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20 Questions and Answers by William Swansen
Updated March 13th, 2020 | William Swansen is an author, job search strategist and career advisor who assists individuals from all over the world.
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Question 1 of 20

What do you do when an application stops working?

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Interview Questions

1.

What do you do when an application stops working?

By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to understand your ability to debug a program. Troubleshooting and debugging are key skills web developers must possess. The best way to respond to this question is in a general manner, stating the techniques you use to solve problems within a program you developed. Don't get mired in the details. The interviewer will ask follow-up questions if they need more information.

William's Answer #1

"It is almost impossible to write code or develop applications without any errors occurring. The key is to have methods and techniques you use to find and resolve the errors. My first response when a program stops working this to do a quick visual scan of the code to see if anything jumps out at me. If this doesn't work, I then use debugging tools to find the errors."

William's Answer #2

"it is very common to have errors when developing applications. Most of these are due to syntax or logical problems. These two issues create ambiguity in the code. The easiest way to resolve these is to use a debugging tool to find and fix the errors. My preferred tool is Sentry, which is an open-sourced program."

2.

What are the possible values for the display attributes that are supported by all browsers?

This is another technical question which the interviewer is using to determine your qualifications for this job. You can anticipate that most of the questions you will be asked in an interview for a web developer position will be technical. The best way to prepare for this is to read these questions out loud and then answer them using your own language, again out loud. This will help you build muscle memory and will prepare you to answer these questions when asked by the interviewer.

William's Answer #1

"There are several display property values for each element in a CSS layout. These define how the element will appear on the web page. Values include div, default, p, and section. The default display value for most elements is either block or inline."

William's Answer #2

"While there are many values which dictate how an element is displayed on a webpage, the default display values are block or inline. Other possible values include div, p, and section. All the HTML tags are displayed and aligned out of the box except for these last elements which are set as block by the browser."

3.

Explain to me briefly what the hide function is actually doing in jQuery withi the CSS.

This is a very specific technical question. The interviewer is asking you to define the function of a single command within the cascading style sheet, or CSS. As the interview progresses, the technical questions will become more specific and more difficult. This is a positive sign that the interviewer is gaining confidence in your skills and is willing to dig deeper to determine just how much you know. It is advisable to review the commands you typically use when developing a web page before the interview.

For exampl: "The hide function within jQuery will first store the previously displayed image and then set the property to 'none' so the image is no longer displayed. Using hide keeps the image available in the cache in case it is needed again."

William's Answer #1

"The hide function within jQuery will first store the previously displayed image and then set the property to 'none' so the image is no longer displayed. Using hide keeps the image available in the cache in case it is needed again."

William's Answer #2

"When the hide command is used in jQuery, it immediately hides the image being displayed with no animation. It is equivalent to calling the css command of 'display'. 'none.' The difference between display none and hide is that the image is stored in the jQuery cache so that it can be used quickly if the browser recalls it."

4.

Do you know the programming language we primarily use?

By asking this question, the interviewer is seeking to understand two things. The first is whether you are familiar with the tools and languages they currently use for their web development efforts. The second thing they want to understand is whether you took the time to research their company and learn about their processes. Interviews are often won or lost before you even arrive, based on the amount of research you do and what you learn about the job and the company. The better you understand their operations, the more successful your interview will be, and the more likely they will offer you the job. You can answer those in either a positive or negative manner.

William's Answer #1

"Before coming here today I did quite a bit of research on your company and the development tools you use. First, let me say I was very impressed with the level of technology and expertise you currently have in-house. Based on what I learned, I believe you use several languages, including JavaScript, Ruby, and HTM5. I'm very familiar with each of these and have used them in my prior positions. I'm confident I can begin immediately contributing to your development efforts starting on day one."

