Front-end developers are in high demand, and the outlook for this position is improving as more companies adopt various technologies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this position is expected to grow by 23% in the next decade, which is faster than the average growth rate across the workforce.
If your company is in the market for hiring front-end developers, you may find yourself hosting multiple interviews. But human resources professionals doing initial job screenings may not be familiar with the intricacies of the position. Here are some common front-end developer interview questions and potential answers. By becoming familiar with these questions and the correct answers, your recruiting team can conduct successful front end interviews to move the most qualified candidates through the process.
Front-End Development Core Concepts
Whether you have a need for experienced developers or are filling out your team with some green talent, you will need to ask some baseline questions to help ensure that each applicant fits into developer role. These are some common interview questions that any applicant may expect regardless of their credentials.
Basic Front End Developer Interview Questions
Ask these questions to get a sense of each applicant’s overall skills:
- What excites you most about front-end development?
- What are the must-haves when creating a user-friendly, accessible website or mobile app?
- How have you used HTML5 in previous projects?
- How do you choose which programming language to use when developing a website or app?
What Excites You Most About Front-End Development?
This answer will vary from person to person, but it will help you get a sense of their enthusiasm. With this answer, you can build an understanding of who might fit into your project team and who might not align with your goals and mission. It also gives you a sense of how they would fit into the job, particularly if their favorite part of developing is something they won't be doing regularly.
Must-Haves for Creating a User-Friendly, Accessible Site
Although each potential front-end developer will likely have a different answer to this question, it gives you a sense of their approach to design. At any level, a front-end developer needs to understand how their designs impact end users. They should be familiar with best practices throughout software development. Commonly, user-friendly and accessible websites include these features:
- Organized logically
- Easy to navigate
- Responsive design
- Includes features that improve the experience for people with disabilities that impact their vision, hearing, or movement
How Have You Used HTML5?
HTML is the primary language used to design and program websites. HTML5 offers additional functionalities, giving front-end developers more options, like building offline applications. This language allows developers to build a site that doesn’t rely on cookies to store temporary data, embed audio and video into web pages without using plugins, and build a site with simple syntaxes, among others functions. If you’re interviewing front-end developers, they should know how to use it, even if they’re new to the field.
How Do You Choose Which Programming Language to Use?
Entry Level Front-End Developer Interview Questions
Once you’ve established a candidate’s overall experience with common front-end development concepts, you can start refining questions based on their job level. Here are some common questions and answers for a front-end interview when a candidate has little to no practical experience.
- What are the most important skills for a front-end developer?
- What are HTML meta tags?
- What is load balancing?
- Write code using HTML5 and CSS for a product landing page
What Are the Most Important Skills for a Front-End Developer?
The “correct” answer to this question might vary based on your needs. You may program in a specific language in which you want your developers to be proficient. But here are some common programming skills and soft skills you may consider:
- Problem solving
- Communication skills
What Are HTML Meta Tags?
Meta tags go inside the head tag of an HTML webpage. They enable browsers to find metadata related to a website. Meta tags can include any type of information you want to include to make your site easier to find such as keywords, descriptions, and more. You can also use a meta data tag to indicate when your site was last updated or to program your webpage to automatically refresh.
What Is Load Balancing?
Load balancing refers to how incoming traffic is distributed among back-end servers. It’s important because there are billions of people navigating the internet every day. With so much potential web traffic, your site could easily get bogged down by too many users. Load balancing helps you keep your page responsive regardless of how many visitors are there.
Write Code Using HTML5 and CSS for a Product Landing Page
This question is an example of a task you can use to assess a new candidate’s skill level. Tailor it to your own business and tasks you ask of your software development team. You can either have the interviewee write code with the interviewer, or you can assign it as a take-home task. Giving a candidate “homework” is a good way to assess how they respond to challenges and how long it takes them to complete a task with minimal oversight. It’s a great way to assess potential remote workers.
Advanced Front End Developer Interview Questions
When you’re interviewing more advanced front-end developers, you likely have a specific project role in mind. So you’ll probably spend a lot of your interview time asking questions related to your specific platforms and project needs. However, there are some common interview questions you can ask of your more experienced developers.
Basic Interview Questions for Advanced Front End Developers
Use these questions to better understand a candidate’s skill level and assess how well they would round out your project team:
- How do you organize class modules and assets?
- How would you find a bug in an application
- What is CoffeeScript?
- Tell me about your favorite project and what made it your favorite.
How Do You Organize Your Code?
Seasoned front-end developers have different preferences for organizing code. How a candidate answers this question will help you determine their personal style, and you can use it to see if they’re flexible about their methodologies. Common ways to organize code are by tags, by programming language, or by asset type.
Learning how a potential developer organizes code will give you an understanding of how much training they may need to start working on your projects. It also offers insight into their thought process. You could follow this question up with a “why” to assess your candidate.
