Software Developer Interview Questions

Brett MillerSoftware Development, Software Interview Question

Hiring a software developer to handle your critical software project can sometimes become a daunting task, although I believe the challenge can be minimized with a well structured set of software developer interview questions designed to reveal, not only the developers qualifications and experience, but also their project preferences and ability to quickly understand your particular needs.

Interview Questions for Software Developers

The real key to the software interview is to formulate questions that probe beyond generalities.  As an example, instead of asking the development question “Do you have experience in iPhone development?” ask “Describe how your experience in iPhone Development applies to the iPhone app I want you to build?” which, by contrast, tends to provide more background material.  You will also need to insert the occasional follow-up question like; “When you were explaining about this concept, you mentioned such and such … that sounded like it was very much to the point, can you tell me more?”

As you can see, software interview questions for a prospective developer are all about investigative techniques that, not only solicit an informational response, but also seek to delve deeper into the meaning and applicability of each response.  Part and parcel of that process is maintaining control over the interview itself.  What I mean by that comes from a great deal of personal experience.  Many interviewers get so busy explaining their software project and their business, they forget to listen.  So the rule of thumb I suggest you use is for you to do only about a third of the talking and get the software developer to do the other two thirds.  After all, you already know what you need … the question is … does the developer understand what you want … and will they apply their expertise in a way that directly addresses your project requirements.

Development Interview Questions

That being said, here are some ideas about questions you might want to configure for your developer interview.  Roughly speaking you might want to have at least Eight software interview questions for each of the following subject areas.

  1. Your Specific Requirements; Beyond the typical “here’s what I need” list, but more along the lines of “How would you approach these needs?”
  2. Elements of Function that You Require; Not just “I need my application to do this or that”, but  “Here is the functionality I’d like … is there a better way to do that?”
  3. Elements of the Technical Design You Need; Not just “Do you understand the elements I’m looking to build?” but “Can you diagram the design elements?”
  4. Specific Ideas on Construction and Design; Beyond “Does this make sense?” but “What would your approach be to putting together an architecture for this project?”
  5. Testing Procedures; Beyond “do you check to confirm everything works” but “How do you implement testing procedures?”
  6. Delivery Dates and Cost; Beyond “How much will this cost and how long is this going to take?” but “What is your approach to determining cost and ensuring delivery dates are met?”
  7. Ongoing Management; Not just “Will my in-house team be trained to support our software” but “What is the process to getting enhancements made to my application?”
  8. Warranties and Guarantees; Not just “Do you warrantee your work” but “Specifically, how does your warranty work? What is the timeframe of getting support work completed?”

The Right Development Questions for The Right Candidate

Part of success in the interviewing process obviously relates to interviewing the right candidates.  The best way to find the best candidates is usually through a professional referral.

I know many brilliant developers in the industry.  If you’d like me to provide a referral to you, I’d be happy to do that.  Just send me an email at [email protected]…then you won’t need to worry as much about asking the perfect software interview questions 🙂