William's Answer #2

"Although I did some research before coming to the interview today, I was unable to learn which languages you use when developing web sites. However, if you're like most companies I've been associated with, I would guess that you use some of the more popular languages, including JavaScript, Ruby, and HTM5. I am very familiar with each one of these as well as several other languages. I'm confident that you are either using the languages I'm familiar with or that I could quickly learn the languages you are using and become adept in them in a short amount of time."

5.

What was your least favorite website you've created? Why did you feel this way?

This is an example of a behavioral question. Interviewers ask behavioral questions by presenting you with a scenario and then asking about how you would respond to it. The purpose of these types of questions is to get a preview of your behavior when you encounter situations typical in the job for which you are applying. Behavioral questions are best answered using the STAR format. You first describe the Situation, state the Task you must achieve, talk about the actions you take, and then discuss the results.

For exampl: "My least favorite website was one for an organization with views and policies I didn't agree with. Regardless of my beliefs, I still had to create the website which they ordered from the company for which I was working. I put my personal feelings aside and put forth my best efforts to create the website they expected. The result was that we delivered the website to their specifications on time and within budget. I learned to put the job first and my personal feelings second."

William's Answer #1

"My least favorite website was one for an organization with views and policies I didn't agree with. Regardless of my beliefs, I still had to create the website which they ordered from the company for which I was working. I put my personal feelings aside and put forth my best efforts to create the website they expected. The result was that we delivered the website to their specifications on time and within budget. I learned to put the job first and my personal feelings second."

William's Answer #2

"The least favorite website I had to work on was one in which the customer injected their own design elements which conflicted with best practices for web development. I worked hard to explain this to them and to provide examples of how we could improve the look and function of the website. However, they were adamant about their personal preferences and insisted I do it their way. I complied with their wishes and finished the project."

6.

How would you write an SQL statement that would select only customers who made multiple orders within a single week?

This is a very specific technical question, in which the interviewer is asking you how to structure a piece of code. As a web developer, you may be asked actually to write code during the interview. This rarely occurs during a live interview, but you may be given a sign and liked this either before after or as a separate element of the interview process. You should be prepared for this and may want to bring some materials to the interview that will help you comply with this request.

William's Answer #1

"To write the code for the query that you have just described, I would need to know the names of the tables, the fields, and other details of the information you are seeking. I would then structure an SQL quarry using a Select, From, and Where statements."

William's Answer #2

"SQL queries are relatively easy to write. However, to do so, the developer needs to be familiar with several elements of the data tables with which they are working. These include the name of the table, the name of the field containing the data, and the data elements involved in the query. You then use statements such as Select, From, and Where to structure the SQL query."

7.

What is the default value for the display attribute for the image element?

An interviewer will ask this technical question to confirm your web development skills and to ensure that you know some of the basic commands used in this profession. By reviewing these questions, you should be prepared for this as well as any related questions. The best way to be ready for an interview is to review these questions and practice them out loud. If possible, record yourself so you can hear how you sound and make any improvements you feel are necessary.

William's Answer #1

"The display property will specify how an element is displayed within a web page. Every HTML element has a default display value, which depends on the type of element it is. The two most common display values are block or inline."

William's Answer #2

"There are two common default values for an image element within a web page. These depend on the type of element. The two most common default values are block and inline. Examples of block-level elements include div, form, header, footer, and section. Inline elements include span, a, and img."

8.

Tell me about the most challenging website you created from start to finish?

While this may look like a technical question, it is actually an operational question. Rather than ask you about a specific element of web development and design, the interviewer is asking you about a process you use to develop a website. Their objective in asking this question is to determine if you have done work similar to the job for which they are hiring you. Based on your pre-interview research, you should describe a project similar to the type of work you will be doing with this organization.

William's Answer #1

"The most challenging website I have developed from start to finish is very similar to the main one your company uses. This involved online transactions and forms that users fill out to apply for the services the organization I was working for provided. The challenge was to make the website adaptive across multiple browsers and devices. I achieved this using a standard format and several different plugins available for that format."

