Interview with a web developer - how to prepare?


Web developers play a vital role in building an organisation's digital brand. When looking for someone to fill this position, you should have strong technical skills, a good understanding of design principles and communication with other team members.

The web developer interview should also identify a candidate with excellent soft skills.

Your new web developer will work closely with designers, analysts and internal and external clients to create the highest quality digital experiences. Communicating complex ideas to non-technical audiences can be as important as being fluent in a particular programming language.

Here are 15 web developer interview questions to help you choose the right person for your team.

1. Interview with a programmer. What was your favourite project and how did you approach it?

Web developer interview questions like this one will help you get a feel for the candidate's working style - how they solve problems, manage user feedback, interact with quality assurance and work together as a team.

2. Tell me about a situation where you had to give a presentation?

IT plays a strategic role in many companies, and your web developer may be asked to attend meetings and present progress reports to management. Good candidates don't need to be extroverts, just that they feel comfortable speaking in front of others. Then ask how the candidates handled questions from the audience and what they learned from the experience.

3. How would you explain a concept such as ..... to a colleague who has no technical background?

A newly hired web developer will need to work effectively with their non-technical colleagues in departments such as sales and marketing. Test their ability to communicate in jargon-free language on topics such as:

  • MVC (model, view, controller)
  • Responsive design
  • Commonly used cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP),
  • Microservices architecture

4. Can you show me a website or app that annoys you. What is wrong with it?

This web developer interview question gauges a candidate's level of interest in good web design and their problem-solving abilities. A good answer is one where the candidate does more than just complain about someone else's work. Skilled web developers will offer real solutions to practical problems, such as improving loading times or optimising user experience.

5. Tell me about the steps you take when an application stops working?

Problem solving is the essence of web development, so it's worth listening to how candidates approach problem solving. Do they break a situation down into its constituent parts and analyse potential causes? Do they know when to ask for help and where to look for answers? How do they react if their first idea to solve a problem doesn't work?

6. Interview with a programmer. What do you think are the biggest challenges of working on the front-end of an application?

Web developers work closely with the other members of the development team. They understand how data is structured, what features are available, how APIs are called and how web services are configured. This question will help distinguish between a developer and someone who is more of a designer.

7. Tell me about a situation where you had to react to negative feedback?

Web developers have to deal with feedback from beta testers and real users, which can be negative and therefore discouraging. The ideal candidate for a web developer position needs to know how to take such feedback, analyse it and turn it into action. Listen to how a candidate deals with a problem and how they come to a solution.

8. Interview with a programmer. What projects do you (or have you) worked on in your spare time?

Technology is rapidly evolving. When hiring a web developer, you're looking for someone who invests some of their time in developing skills and staying up to date with emerging trends. Candidates should be able to discuss some personal projects, both past and present, and perhaps even show their work.

9. Interview with a programmer. Could you talk about a situation where you feel you were unfairly blamed for a mistake and how you dealt with it?

It's a tough question, but it's a good way to assess a candidate's approach to teamwork. If the interviewer is quick to throw colleagues under the bus, that's a red flag. You want to hire a diplomatic web developer who won't be quick to frustrate and will strive to find a solution.

Read also: The most common mistakes employers make during the recruitment process

Interview with IT developer - 15 questions


10. Which APIs have you already worked with?

All candidates should have experience working with APIs e.g. REST Candidates should also be able to explain how to call API functions and integrate the results into their project. Experienced professionals could help create and document their own APIs. They will be able to talk about how they worked with the development team to create secure and usable interfaces.

11. Interview with a programmer. What excites you about the future of web development?

This interview question is open-ended and candidates can talk about technologies such as Web3, advances in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and edge computing, the metaverse or other hot topics. After this question, you can ask how the candidate intends to develop their skills. This can lead to a conversation about your company's professional development program, which can help you and the candidate set long-term expectations for working together.

12 Interview with the developer. What are your preferred content management systems?

Most candidates will have experience with popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla. If so, ask them to tell you about themes or modules they have built. Some candidates may have experience with a headless CMS, which has no front-end interface, or a decoupled CMS where the front-end and back-end communicate through an API layer.

Experience working with a headless or decoupled CMS is a clear signal that the candidate has advanced web development skills.

13. what experience do you have with SQL databases?

Web developers do not have direct contact with a database, but they need to understand how data is structured. Any practical experience with SQL, such as working as a database administrator, is valuable.

14. Interview with a programmer. Can you find the error in this code?

It is common practice to ask candidates to write code on the fly during an interview, which is not ideal. An alternative is to provide the candidate with a code snippet - such as a Java class and the JavaScript that calls it - with strategically placed bugs and ask them to debug it. This is a quick way to test both the candidate's technical knowledge and their attention to detail.

15. can you describe how you deal with tight deadlines at work?

Web development is very deadline driven, and the pressure to deliver a quality project on time and within budget can often be intense. This type of open-ended interview question about deadline management can help you gain insight into how the candidate manages stress at work, how they plan their time and their overall work ethic. Encourage the candidate to share examples of how they have overcome obstacles in the past to meet critical project deadlines.

Asking these questions at a web developer interview should help you identify candidates with impressive technical skills and strong interpersonal qualities. Exactly what you need to help your company deliver a superior digital experience.


Fast Forward Solutions - your source for top professionals

Fast Forward Solutions specializes in recruitment services in the areas of IT, e-commerce, sales and marketing. Our rigorous methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, supported by consulting services. As a result, we guarantee efficiency and rapid acquisition of the best talent on the market. With our support, any company can increase sales, reduce operating costs, improve the efficiency of human resources management and strengthen investor confidence.


About the author: Tomasz Bożyczko

Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, CEO and founder of Fast Forward Solutions. His passion for recruiting and developing teams has contributed to the success of many organizations. Tomasz is an expert in hiring top talent and improving recruitment processes.

We hope these tips will help you create compelling job opportunities and optimize your recruitment process to attract the most valuable employees for your company.

Recruitment of web developers