Of the many programming languages widely used to make programs, sites, apps, operating systems, and other projects, C++ may be one of the most popular. If you’re looking to hire a C++ developer, evaluating a candidate's various skills is important. You can accomplish this by asking interview questions assessing their soft skills, personality traits, and compatibility with your company.
This article will explain how to interview candidates and provides examples of C++ developer interview questions you can ask entry-, mid-, and senior-level developer candidates to test their knowledge, enthusiasm, and professional drive.
What Is a C++ Developer?
C++, pronounced "C Plus Plus," is a high-level, general-purpose, and cross-platform object-oriented programming (OOP) language. The language was created to extend the C programming language. Due to its similarity to C, C#, and Java, C++ is easy for developers proficient in those languages to learn and use.
C++ is also a versatile and portable language that can adapt programs to numerous platforms. It can develop:
- Operating systems
- Graphic user interfaces
- Embedded systems
- Desktop applications
- Video games
If your company requires development for any of those projects, you can hire a developer for C++ development. When hiring a developer, you can find the best candidate for the job by screening applicants, verifying their qualifications and skills, and asking them questions. This process can help you identify the developer who will help you achieve your company’s software development goals and be the best fit for your business.
The following sections will outline some questions that can be asked specific to the level of developer you are looking to hire.
Entry-Level C++ Developer Interview Questions
Many interview questions you’ll ask entry-level C++ developers will focus on soft skills, like the candidate's capacity to collaborate with others and how they will contribute to the company since their experience is limited. These questions can help you gauge what kind of person the candidate is. The following questions are suited to entry-level applicants.
What is C++, and how does it differ from C?
C++ may be confused with C, so this question shows how well the candidate can explain the difference in simple terms. The candidate will likely know the basic history of the language, how C++ differs from C, and how it was meant to extend the capabilities of C. They may explain that C++ was developed to add to C by including elements such as classes, like bases class and derived class, and OOP.
Learning about the candidate's familiarity with the language's history and unique aspects can give you an idea of how well they know their programming language.
What is the syntax of C++, and can you provide a basic example?
The candidate can explain that the syntax for C++ is very similar to C, with curly brackets and semicolons. The candidate may write or articulate a basic “Hello World” program, a common introductory program that can output text in an Integrated Programming Environment (IDE) such as Visual Studio.
You may also ask for a more advanced program to be written or explained. This question can give you an insight into how well the candidate knows the basics of the language and how to write code in the language. Additionally, you may gain insight into the applicant's knowledge of inline functions, pure virtual functions, main functions, and friend functions.
What are some team projects you’ve worked on, and how do you collaborate remotely on projects?
You may learn the candidate's preference for working in teams or if they prefer to work alone. The candidate may tell you how they collaborate remotely using tools like Slack, Visual Studio Live Share, or Codeshare.
Experience with online collaboration environments is a plus for any remote developer candidate, as they will need to collaborate in their new job. The candidate should also demonstrate their ability to work in teams.
Mid-Level C++ Developer Interview Questions
More experienced developers may be asked more challenging questions to test their technical skills. The following questions can be used to gauge a candidate's proficiency with C++. The question difficulty can vary depending on the developer's experience or whether they will play a lead role in some capacity.
Which third-party libraries have you used?
Libraries allow programmers to implement previously written code, saving time and effort. Third-party libraries can be found for many different categories, depending on the nature of the project and data type, such as libVLC for video, mysql++ for databases, libpng for graphics, and so on.
Using third-party libraries in code is essential for most modern software development. An experienced developer should be able to list some libraries they’ve used and explain how they have used them.
Which APIs have you used?
An API or application programming interface is similar to a library in that already-written code allows two applications to communicate. The candidate may explain which libraries and APIs they've used, which shows they have experience using them and can do so in the future.
What are some projects you’ve developed in C++?
Asking about the projects the applicant has personally built or worked on using the C++ language can provide valuable insight into their abilities. They may show a finished project or portfolio of completed projects that demonstrate their capabilities and C++ proficiency.
Senior-Level C++ Developer Questions
Questions for senior-level candidates can offer insight into the candidate's abilities beyond technical ones, with questions touching on topics such as the candidate’s:
- Advanced C++ capabilities
- Senior-level experience
- Experience with large-scale projects
- Management experience
How do you optimize your C++ code?
Candidates may use optimization tools such as performance analyzers and profilers in IDEs such as Visual Studio, which could prevent bottlenecks and other code issues. Some tools are built into Visual Studio in the Performance and Diagnostic Hub, but others can be installed.
This answer may provide insight into how the candidate writes code efficiently and whether they know how to find tools that can help them optimize it.
Can you explain how to manage memory in C++?
The candidate may explain concepts such as properly initializing variables, using static memory management with global variables, or properly opening and closing files as part of good resource management, among other memory management methods.
Memory management is important because developers must stop memory leaks that can lead to program crashes. A senior candidate should know how to manage memory to prevent crashes and other issues with the program.
Have you mentored any junior developers, and how were you able to help the developer advance in their capabilities and career?
This question, the answer to which will be unique to each candidate, can provide insight into how well they can lead people, allocate work, and help their subordinates learn and grow. Most advanced developers will likely have led teams at some point. Other senior developers may have personally mentored individual developers working under them.
You can learn how well the candidate cares for the team and the company if they care about helping their team members, subordinates, and peers advance and learn. This question can also test their leadership skills, which is essential if the role is managerial.
How can you add value to our company?
This question can help you determine whether the applicant has concrete examples of how C++ can benefit the business or if they have any ideas for future projects. This allows the candidate to further show how they can add value to the company by offering additional insights into their capabilities or potential.
When the interview is over, you can ask the applicant if they have any final questions. You'll be able to address their inquiries or concerns, direct them to additional resources, and convince them to join your team.
Why Hire a C++ Developer With Revelo?
Finding, vetting, and hiring competent and highly qualified remote C++ developers can be challenging. Fortunately, Revelo can help you hire tech talent.
We source, hire, and manage tech professionals who work in US time zones and have been rigorously vetted for hard and soft skills and English proficiency. We also manage payroll processing, compliance with labor laws, and benefits administration, so you can focus on growing your business.
Contact Revelo to start hiring today.