William's Answer #2

"While I have worked on many different types of websites, the most challenging one involved a site that would be visited by users across the globe. Not only did I have to make it adaptive across multiple platforms, browsers, and devices, but it also had to be able to be translated into multiple languages. I was able to accomplish this using a set of tools specific to this task and a format that would accommodate all of these requirements."

9.

How does the browser determine where to place positioned elements?

This is another technical question which the interviewer will ask to determine your knowledge of web development technologies and practices. As we've mentioned before, technical questions are best answered straightforwardly and succinctly. There's no need to embellish or provide detailed answers. The interviewer will follow up if they require additional information.

William's Answer #1

"Browsers use the CSS property known as position to determine where to place elements on the web page. There are several position and commands which CSS uses. These include static, relative, absolute, and sticky. Static refers to a position command in which the element is in the same place regardless of the browser. Relative will position the element as an offset to one of the edges of the page. Absolute is similar to static but can be adjusted to more accurately position the element. Sticky is the command used to move an element relative to a single offset point within the page."

William's Answer #2

"There are four CSS commands which establish the position of an element within a web page. These are static, relative, absolute, or sticky. The commands are somewhat self-explanatory. Static maintains an element's position in the webpage regardless of how it is rendered. Relative will move the element as an offset to one or more of the borders of the web page. Absolute maintains the element at the same spot regardless of how the web page is rendered or what browser the user is using. Finally, sticky moves an element within the webpage, relative to a single offset point noted in the CSS command."

10.

Tell me some considerations in selecting a font size for an adaptive web site?

This is a technical question for a web developer role. Interviewers ask technical questions in order to qualify your knowledge and skills for the position for which you are interviewing. Technical questions are best answered using brief explanations of the term or concept, with little embellishment. The interviewer will request additional details if they require them.

William's Answer #1

"There are four considerations when selecting a font for an adaptable web page. The first is readability. The font must be clear and easy to read. The second criteria is mood and message. An example of this is using bold or all caps, which can be interpreted as shouting. A third consideration is font metrics. This refers to how the font interacts with itself and its surroundings. Finally, the web developer must consider how the font looks in various browsers and devices."

William's Answer #2

"The four key elements web developers must consider when choosing a font are readability, mood and message, font metrics, and cross-browser and cross-device consideration. Each of these criteria will determine the appearance of the web page, its ease of reading, and its ability to look the same across multiple devices or browsers. This is important because it contributes to the impact of the page and the objective the developer is attempting to achieve with their design."

11.

Do you enjoy working long hours on projects?

An interviewer will ask this type of question seeking the information the question requests but also testing your integrity. While they may be genuinely interested in whether you enjoy working long hours were willing to do it, they also want to see all honestly you will respond to this question. Working long hours may or may not be a requirement for this job. You should respond with an honest answer, but more importantly, be able to justify your response.

William's Answer #1

"While I don't necessarily enjoy working long hours on a project, I am more than willing to do this if the situation requires it. I understand that sometimes it is necessary to put in extra time to complete a project on schedule. If I have to do this, I balance it out by taking some personal time off to make up for the additional time I had to work."

William's Answer #2

"Working long hours on a project is part of this job. However, I try to avoid this by carefully planning the work before starting a new project. I stay very focused while working on a project to be as productive as possible. Proper planning an intense focus usually helps me get the work done per the schedule created for the project. If I do have to put in some extra time, I do this willingly, knowing that it's required. I then try to allocate some additional personal time to maintain my work-life balance."

12.

Name several reasons why a website is not performing well or is slow to respond to user prompts?

During an interview, the hiring manager is seeking to fully understand your competencies and abilities related to the position for which they are interviewing you. This particular question seeks to determine your ability to diagnose and address the poor performance of a web site. Since the question is rather general, the best way to respond is by citing 2 to 3 examples of reasons why a website is performing badly and what you would do to fix them.

