any case, remain positive when answering this question.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    11. Tell me about an aspect of your profession that makes you the most satisfied, energized, and productive at work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is meant to uncover your passion and what you enjoy doing. Interviewers know that people do their best work when they are passionate about what they do. They will ask questions like this to discover if you are truly passionate about this job or just doing it for the money.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a great question to ask yourself before beginning your job search. It will help you target specific jobs that you enjoy doing and will therefore be good at. This will enable you to answer this question when asked by an interviewer by simply describing a task you enjoyed working on related to the job you are applying for.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. Tell me about a recent project you managed that relied on a source control system to direct your team.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Source control, also known as version control, is a technique for managing changes during a software development project. The benefits of this are tracking changes in case one of them has an unintended impact on the software's execution. Source control will make it easy to identify which of the changes caused the problem and enable the software developers to revert to an earlier version of the software. Source control also documents the development efforts, which can be reused to replicate the software development process for another project.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview, you should create several different stories you can use to answer questions like this one. These stories will help you organize your answers and illustrate how you've contributed to the objectives of your previous employers. Having a story prepared also helps you quickly answer the question in a concise and organized manner.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. What experience do you have with Agile software development? What do you like about this methodology?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Virtually every software development organization uses the Agile methodology for software development. Interviewers expect you to be familiar with this and be able to discuss it in depth. This is another qualifying question that will indicate your compatibility with the organization and your ability to perform the task required by this job.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you mention Agile in your previous answers during the interview, you're likely to be asked about it in more detail in a subsequent question. As a senior software engineer, you should be intimately familiar with various development processes, including Agile, SCRUM, and Waterfall. Even if you have not used one of these processes and one of your previous positions, you should describe them and their advantages and some of the additional tasks they add to the development process. If you have thoroughly researched the organization before the interview, you will understand which of these processes they use and be prepared to answer questions about it.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have had experience in both non-Agile development and Agile development environments. Since adopting Agile development, the software development lifecycle has become much smoother, faster, and more clearly defined with better communication between the teams involved. It's allowed me and my team to produce more robust and resilient code with significantly fewer bugs."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good job! Consider improving this answer by communicating how many years of experience you have with Agile development or quantifying how many projects you've completed using Agile principles. If an Agile environment is especially beneficial for the kind of projects you'd be working on in the role you're applying for, this is a good place to connect the position's requirements with your prior experience. This helps the interviewer understand the depth and breadth of your experience with the methodology.

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  • Discovery

    14. Are you familiar with service-oriented architectures? When do you use them?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a senior software engineer, you should be familiar with various software development methodologies and approaches. Using service-oriented architectures, or SOAs is a common approach to software development. The interviewer will ask this question to confirm that you're familiar with this methodology and can provide them with an example of how you use it.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview as a senior software engineer, you should anticipate these types of questions and review the methodologies you use when you develop programs. While you can never be prepared for every question the interviewer will ask, your research before the interview will help you understand their software development practices and methodologies. Focus on these during your preparation.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Yes, SOA was used fairly often for code reusability. SOA allows applications to be exposed via common, secure interfaces which other applications can use to perform certain operations."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great start! You can make this response more complete by explaining when you have used SOA in your current or a previous role or where you see SOA fitting in with future projects.

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  • Discovery

    15. What was the biggest development team you have managed and what was the biggest challenge you faced?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      An interviewer will ask about the size of the teams you manage to better understand the scope of control you are comfortable with. They want to make sure that you will be able to manage or lead their teams. The role of a senior software engineer does not imply management responsibility. However, at the very least, you'll be acting as a team lead and expected to give direction, mentoring, and task supervision to junior software engineers.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      As a senior software engineer, you should anticipate being as this question during an interview. If you haven't directly managed a team, talk about your team leadership experience and the skills you obtained from being a senior member of a software development team. You can also discuss how you have mentored and developed some of the junior members of your team.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I managed a development team consisting of 15+ developers and QA engineers. One of the biggest challenges I have faced was a junior developer who did not work well with others and frequently tried to do things his way and would not listen to more experienced developers. After hearing complaints from my team, I talked to the problem developer about concerns that he had about the conflicts to try and hear both sides of the story and find a solution that would benefit the entire team. He had problems with the design of the application he was working on, so I let him draw out what his solution would be. While his solution was not optimal, I did not want to call him out on it. Instead, I opted to use the Socratic method of teaching by asking him questions about how the application would respond under various different circumstances and eventually he drew out an application structure that was identical to the initial application design and he came to the understanding that it was the correct route to go. In other instances when that developer would have a disagreement or a different idea, he sometimes had good suggestions and we adopted his suggestions into our development plan. After doing that exercise with him and after adopting some of his good ideas, the developer had a change of attitude and became easier to work with."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! This answer really showcases your ability to lead others well, provide constructive criticism, and foster an environment of support, learning, and personal growth. You can make this answer even more well-rounded by sharing the biggest challenge you faced with this team from a technical or development perspective as well. This shows the interviewer that you can handle people's challenges as well as programming or development challenges, making you a resilient and adaptable leader capable of handling anything that comes your way.

