Tech Job Interviews 101: 15 Web Developer Interview Questions Explained

Ace your next web developer job interview with these sample questions and tips for answering.

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Learning tech skills is great (and something you should absolutely do right away!…buuut once you learn them, it’s time to start applying and interviewing for tech jobs. If you’re wondering what to say when you’re sitting across from a real life hiring manager, we’ve got you covered! Tech job interviews are nothing to fear, especially when you’ve already practiced the most likely questions (and some curveballs as well). That’s why we scoured the internet to pull together comprehensive lists of common questions asked during web developer job interviews, AND tips on how you should prepare for and answer them. You’ve got this!

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And if you need to learn the skills to land your own web developer job, consider our Skillcrush Front End Developer and Web Developer courses. These online classes are designed to be completed in 3 months by spending just an hour a day on the materials. 

Web Developer Job Interview Questions

1. Describe a web development project you worked on from start to finish. What approach did you take, what challenges did you face, and how were you successful?

Tip: Be transparent about what a real web development project looks like for you. Highlight your wins, of course, but don’t shy away from being real about the challenges. Interviewers aren’t looking to hear that you never have setbacks (that’s not realistic). They want to hear how you get past setbacks and ultimately succeed.

2. Describe a project that went off the rails. Why did it go wrong and how did you react?

Tip: Similar to the last question, interviewers are looking for honesty here. Sometimes projects go badly, and that’s OK. What’s important is how you respond to failures and learn from them so they don’t happen next time.

3. Which programming languages are you proficient in? Are there any languages you’re not familiar with that you feel like you need to learn?

Tip: This question is pretty straightforward—let the interviewer know which languages you’re familiar with and how you use them. Ideally, you’ve scoped out the job beforehand and know that your experience syncs with what the employer needs. At the same time, have some new languages in mind that you’d like to learn. This highlights your willingness to keep growing professionally.

4. Why are you drawn to web development?

Tip: It’s a common pitfall to interview for a job and never explicitly say WHY you want to work in this specific field or for this particular employer/company. Even if the question doesn’t get asked, find a way to touch on it during the interview.

5. What kind of team environment do you thrive in?

Tip: You may be tempted to say whatever you think the interviewer is looking for, but it’s way better to be honest. If the team you’ll be working with has a work style that’s completely outside of your comfort zone, then this particular job might not be a good fit for you. That being said, most development teams are dynamic and flexible, and if your employer knows what kind of environment suits you best, they can help find a spot on the team that WILL work for you.

6. How do you keep on top of industry news and trends, and how do you apply this to your work?

Tip: You DO keep up with industry news, don’t you? If so, simply rattle off your list of favorite news sources and why they’re effective for keeping you in the know. And if tech news is something you’ve overlooked while being in the weeds of learning tech skills, take a few minutes to find a few suitable news blogs and tech Twitter accounts to put in your hip pocket (and be ready to bust them out at your next interview).

7. How do you communicate your progress to clients and/or stakeholders?

Tip: The gist here is to demonstrate that you understand the importance of keeping clients and stakeholders up to date, and that you have ideas for establishing systems of communication (or that you’re willing to work with systems like Agile or Scrum if they’re used by your employer).

8. What do you do if a client or stakeholder is unhappy with a project?

Tip: Having an effective communication strategy with stakeholders doesn’t mean you won’t sometimes receive negative feedback. So how do you respond? Do you get defensive? Shut down? Give up? Or do you find creative ways to accept that feedback and address client or shareholder concerns? Interviewers are looking for candidates who can adapt to and recover from hard times, so either think of a real example that you can share, or develop a client appeasement gameplan that you’ll use when the time comes.

9. Give me an example of how you’d describe web development (what it is, why it is important) to someone who is completely new to tech.

Tip: As a web developer you’ll find yourself in situations where you need to talk “tech” with non-techies. Making your work make sense to people who have no idea what it is you actually do is a valuable skill. Take off your developer hat for a day and think of some ways to describe web development to someone who doesn’t know Java from JavaScript.

10. Give an example of a website or web application that you don’t like, point out what’s wrong with it and what you would change.

Tip: Interviewers may ask you to provide an example of a website you think is less than stellar, then ask you to describe what you think is lacking and what you’d do to improve it. It’s a good idea to have examples and explanations on hand (as well as examples of sites you think are super effective) going into an interview. Answering this question comprehensively shows interviewers that you aren’t signing on to mindlessly write code—you understand what makes good sites good and how to make bad sites better.

11. What kind of management style do you respond to best?

Tip: This question is another one where you might be tempted to make the interviewer happy. But you know what’s guaranteed to make YOU unhappy? Working for a manager whose style you can’t stand. Be as flexible and as open minded as you can when describing your preferred management style, but if there’s something that’s a complete deal-breaker for you (or that you particularly appreciate), don’t be shy about making it known.

12. How would you describe the role of a web developer? What are the most important aspects of the job and why?

Tip: Your clear and concise summary of a web developer role shows how you think about the web development process in general, and lets interviewers know what specific developer strengths and interests you bring to the job.

13. How do you manage your time during a development cycle, and what methods do you use for estimating how long specific development tasks will take?

Tip: Managing your time and estimating how long individual tasks will take is critical to your success as a web developer. If you’re already good at time management and estimation, revisit what works for you and build on it ahead of this question. And if your current time management approach isn’t working? Now’s a great time to implement a new system and get the most out of your work day.

14. What soft skills will you bring to the job, and how do you envision using them?

Tip: Soft skills can be a difference maker. If it’s a choice between a skilled programmer and a skilled programmer who can write well or who has experience with project management, most employers will pick the latter. So have a list of your own soft skills ready, but also have examples of how they’ll be relevant to a web developer job. It’s not enough to say you’re good at written and verbal communication. You need to explain how your excellent written and verbal communication skills will help you relay project details to team members and stakeholders.

15. Give an example of a non-coding/web development problem that you’ve solved, and what your problem solving process involved.

Tip: Yes, you’re interviewing for a web developer job, but remember to look to other experiences in your life for inspiration. Examples like the time you helped improve the ordering system at the cafe you worked at or put together a volunteer fundraising effort to save the music program at your kids’ school all speak to the breadth of your problem solving abilities and experiences.

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Scott Morris

Scott Morris is Skillcrush's staff writer and content producer. Like all the members of Skillcrush's team, he works remotely (in his case from Napa, CA). He believes that content that's worth reading (and that your audience can find!) creates brands that people follow. He's experienced writing on topics including jobs and technology, digital marketing, career pivots, gender equity, parenting, and popular culture. Before starting his career as a writer and content marketer, he spent 10 years as a full-time parent to his daughters Veronica and Athena.