William's Answer #1

"Poor performance of a web site may be due to several reasons, all of which can be addressed once they are diagnosed. For instance, one reason may be render-blocking by JavaScript, which is delaying page loads. This is caused by a browser waiting to fully load any JavaScript files before they display them. The problem can be solved by using asynchronous loading, removing external JavaScript files, or deferring the JavaScript loading until the rest of the page has become visible. Other issues that may impact the performance or speed of a web site include excessive overhead in your database, the site's CSS not being optimized, and OPcache not being enabled. Once any of these causes have been identified as the problem, solutions can be implemented similar to the example I've already provided."

William's Answer #2

"There are many issues that could impact the speed and performance of a web site. The challenge is identifying which ones you're encountering and then developing solutions to resolve them. For instance, poor performance may be due to large media files, which increase the loading times, poorly written scripts which are conflicting with the other elements of the site, or the site's code being too bulky. If the code is too bulky, you can minimize it by removing elements that aren't required. This can be accomplished by using a plugin, inlining CSS, or optimizing JavaScript files."

13.

What are the five possible values for position for elements in a web page?

This technical question is similar to the previous one. Interviewers will often ask about topics in several different ways to confirm your understanding of the topic about which they are curious. You may also encounter multiple interviews or group interviews in which each person you speak with will ask you the same question but in a different manner. If this occurs, it indicates that the topic they are asking about is important to the job you will be doing. This also gives you clues as to follow-up or subsequent questions you can expect.

William's Answer #1

"The position properties in CSS dictate how the browser arranges the elements on a webpage. Five different values dictate the page layout. These are static, relative, fixed, absolute, and inherit. Some of the values allow the elements to reposition themselves depending on changes within the webpage or the use of different browsers or platforms. These fix their positions relative to the borders of the page."

William's Answer #2

"Elements are placed within a web page using the position command within CSS. The values used by position are relative, fixed, inherent, static, and absolute. All but fixed and static use the borders of the page to move the position of the element if changes occur in the page and depend on which browser and which platform the viewer is using."

14.

What was your most successful website ever created? Why did it go so well?

This is another behavioral question that is similar, but opposite of the previous one. Asking this question after the last one about your least favorite web site provides the interviewer with a clear idea of what you like and dislike. This enables them to determine if you are suited for the type of projects they will be assigning you. Again, use your pre-interview research to identify projects that align with those the employer will likely assign you to work on.

William's Answer #1

"My most successful website was for a project in which I was allowed a complete creative license. The customer described what they would like to achieve with the website and gave me the freedom to develop it anyway I chose. This released my creative abilities and resulted in a website that not only looked good but functioned well and achieved the customer's objectives."

William's Answer #2

"The most successful website though I worked on was one in which the objective was clear and well defined. It involved close collaboration with the client and other members of the development team. Since we were all on the same page, it was easy to create a web site with the exact elements and functionality the client was looking for. As a result, we were able to develop the website and about half the time it normally takes. The final product generated metrics that exceeded the client's expectations."

15.

Which responsive frameworks do you work with or recommend?

When an interviewer asks this type of question, they are seeking to learn whether you are familiar with the tools and processes that they already use in their operations. Additionally, they may want to see if you're capable of recommending new tools or processes which they may consider adopting. One of the most desired soft skills employers look for is creativity. You can use your answer to this question to demonstrate your creativity and innovation skills.

William's Answer #1

"I have done quite a bit of research into HTML5 frameworks. The ones that I prefer include Foundation, Skeleton, HTML5 Boilerplate, KickStart, and Montage. These are very similar but have unique features that I use depending on the type of website I'm developing."

William's Answer #2

"Using responsive frameworks when developing a web page helps to ensure that the page will be responsive and that the elements used to create the image are what I want to include on the page. The frameworks also help to reduce the amount of time required to develop the page. There are many frameworks available, but the ones I prefer include Montage, SproutCore, Zebra, and CreateJS. I use the framework that will produce the best results for the type of web page I'm working on"

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