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  • Discovery

    16. When was the last occasion you asked for direct feedback from your manager?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask this question to separate you from most applicants. This is because many professionals don't ever seek feedback from their supervisors. Interviewers prefer candidates who constantly seek feedback so they can immediately correct any deficiencies they may have or incorrect actions they are taking. The best professionals know that the only way to get better news is to engage their colleagues for feedback and suggestions.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Requesting feedback from the people you work with demonstrates your desire to improve. Most employees avoid receiving feedback, fearing that it will be negative. By actively seeking it, you demonstrate courage, a willingness to be open to criticism, and the initiative to improve. Describe a time you felt you didn't complete a task properly and sought feedback to correct your process so you'd do better next time.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. Can you tell me what your home network consists of?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer may ask you several different discovery questions to learn more about your background beyond what they read in your resume when beginning an interview. These questions provide them with the information they can use throughout the interview. These questions also begin the conversation, creating a dialogue between you and the interviewer. Another goal of these questions is to relax you, so the interviewer gets a clearer picture of how you respond when not feeling stressed because of the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since discovery questions are general, there is no way to prepare for these. The best way to respond is frankly and honestly. Keep in mind that the information you provide the interviewer may be used for additional questions throughout the interview. This allows you to guide the interviewer toward areas you're comfortable talking about.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. What is a professional achievement that you are proud of?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      If your resume or CV is well written, it will detail some of your significant achievements and the contributions you've made to your previous employers. The interviewer asks this question to determine which of these you're most proud of and why. They hope to learn about your efforts to achieve the objective and how they contributed to your organization's success or business objectives.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, try to have an achievement in mind that will demonstrate how you can help the interviewer's organization achieve one of its business objectives or goals. Employers hire individuals to help them make money, save money, or save time. Demonstrating how you can do this with all your answers during an interview will help convince the interviewer that you are the right person for this job.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. Why did you choose to interview with our organization rather than with others in our industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      You should anticipate being asked this question in every interview. Employers want to know why you chose their specific company to interview with. They prefer to hire employers who are passionate about their work and the organization. This question is also meant to determine how much research you have done about the company.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you expect this question during every interview, you can be prepared to answer it based on your research of the company before the interview. Mention something about the company's recent achievements, business prospects, or work culture. You may also want to refer to the company's challenges and how you can help them address these based on your skills and experience.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. What's the most interesting thing about you that I didn't see on your resume?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers like to ask this question to learn more about your personality and determine whether you will fit into their corporate environment. By inviting you to the interview, they've already indicated that you have the skills and qualifications necessary to perform this job. The purpose of the interview is to confirm this and see how well you will fit into their culture.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You can answer this question by giving the interviewer information about yourself that is not controversial and will support your qualifications for the position. Examples may be musical talent, an interesting hobby, or an unusual experience you had. Your research about the organization and its culture will help you prepare for this question.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21. What motivated you to make a move from your current role?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask this, knowing it is a potential 'trick' question that may prompt you to speak poorly of your current job, organization, or supervisor. They know that if you do this in your current situation, you will likely do it if you elect to leave their organization. Interviewers seek to hire candidates who are positive and move toward new opportunities rather than away from bad ones.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering questions like this, be positive and explain that you are moving towards something new, not away from something old. Discuss your desire to be challenged and the rewards you will get by helping a new organization achieve its objectives. Also, talk about the opportunity to improve yourself by acquiring new skills and experiences in a new position.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Operational

    22. Describe to me how you would implement a linear search in JavaScript.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask you this question to better understand how you use algorithms and data structures when programming. It also provides them insight into your knowledge of JavaScript. They are interested in your skills in this and other areas related to this job. These types of questions are used to screen candidates and will usually be asked in the middle or heart of the interview, after the general questions, and before they ask you if you have any questions for them.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for an interview for a senior software engineer's role in which you will be doing front-end or full-stack web development, you will want to refresh yourself on JavaScript, the commands it uses, and its programming structure. You are sure to be asked about each of these topics throughout the interview. One of the key skills the interviewer will be looking for is your ability to create algorithms within JavaScript to accomplish specific tasks.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "If I needed to find a value in an array, for example, I could use a loop such as a for loop or a forEach call to iterate over the array and compare each element to the desired value."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good job. Using a for loop is a great way to implement a linear search in JavaScript.

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  • Operational

    23. When do you use black box testing and white box testing to test a website?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      There are several different tests programmers and organizations use when developing an application to ensure that it will function properly when put into production. These include stress tests, capacity tests, integration testing, and system testing. Tests specific to websites include black box and white box testing. The interviewer will ask you this question to determine your familiarity with the testing methodologies and your preferences when developing software products.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      As a senior software engineer, you need to be familiar with the various testing methodologies, be able to describe them, and discuss which ones you use when programming. Even if you do not program for websites, you should still discuss both black box and white box testing and how they are used. Refreshing your familiarity with various testing methodologies is used before the interview will help you respond to this question easily.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Black box testing is when your tester knows nothing about the structure/design/implementation of the application and simulates attack methods that would be used by an external attacker to gain access to or manipulate your website. White box testing is when the tester does know the structure/design/implementation of the website and is typically used to test the logic and functionality of the applications driving the website.



      You could hire a security company to perform black box testing on your website or your APIs to ensure that there are no known exploits or vulnerabilities that you are exposed to. On the other hand, you could write automated integration tests to handle white box testing of your application to verify that new production builds do not break previous functionality."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great job! Knowing when and how to use a tool or strategy effectively is just as important as knowing what it is. I like that you explain the difference between black box and white box testing before relating how each is typically used and why.