How Would You Find a Bug in an Application?
Even seasoned software developers run into bugs and application malfunctions. Finding and fixing them is a common task for your team. Ask this question to learn about how a potential new hire tests for bugs. Anyone who’s been in front-end development for a while will probably have a few examples where they had to find complicated bugs.
Ask your candidate to share some of these cases and what they did to successfully resolve the problem. Through this question, you’ll get a sense of their problem-solving skills and how they react under pressure.
What Is CoffeeScript?
If you have multiple team members working on a single project, CoffeeScript can potentially make it easier for them to collaborate on different parts of the app or the website.
Tell Me About Your Favorite Project and What Made It Your Favorite
Letting a candidate tell you about a case study is a good way to determine their passions. You learn about which parts of their job they like best, because these are what they choose to highlight. Asking why they chose a certain project tells you about their strengths. Your potential candidates will likely tell you about projects they feel like they did well, so you get a better sense of how they view themselves than you would if you just asked them to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Basic Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills
If you’re hiring seasoned professionals or candidates fresh out of college, you will likely need people who have a variety of soft skills like problem-solving and communication. These skills become even more important if you’re planning on hiring remote workers. Not everyone is cut out to work in a fully remote environment, and it’s better to get a sense of this in the interview.
These questions can help you assess a candidate’s soft skills:
- Explain your job to a person who’s been living under a rock.
- What is your preferred communication style?
- How do you collaborate with colleagues in a remote setting?
- Discuss a project that wasn’t successful and how you managed the challenge.
- Talk about a time you went above and beyond your normal job.
Explain Your Job to a Person Who’s Been Living Under a Rock
A candidate’s answer to this question not only helps you assess how well they understand their job, it also tests their creativity and their ability to think on the fly. Asking your interviewees to distill their job into the simplest terms gives you an idea of what they consider the most important parts of their job. Because under pressure, they’ll probably leave a few things out.
What Is Your Preferred Communication Style?
Ask this question to see how a potential candidate may fit into your team. You may have a team of developers who like hosting video conferences once a week to collaborate and discuss progress on each project. If the person you’re interviewing would rather receive texts or emails, they may not fit in with your team. On its own, this isn’t a reason to pass over a candidate, but it helps you anticipate potential modifications you might need to make to your processes.
How Do You Collaborate With Colleagues in a Remote Setting?
You may have software developers in various locations who need to work closely on projects. This question will help you gauge a new recruit’s comfort level with remote work. You could follow up and ask how they build a team in a remote environment and what they do to stay motivated when they’re not in an office setting.
Discuss an Unsuccessful Project
Asking someone to expand on their failures gives you a sense of their willingness to accept responsibility for problems. It’s also a great way of learning about a candidate’s problem-solving skills. Ask how they managed conflict with their teammates and how they contributed to the resolution.
Tell Me About a Time When You Went Above and Beyond Your Normal Job
This is a behavioral question that you can use to see how a potential new employee would fit into your team. It also shows you if they’re willing to pull their weight when your team is in a tough spot.
Front-End Developer Recruiting Challenges
Like other industries, software development is experiencing a shortage of experienced workers. But this isn’t the only challenge facing recruiters when trying to hire front-end developers. One such challenge is that software engineering programs may not have the same curriculum, so you can’t be sure that a candidate has the skills you need.
You can overcome this challenge by hiring people who are adaptable and learn quickly. A new developer may not need to be an expert in certain skills if someone on your team takes the time to train them. You can also send them to a bootcamp program to brush up on some of the skills they’re lacking.
Software development has been affect by the development shortage. But you can address this challenge by widening your pool and building a remote team of workers from various countries. However, you may not be the only company with this idea, which leads to the next recruiting challenge — competition.
There is fierce competition among employers for the best and brightest software developers. You may need some help to brand your company in a way that stands out among potential applicants. Offer cues to your company’s culture through your website and social media. And clearly identify what makes you a great employer.
Finding the Right Front-End Developers for Hire
Whether you’re using an HR team to screen candidates or you’re conducting each round of interviews yourself, you need a consistent set of questions, including those covered here. Ask a mix of basic questions related to the job and those that help you assess soft skills like problem-solving and collaboration. Include some specific questions tailored to the position, specifically if you need someone who is experienced with certain programming languages.
Once you’ve posted your job description, make a list of questions, and ask the same set to each candidate. The conversation will probably deviate but keeping your questions consistent makes it easier to compare candidates. You could keep a spreadsheet with key points to help you decide whom to move forward with through the process. If you are interested in saving your company time and energy on finding the right front-end developer, we encourage you to start with Revelo. Revelo will help with all of your nearshoring needs, and get you matched with the right candidates so that you can fill the roles quickly and efficiently.
Further Resource: Alternative Tech Staffing Platform