Software engineering interview processes involve several rounds of technical and non-technical questions that help recruiters understand your suitability for the role. It is vital to prepare for an interview by learning about the company and revising your fundamentals. Practicing for an interview helps you become more confident in your answers. In this article, Pritish Kumar Halder discuss several entry-level software engineering interview questions, share some sample answers and provide tips to prepare for the interview.

Interview Questions With Samples

Here are some interview questions with sample answers that you may refer to while preparing for an interview:

What are the types of software maintenance?

Hiring managers aim to test your technical knowledge during the interview. Software maintenance is a crucial aspect that a software engineer overlooks. When answering this question, ensure you discuss the various types of software maintenance practices, along with their importance.

Example: “Software maintenance helps improve or correct the software and is a natural process in the software development life cycle (SDLC). There are predominantly four types of software maintenance practices namely corrective, preventive, perfective and adaptive. Each of these processes gets performed at different stages and to deliver to different objectives of the SDLC. Corrective software maintenance helps correct bugs and faults while preventive maintenance helps avoid future mishaps. Similarly, perfective maintenance gets performed after the release of the software depending on user feedback and adaptive maintenance helps upgrade the software to be compatible with new technologies and policies.”

Which design pattern do you prefer?

Your interviewer may ask this question to evaluate your knowledge of theoretical concepts in software engineering and understand a bit about your work process. You may address this question by highlighting design patterns you prefer for different projects. It is vital to justify the selection of your design pattern in the answer.

Example: “The design pattern I choose largely depends on the projects. For example, I develop several e-commerce websites and prefer using a structural design pattern and leveraging facade and strategy patterns. While developing games, I often use singletons to create the main players and factory patterns to design the enemies. These patterns offer me more flexibility to create multiple characters using the same code.”

Which programming language is your strength?

A software engineer works on several programming languages depending on the project requirement. An interviewer may ask this question to understand if your programming skills match their requirements. Review the job role before the interview to understand the company and the programming language they use to meet their objectives. Share your experience of working with different programming languages to substantiate your proficiency.

Example: “I am experienced working with JavaScript, Python, Java, PHP, C# and C++. I am proficient in using Java for multiple large-scale projects. I often rely on PHP and Java for developing robust websites and mobile applications. In my previous role, I used Python to develop data analytics systems for multiple clients.”

Are you aware of the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO) model?

The hiring manager may ask you this question to test your project management skills and theoretical knowledge. Answer this question by briefly discussing the relevance of the model. You may share your experience of using this model and its benefits to your project.

Example: “Yes, I am aware of the COCOMO model. In my previous role, I assisted my manager with this model to derive estimates for software projects. The model is a regression model based on the number of lines of code and helps understand the size, effort, cost, time and quality of software. I believe that the COCOMO model is very effective and helps improve project management during the software development phase.”

Why should we hire you for this position?

Interviewers aim to evaluate your suitability for the job role. Refer to the job description before the interview to understand how your skills and experience may benefit the company. It may also help you understand the important skills and traits the firm requires. It is essential to highlight your skills and how you may fit into the company.

Example: “Based on my research, the company engages in several projects to develop educational games and data analytics systems for companies. I believe my expertise in coding gaming software, creating characters and storytelling along with my experience in Python may benefit the company. I strongly resonate with the company values and strive to find innovative solutions to tackle a problem. I also believe that my ability to rationally analyse any situation benefits the company to reduce its turnaround time on debugging and software maintenance.”

How do you stay updated on your software engineering skills?

Software engineering is a dynamic field with periodic advancements in technology. A hiring manager aims to assess your interest in the field and your adaptability to new technology. Highlight the various channels through which you update your skills. You may also share instances of implementing any new technologies or sharing your opinion on an ongoing trend.

Example: “I follow Software Daily, GeeksMeter, Codify Life and several other blogs and magazines to stay updated with new technological developments. I periodically update my skills and adopt new technology in my work to improve the efficiency and quality of the platforms I build. I recently completed my certification from Microsoft and am now a Certified Azure Solutions Architect.”

Tips For An Entry-Level Software Engineer Interview

Here are some tips that may help you prepare for your interview:

  • Research the company. It is vital to understand the values, functioning and culture of a company before you attend an interview. Learn about their previous projects and technologies used to prepare for technical and conceptual questions.

  • Revise your fundamentals. Hiring managers may ask several technical questions during the interview. It is crucial to recall important concepts that may help you during the interview.

  • Rehearse your answers. You may prepare your answers for a few technical and general questions. Research your answers and practice them in front of a mirror or a friend to become more confident.

  • Prepare your essentials. It is imperative to prepare your clothes, time the distance to the firm and identify your mode of transportation. Ensure you reach the venue at least 15 minutes before the interview time.