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  • Operational

    24. Describe for me some of the techniques you use to monitor the performance of your software.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      A senior software engineer's responsibility for the performance of the programs they develop extends beyond the initial launch. You and your team are responsible for monitoring the software, determining if it is performing to specs, and modifying it if necessary. The interviewer seeks to hear that you understand this responsibility and the techniques and methodologies you use to accomplish it.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, you can talk in generalities or discuss the details of the specific processes and tools you use to monitor your programs. It's best to start at a high level and then delve into the details if you feel the interviewer is interested in them. They will indicate their interest by asking follow-up questions or simply remaining silent after you answer the question. You can always ask a qualifying question to determine if they want you to provide more information.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Performance monitoring is extremely important, especially for high-availability and/or auto-scaling applications. In our microservice applications, we have a "parent" endpoint which we will call the "health" endpoint. This endpoint will return information about the health of each component of the application. The endpoint will call each microservice's internal "health" API which is on a REST API hosted by the microservice itself and can only be accessed by a whitelisted hostname from within the application network. The individual health endpoints will return a 200 status code response consisting of all service-level data that is needed to consider the service "healthy" such as database connectivity, connectivity to the message queueing service, network latency, network connection to external third-party APIs as well as a summary of system-level metrics like RAM/CPU/DISK usage. This data is then compiled by the parent endpoint and compiles a summary of whether or not the individual nodes in the application are healthy. From there, automated steps can be triggered depending on what is "unhealthy" about the application. For instance, if RAM or CPU usage are high, an ansible job can be kicked off to spin up a new container with the microservice and it can automatically add the new instance to the existing infrastructure to distribute the load."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      I like that you begin your response by confirming that performance monitoring is highly important before going on to explain how you monitor software through a parent endpoint. This is a strong example, but if you are also familiar with other techniques used to monitor performance this is a good place to explain other methods you've used. This showcases that you are familiar with a variety of tools or techniques used to optimize performance.

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  • Operational

    25. Describe to me how you organize CSS files and why you prefer your approach.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer will ask you this question to test two characteristics: your attention to detail and organization and your familiarity with principles related to the front-end development of web applications. While this question is more relevant to candidates applying for a senior software engineer role that involves web application development, interviewers can ask this of any software development professional to understand the breadth of their skills and knowledge.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When preparing for this type of interview, make sure you review concepts used in various software development roles so you will be able to respond to the questions you are likely to be asked. Even though you probably already know how you organize CSS files, practicing the answer will help you refine it. While you can't possibly prepare for every single question the interviewer will ask, the more you research and practice before the interview, the better you will perform during it.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Operational

    26. How do you structure data tables if you create a program to manage a point of sale operation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Creating and managing data tables within a software application is a critical skill senior software engineers need. When interviewing for this job with a specific organization, it should be straightforward to determine the organization's type of data and organize the tables within the applications to facilitate their operations. This question asks specifically about point of sale operations, common to retail or online transactions.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Make sure you structure your answers to address the organization's specific needs. You can learn about these through your research of the organization's operations, corporate goals, and the specific requirements of the job you're interviewing for. The more closely your answer matches these criteria, the better you will be perceived as the appropriate candidate for this position.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I just so happen to have been a part of a software company that has created its own Point of Sale operations. Depending on the client's needs, the database tables should be broken down into the following primary categories: Employees, Sales, Inventory, and Labor. Each of those categories can be broken down into further sub-categories which will correspond to either an individual table or a group of tables. The sub-categories would also be driven based on customer needs, so if a customer wants a POS to track and manage inventory management, you would have tables for inventory vendors, units of measurement, inventory usage, recipes, etc. The Sales category would be broken down into granular and summary data. Granular data tables are for tracking insert level data that is tied to an employee logged on to a register and summary-level data condenses the granular data for higher-level revenue reporting. Employee and Labor categories would be broken down into tables that track the list of employees, employee access level within the POS, and labor schedules including any tables that would power automated labor scheduling software."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You definitely understand how to structure data tables for POS programming. If you played a key role in structuring tables or POS development projects, use this question as an opportunity to briefly share an example of the work you've done developing POS programming. This illustrates that you have both the knowledge and experience needed to excel in a POS project setting.

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  • Operational

    27. What methodologies do you use to ensure that your program will scale?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Creating programs that scale is a critical skill in today's fast-changing business environment. Businesses need appropriate applications for their current size and activity level but that can also grow as the business grows. Developing scalable programs saves the business money during the initial development cycle. Also, it prevents them from reprogramming the applications or adopting new ones when the business activity increases beyond the capability of the current program.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your answer to this question should discuss the specific techniques and methodologies you use to accomplish the objective of ensuring that the program will scale. The more detailed you are, the better your answer will be perceived, and you will be more likely to be considered a viable candidate for this position. As with any question, be prepared for a follow-up which the interviewer will use to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Scalable applications begin with a mindset that should be shared by the development team. I would talk to my team and discuss the importance of scalability and ensure they understand what scalability is and how it can be achieved. For the methodology, I would design a microservice-based application with scalable communication layers such as message queuing services and a database capable of horizontal scaling. NoSQL databases such as Mongo offer excellent built-in sharding capabilities and are easily scaled into clusters. Amazon RDS can also be utilized to horizontally scale-out relational databases if SQL or some other relational database is a better fit for the application. Once the microservice design fits the requirements to be horizontally scaled, database operations would need to be determined if they must follow ACID transactions to avoid a conflict with another process. Finally, I would highly recommend the application be hosted on a cloud service since most major cloud providers offer the ability to auto-scale applications based on pre-defined thresholds."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! You've explained the various steps you take and aspects you consider to ensure that an application is scalable. You can enhance your answer further by confirming that you've used these methodologies across a variety of projects or industries to help meet business needs. If possible, share an example that shows you've done work that's similar to what you'd be doing in the role you're applying to. This helps further emphasize that you're a great fit for the position.

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  • Operational

    28. What is harding and how is it used in the programs you create?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers will ask you about sharding for two reasons. The first is to confirm that you understand the technology and how it is used. The second is to determine how analytical you are and your approach to problem-solving. Keep both of these in mind when responding to the interviewer.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Since this is a technical question, you should keep your answer brief and to the point. Make sure to use non-technical, easy-to-understand language and always anticipate a follow-up question. Following these guidelines for any technical question you are asked will help you to respond appropriately and perform well during the interview.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Sharding is a horizontal scaling method for databases. The term "sharding" means taking a large dataset from a database and dividing it into smaller subsets of data called "shards". The shards are then distributed across multiple servers which helps reduce database operation times and makes the data more manageable."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You've done a great job explaining sharing in a way that anyone could understand. Consider further emphasizing your ability to use it by explaining what kind of database projects you've used it with in the past. This shows the interviewer that you've used it beneficially in real-life scenarios.

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  • Operational

    29. What criteria do you use when deciding whether to use a SQL solution instead of NoSQL for your project?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While SQL and NoSQL database solutions are viable, each has a specific purpose and advantages when used properly. Knowing this and communicating it effectively is the key to responding to the interviewer's question. The use of SQL and NoSQL can be debated. Your ability to communicate the advantages of each one and the criteria you use to determine this is what the interviewer is interested in.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Knowing the differences between SQL and NoSQL is critical for the role of a senior software engineer. Communicating your understanding of this topic effectively is the key to responding appropriately to the interviewer's question. Make sure to state your answer in simple, easy-to-understand language, and don't assume that the interviewer has a technical background.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would focus on the client's needs and determine if the client requires a scalable and highly available application and if their underlying data needs to be flexible. Since SQL databases typically do not scale horizontally, they instead scale vertically and make scalability a bigger concern. And since most SQL databases only have a single node (unless you are using something like Amazon RDS), this means that there is one point of failure and restoring services are dependent on bringing the single database node back online. Whereas with NoSQL, the underlying data structure is flexible and the NoSQL collections themselves can be sharded and the nodes can be scaled easily. If one node were to go down, the other node would resume the role as primary and allows you to find the root cause with minimal downtime on the application."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a solid response! Consider making it even more impactful by talking about a project you completed that used an SQL solution and why that was the right choice. Do the same for a NoSQL solution-oriented project. Make sure to end your response with the positive outcome of your choices.

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  • Operational

    30. Please walk me through the process you use to decide between two technologies when both will get the job done.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The purpose behind this question is twofold. The first is to demonstrate your communication skills and your ability and persuade an audience into agreeing with your decision or recommendation. The second is to understand whether you would be a good culture fit within the organization and your approach to collaborating with the rest of the team. The interviewer may ask this question in a different format using a specific scenario, such as choosing between hosting an application in-house or with a web service provider such as AWS.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When an interviewer asks you to walk them through a process you use, you should first pause and organize your thoughts before responding. Break down each part of the process into a simple, easy-to-understand step and present these in the order you use them. Don't provide too many details. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they need more information.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There are several criteria that I evaluate before I choose a technology: the functionality, the community support, the planned software support lifecycle, the cost and how beneficial it is as well as how easy it is to implement. New technology may boast a lot of features, but if our applications will not utilize those features, the cost may not be justified. New technology may also not gain enough community support and the lifecycle of the technology would be short and the company would have to replace it in the near future anyway. New technology also may offer a considerable number of features, but if it is a very involved process to implement, it may outweigh the benefits by adding an unnecessary amount of hours to get the tech up and running."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You've listed applicable key elements (functionality, community support, software lifecycle, cost, benefits, and implementation needs) you consider when deciding if an alternative technology is worth using. If you have had to make a choice between two alternative technologies recently, briefly explain your options, why you chose a particular technology, and how it worked out for the best. This shows the potential employer that you have the decision-making skills needed to make wise choices that support business needs.

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  • Operational

    31. Can you demonstrate how you would implement Dijkstra's Shortest Path in the programming language you normally work with?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As the interview continues, you will be asked more technical questions. While some of these will be fairly standard and straightforward, others will be complicated. The more challenging the question, the more confidence the interviewer has in your abilities and is willing to explore your qualifications more. This is an indication that you are doing well in the interview. Continue to answer technical questions directly and succinctly, using clear, understandable language.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      The interviewer will ask you this question because the organization likely utilizes this methodology in its current programming processes. He will make sure that you are familiar with this and can immediately begin implementing it if hired. You will likely be asked about several processes, methodologies, and practices the organization uses. Companies prefer to hire employees who can quickly integrate themselves into the organization and become productive as soon as possible.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Operational

    32. As a senior software engineer, you will be expected to lead a development team. How would you prioritize the tasks you assign to each developer to improve collaboration?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While senior software engineers are not necessarily formal managers, they will likely function as the team lead. In this capacity, they are expected to be able to assign tasks to each team member. How you go about assigning the task and the criteria you use will demonstrate your qualifications as a lead software engineer and provide the interviewer with a high level of confidence in hiring you for this role.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is another question you need to stop and organize your thoughts before answering. You may want to create a scenario in your mind for a specific project which would require you to delegate tasks across the team. Then, describe how you would prioritize the tasks and assign them to the appropriate team member whose skills and experience match the task requirements they are assigned. Be prepared for follow-up questions from the interviewer about the criteria you use to accomplish this.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In the Agile methodology, task assignment begins when the project milestones are set and the Sprints are created to meet each milestone. I would evaluate the difficulty of each task and assign the tasks to the developers based on their skill level. However, as a leader, I need to make sure that my less-experienced team members are getting opportunities to learn and grow. If I were to assign a difficult task to a less-experienced developer, I would pair them with a more experienced developer that would be able to work closely with them and guide them through the project. Then during the daily standups, I would check in with that team to see where they are and if there are any blockers or issues and would work with them to resolve those issues so the development process can continue."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Well done! I can tell that you have experience working with agile project teams. The way you explain the project management process makes sense and optimizes efficiency. You also increase collaboration by pairing less experienced members with more experienced developers. Consider also explaining what you do during standup or other project interactions to improve collaboration. Do you solicit feedback from team members about the process? Do you ask developers to work cross-functionally to bring new perspectives or problem-solving ideas to the forefront?

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  • Operational

    33. Can you describe the design patterns you use and when you use them?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Software design patterns are repeatable solutions to commonly occurring issues in software development. It is a general outline of approaching software development rather than a specific solution or piece of code. It can be thought of as a template. Using design patterns allows software developers to quickly create a development plan and outline for the software program. As a senior software engineer, you should have several designs you typically use when beginning a software development project. These will very likely be associated with the common types of software you work on.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Software design patterns are common to this profession, so you should anticipate being asked this question during an interview. Having some examples of how you use these prepared will help you quickly respond to the interviewer's question. Better yet, use the information you discovered during your research to create examples that align with the current development methodologies of the organization's software development team. The closer your answers align to their current operations, the more likely you will be perceived as a good fit and offered the position.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Operational

    34. When do you feel it is appropriate to follow "procedural" logic when developing software?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Procedural logic is a programming paradigm that creates step-by-step instructions for executing a software program. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. The interviewer wants to understand your position on this topic and how you would use procedural logic in your software development efforts. The organization may currently use this methodology or may be considering adopting it. Keep in mind that you are expected to both fit into the organization's software development team and contribute to improving its operations.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      As a senior software engineer, you should be familiar with procedural logic and comfortable discussing when it can be used and when it would not be appropriate. As with any technical question, make sure you use simple, easy-to-understand language and avoid using acronyms or technical jargon the interviewer may not be familiar with. Also, anticipate follow-up questions that the interviewer will use to explore the topic in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Procedural logic differs from Object-Oriented Programming in that it offers a clear set of step-by-step instructions and expectations. It's most useful if your code requires specific states or expectations from external sources or if you know your code will not change much over time or does not require high reusability. It would be appropriate to implement procedural logic on something like an application startup or end, or on a diagnostic script to be run by an automated tool or support technician."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic! You've clearly explained what procedural logic is and in which scenarios it is best to use it.

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  • Operational

    35. Please walk me through the process you use when assigned a programming project, starting with defining the requirements and going through delivery.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      An interviewer will be interested in how you approach a software development project. They want to confirm that your approach is well organized, logical, and, most importantly, aligns with the one used by their current software development team. This last criterion will determine your fit for the organization or whether you need to be re-educated on their processes and procedures.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to this question, walk the interviewer through your process, starting from the initial requirements analysis and going through development, testing, and product launch. Keep your explanation at a high level with few details. The interviewer will ask a follow-up question if they want to explore your methodology in more detail.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I follow a structured process to coordinate efforts between teams to ensure the clients' needs are delivered on time and on budget. The process begins with a Business Analyst and the Project Owner working with the client to assess their needs and define requirements. I review those requirements and work with the BA and PO to refine any requirements that are not clearly defined or require further input from the client. Once the requirements are refined and finalized, I will estimate the number of hours required for the project for both the development and QA teams. From there, the cost of the project is determined and handed over to the client for them to sign an SOW. Once the SOW is signed, I work with the Project Manager to create any additional epics, stories, and tasks in JIRA for the project. I will then ensure the requirements are defined in the appropriate tickets for each software component and then break out the development and QA estimates across the tickets. From there, the Project Manager and I will break out the work into sprints. Once the tickets are finalized and ready for development, and I will delegate the tasks to the developers based on their experience and abilities. From there, our team has daily standups where we will use our Kanban board to track the progress of the current Sprint and we can address any concerns or problems the developers are encountering so we can address them and ensure we stay within the timelines. Once development finishes, the code is handed over to QA to deploy and test. After testing, I will create a production build and schedule the deployment to production."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic! You've clearly outlined your programming project approach from ideation all the way through to delivery of final results. You've laid it out logically and in a way that the interviewer will be able to easily follow your methodology.

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  • Operational

    36. Please describe how you would refactor a class for easier testing.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During the interview for a senior software engineer's job, you'll be asked many technical questions. These are meant to provide the interviewer with information about your skills and experience and help them determine if you're qualified for this role. The technical questions will span several different topics and, in some cases, may ask you to demonstrate your programming skills. As the interview progresses, the questions will become more specific and challenging.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You should review the processes and procedures you currently use to develop software and research those typically used within the industry. This will help you to be familiar with these and ready to respond or demonstrate your programming skills during the interview. Even though you may have a great deal of experience to be confident in the methodology you use, reviewing them before the interview will keep them fresh in your mind. Practicing questions like this will also prepare you to respond to the interviewer's questions easily.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There are a few key principles to keep in mind while refactoring a class for unit-testing. One of those key principles is to make sure that no single function is doing too much. If you have a single function that is thousands of lines of code, then that function is doing too much and unit tests for that function are going to quickly become ugly and unmanageable. I would evaluate the function, see what responsibilities it is currently assuming, and see how those can be broken out into smaller and more manageable functions with their own set of expectations that easily translate to simpler unit tests. That same approach can also be applied to the class itself and it may be that the class needs to be split into multiple classes.



      Another key principle when refactoring is making sure the refactor is more readable than the current code is. If you're going to abstract the class by splitting it out into multiple classes, it's important to balance the amount of abstraction you plan on doing and not overcomplicate or oversimplify something. You can easily abstract any single class and break it out into a series of classes and interfaces that extend other classes and interfaces which in turn extend more classes and more interfaces and you eventually end up with a web of dependencies that is more confusing than it is helpful."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good job! You've explained that you'd make sure no function was overworking by evaluating functions and breaking them down if needed. You'd also ensure the refactor is more readable than the current code while making sure to balance the amount of abstraction. If you've recently worked on a project that required you to refactor a class to optimize testing, share what the project was, your role, any obstacles you came up against, how you overcame them, and what the positive outcome was. Anytime you can provide an example that illustrates that you've actually done the kind of work discussed, your answer will be stronger and more memorable.

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  • Operational

    37. Walk me through the process of creating an SQL database for time-series information?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      SQL is not only a standard but a very common and easy way to manage data within a database. Interviewers will want to make sure you're familiar with this technology by asking you specific questions about it and providing scenarios that require you to use it. Make sure you're up to date on your SQL programming skills and can answer these types of questions or demonstrate how you use SQL to program.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a two-part question meant to determine your knowledge of SQL and familiarity with time-series information. Assuming you are familiar with both of these, think about the process you use and break it down into individual steps. Then describe each step to the interviewer without including too much detail. The interviewer will ask you a follow-up question if they want more information or need to explore the topic more.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "First, define the structure of the table including columns, keys, and foreign keys. One of the columns should be a time-series format such as a DATE, DATETIME, or a TIMESTAMP (or a UNIX timestamp stored in an INT data type). Then, insert the records including the formatted date and then you can write any ORDER BY, GROUP BY, greater/less than, or BETWEEN query required. I used time-series data a lot in our SQL databases for log records, DateTime-oriented statistics, reports, and more."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Well done! You've provided a concise process that makes it clear that you know how to create an SQL database suitable for time-series information. You've also gone a step further to explain what you've used them for in your current or prior role.

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  • Operational

    38. What programming languages do you recommend an organization like ours use to create software to support our operations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      If it is natural for interviewers to want to know what programming languages you are familiar with and would recommend for their organization. They are trying to determine your knowledge of the programming languages and whether these align with the languages currently used by their programming team. They may also be interested in whether you can introduce new languages, methodologies, and techniques into the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      There are two ways to respond when asked about the software development languages you recommend for an organization. The first is based on your research before the interview, which should help you learn what programming languages the organization already uses. Recommending these will confirm that you're aware of their operations and can work with their existing system. An alternative to this approach is to recommend languages you are comfortable with and that you feel will improve the organization's operations. This is a bit riskier, but you could demonstrate that you are well qualified for this role. The key to answering this way is to defend your recommendations based on solid criteria discovered during your research or learned from your past experiences.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Based on the job requirements in several of your job listings, it seems like your company utilizes various languages and databases which I am highly familiar with. JavaScript (particularly NodeJS), Python, MySQL, MongoDB, and various AWS cloud services I have experience with. Since your company seems to emphasize microservice architecture, those languages are perfect for designing scalable microservice applications."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! Your response illustrates that you've done some research into what the company does by investigating its posted job descriptions. You've also explained why the programming languages you've identified make the most sense for supporting operations. You can consider also emphasizing the benefits of microservice applications from an operations perspective to further validate your choice.

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  • Operational

    39. How do you direct your team to identify and correct errors in their code?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers understand that nobody is perfect and errors will occur. They want to understand how you go about correcting these without discouraging the team members or lecturing them about their mistakes. Your answer to this question will help the interviewer determine your leadership qualities and how you can help mentor and develop junior team members.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When describing how you direct your team to identify and correct the errors in their code, keep your answer upbeat and positive. Acknowledge that everyone occasionally makes an error, and the key is quickly identifying and correcting them. Emphasize how you turn this into a positive learning experience and use it to increase the skill sets of the junior members of your team.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I strongly encourage Test-Driven Development for my team and require unit tests to be implemented to test new code and changes to existing code. Unit testing is one of the best tools a developer can use to reduce errors in their code. And since I follow Agile principles, our daily standups and lines of communication between teams allow my team members to quickly address any errors that come up in their code. We also have integration and regression tests that are run against the software build to ensure existing functionality is not broken."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Well done! Your ability to clearly answer the question by explaining why you choose to use specific tools makes it clear that you have the kind of experience and confidence that an employer is looking for in a senior software engineer.

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  • Operational Software Enginee

    40. If you were asked about addressing a website's degrading performance, what recommendations would you make to correct this?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      While interviewing for a senior software engineer job, you may be asked about specific activities, challenges, or processes outside the software development spectrum. Interviewers will take this tact to explore the breadth of your knowledge and see if you have experience interacting with other technical stakeholders from across the organization. Knowing a broad range of technical topics and specific, in-depth knowledge about software development will increase your chances of being selected as an appropriate candidate for the position.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When asked about how to accomplish a specific task related to this job, keep your answer brief and to the point. Describe each step you would take to accomplish the task using simple, easy-to-understand language. Anticipate follow-up questions from the interviewer if they need more detail or want to explore the topic further.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I would start by finding the source of the performance problems. This would include looking at response times in the browser console's dev tools as well as looking at the web server logs, application logs, and database query logs. Monitoring the system metrics like RAM/CPU/DISK may be necessary as well. This should give an idea of where the problem lies. If the problem lies within slow database queries, indexes can be added or the query itself can be refactored to utilize existing indexes. If the problem is on the client, then the amount of data being transferred to the client may be too much or the client has non-optimal JavaScript code, or some other client-side or network-level error may be at play. If system resource usage is continually building up, then I would recommend scaling the application horizontally if possible. And if the application was the source of the problems, I could use further tools like AppDynamics to evaluate exactly which classes and functions are undergoing the most load and I would then suggest a refactor of the problem areas."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You're doing a great job answering these questions thoroughly and in a way that confidently illustrates you know how to handle performance or website issues.

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  • Technical

    41. Do you recommend using a microservice approach or a monolithic app when developing a software program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      An interviewer will ask you this question to determine your programming methodology and whether it matches that currently used by the organization. They also want to make sure you understand the differences between these two approaches. Finally, they may expect you to elaborate on the benefits and disadvantages of each programming approach.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      As a senior software engineer, you normally have a great deal of autonomy and can choose how you approach application development. However, your choice must align with the talents and experience of your team as well as the common practices used by the organization you are working with. When preparing for an interview, you should research the organization, its software development group, and the specific job you're applying for. This will provide you with the information you need to answer questions like this in the context of the organization's current operations.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "It depends on the nature of the application and the clients' needs. A monolithic application can be created more quickly and requires less infrastructure than a set of microservices. However, a monolithic app is more difficult to scale horizontally and typically is scaled vertically. If the client's needs would not require a vertically scalable application, a monolithic approach would be fine. However, due to the shift in industry practices and the wide adoption of microservice architecture, I encourage a microservice approach."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You've provided a balanced answer that illustrates your ability to adapt your approach to best fit the needs of the client and industry trends. Consider enhancing this answer further by sharing an example of a time when you've effectively used a microservice approach and why. This shows the interviewer that you have experience utilizing the approach effectively.

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  • Technical

    42. Can you discuss responsive design and the differences between fixed and fluid layouts?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Interviewers believe that senior software engineers can work on various development projects. These include commercial applications, internal software programs, and website designs. Developing software for websites is a specialized skill that is in high demand. Senior software developers with experience in this area who can address issues related to website design, performance, and programming applications are more likely to be asked for an interview and offered roles within the organization.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering questions about specific elements of software development, don't assume that the interviewer has a technical background. Use simple, easy-to-understand language that anybody in the organization can understand and relate to. Make sure not to use any industry jargon, acronyms, or phrases that people from other parts of the organization may not be familiar with. Of course, if you're speaking with your prospective supervisor or a peer from the software development team, you can use more technical language with confidence.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Responsive design enables a website to look and function the same on different devices with different aspect ratios, such as a computer vs a phone. Single Page Applications, for example, will utilize responsive design by using fluid layouts which set percentages to scale the width and height of dom elements instead of a fixed layout that relies on specific dimensions of pixels. Fixed layouts are not used as much these days since most smart devices are capable of browsing the web and would require the website to detect the dimensions and aspect ratio of a particular device and load the appropriate fixed layout. The fluid layout allows the client-side code to be simple and condensed to a single (or at least fewer) manageable layout files."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Fantastic! You are doing a great job explaining software engineering concepts in a relatable and concise way that shows your level of confidence in working with various layouts or programming aspects.

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  • Technical

    43. How does HTML5 use web workers, and why is this important?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      One of the key responsibilities of a senior software engineer is maintaining their currency in newly developing technologies. Interviewers will ask you about techniques and methodologies associated with the latest software and development tools used in your profession. They want to make sure your knowledge of these is current, and you can employ them in your work if hired.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      You should anticipate questions like this and refresh your knowledge about these topics by reviewing vendor websites, technology blogs, and other sources of information before attending the interview. Conversely, you should also be familiar with legacy versions of the applications which the organization may still be using. Being knowledgeable about topics and both of these areas will help you perform well in the interview and likely lead to a job offer.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

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  • Technical

    44. How does a data array differ from a stack?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is another technical question the interviewer uses to determine your qualifications for this position. Throughout the interview, you will be asked many different technical, operational, and practical questions. The purpose of these is to make sure you can perform the tasks required by the job and have experience in the areas needed for this role.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      Knowing the difference between a data array and a stack demonstrates your qualifications as a senior software engineer. More importantly, your ability to communicate this in simple, non-technical language will show the interviewer that you can collaborate with other stakeholders within the organization who may not have the same technical expertise as you or the other software development team members. Don't fall into the trap of trying to impress the interviewer using highly technical language, acronyms, or jargon they may not understand. This often puts the interviewer off and will make them more prone to choose somebody who communicates more clearly.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A data array is specifically for organized or unorganized data with no restrictions on how to add or retrieve the data from the array. It's far more versatile than a stack, however, a stack does have specific restrictions on how things are added and retrieved from the stack by enforcing a LIFO retrieval process. A stack has rather niche uses and could be used for specific processes where LIFO order is crucial such as inventory systems that handle product sales when the cost is rising. In that case, it may be beneficial for the company and accounting to use a stack and abide by LIFO to sell the higher priced item first."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good job! You've explained how a data array differs from a stack. You've also shared that a stack is beneficial in a sales scenario. You can further enhance this answer by providing an example of how/when a data array is the best option for use. This helps show the interviewer that you can appropriately match technology needs with business needs.

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  • Technical

    45. What is a stack in the context of software development, and how can it be used to simplify the SDLC?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question may look familiar because you may have been asked about the same topic earlier in the interview. It is common for interviewers to ask similar questions throughout the interview. They do this for two reasons. The first is to explore the topic in more detail from a variety of different angles. This indicates that the topic is important to their operations. The second reason for asking the same question multiple times is to confirm that your answers are consistent throughout the interview. Answering truthfully and keeping your answers concise will ensure that you are consistent during the entire interview.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you recognize that the interviewer has asked you a question that they already asked you earlier in the interview, avoid the temptation to respond that you've already answered this question. Try to recall your previous answer and respond similarly. Interviewers are not only interested in your knowledge during an interview, but they also are gauging how you behave in specific situations, your communication style, and other items which will help them determine how well you will fit into their organization.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "If you're referring to a Software Stack, it is the different layers of an application that communicate with each other to perform operations. A software stack is typically broken out into 3 primary layers (4 if you include the operating system): the Presentation Layer, Logic Layer, and Data Layer, or in more specific terms the Webserver, the Application Server, and the Database Server.

      If you're referring to the call stack, then it is the data stack for which subroutines know which active subroutine it should yield control to once the subroutine is finished processing. It abides by the LIFO retrieval process."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      You clearly understand what a stack is and how they work. Consider expanding your answer to ensure you adequately address how it simplifies the SDLC. If possible, talk briefly about a specific example of a time when you used a stack to simplify the SDLC in a project. This will show the interviewer that you understand the theoretical use of a stack as well as how to implement them in real-world settings.

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  • Technical

    46. Can you discuss how functional programming differs from object-oriented programming?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a senior software engineer, you should be intimately familiar with both object-oriented and functional programming. An interviewer will ask you this question to confirm that you are aware of the different types of programming and some of the languages used in each type. They expect you to be able to describe both the similarities and differences between these. They may also want you to state your preference for which type of programming you prefer or use regularly.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, summarize each type of programming, describe the languages used, and talk about your experience with or preference for these. Your pre-interview research should have indicated the type of programming that the organization currently uses or prefers. Your answer can also reflect the best methodology for the products they create for either internal use or commercial sale.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The main difference is that functional programming works on stateless, immutable data whereas OOP uses mutable state data. Functional programming acts like a set of instructions that can be applied to an immutable dataset and the functions themselves do not cause side effects. Functional programming can be beneficial in that it can be quicker to write and requires less system resources to execute and allows for parallel programming. OOP on the other hand allows you to abstract your code into classes with clear expectations and allows child classes to inherit parent class attributes and functions thereby simplifying the code in the child class and making the test cases more simple. OOP also allows for the concept of Encapsulation to apply which can prevent unauthorized users from accessing key data."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Well said! You've explained the difference between the two as well as the benefits of each. If you've recently worked on projects that required you to choose between utilizing functional programming or OOP, explain why you chose each and how you applied it to the project. This helps to demonstrate that you have put your analytical mindset to work and make the appropriate choice based on the needs of the project.

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  • Tehcnical

    47. What is the difference between blocking and non-blocking calls in JavaScript?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      During an interview for a senior software engineer's position, you will be asked about many different technologies used in the job. Some of these questions will ask you to compare two different technologies which are similar but have different functions or outcomes. Demonstrating your knowledge of these differences will impress the interviewer and satisfy their curiosity about your understanding of the topic.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      How to Answer

      When responding to a question like this, start by defining each term, then briefly compare them, stating their features and benefits. Quickly contrast them, stating how they differ, and finish by possibly providing an example to illustrate your answer. This methodology will allow you to organize your answer for any question asking you to compare two terms or technologies.

      Written by William Swansen on May 23rd, 2022

      User-Submitted Answer

      "A blocking call is otherwise known as a synchronous operation and a non-blocking call is an asynchronous operation. A synchronous JavaScript operation waits for another process to finish before moving on to the next part of the code. An asynchronous operation does not wait for the operation to finish and instead proceeds on with the rest of the code execution. In the early days of JavaScript, callbacks were used in frameworks like Ajax to replicate synchronous-like behavior and would provide the operation with a callback function to be executed once the process was complete. Later on, Promises were introduced to JavaScript which allowed for an executable call chain to be defined in a synchronous order with a catch statement at the end of the chain. And more recently, the async-await functionality was added to JavaScript that allows you to easily specify any section of code that must be executed synchronously."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Amanda Knight

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Amanda Knight Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! You've explained the difference between blocking and non-blocking calls simply and clearly. Consider expanding this answer to specify when or how you typically use each, showing the interviewer that you not only understand the functionality but when each is best used.

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