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Searching for a job can be stressful, especially when you are applying to numerous jobs and have multiple interviews lined up. Hiring managers are looking for candidates with the right skills and personality to succeed in the field and enjoy their work. On the flip side, new workers are looking for the right cultural fit and an environment that will allow them to grow.

When interviewing for a web development position, it’s not only essential to have technical skills, but it’s also equally important to have soft skills such as time management, organization, the ability to meet deadlines and to ask for help when needed.

To ease your fears and help make your interview process as smooth as possible, we’ve come up with the most common interview questions and tips for answering them best.

How To Prepare for a Web Developer Interview

Before we dive into the questions, let’s look at some key things you should do to prepare:

  • Do your research:Researching the companies you apply for is a must. Go through each company’s website to learn more about who they are, their values and their projects. Check out their social media to better understand their personality, and don’t forget to take notes of things, as this will give you an arsenal of information to bring up.
  • Look up your interviewers:A quick search on LinkedIn should do the trick to help you learn more about your potential future co-workers and managers.
  • Chat with a current developer:Want more insight into what it’s like being a web developer? Chat with someone already in the field. Ask them for coffee and pick their brain for insight into the role and daily tasks. Glassdoor is also helpful for learning more about companies from past and current employees.

9 Common Web Developer Job Interview Questions

What are 5 essential skills every web developer should have?

  1. Knowledge of the different coding and programming languages: This does not mean that you should have a deep understanding of every single language. Still, it certainly helps when job hunting and developing your portfolio and your commitment to always learning new things. Some of the most popular and widely used languages include:

    • Python: is used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and conduct data analysis. “Large companies use Python because it’s easy to read and learn, and its libraries and frameworks make everything more efficient.” Even “Google rewrote their entire web crawler, originally coded in Java, in Python.”
    • JavaScript: is “used by programmers worldwide to create dynamic and interactive web content like applications and browsers.” Think about embedding a Twitter feed on your website or including a photo gallery—that’s where JavaScript comes in.
    • CSS: “through CSS, we are telling the browser how to render certain elements, such as font styles and sizes, page layout, colours and simple animations.”
    • HTML: is “the main building block we use to build webpages.” Think of the structure of a document and what would be needed: headers, text, tables, lists, photos, and more.
  2. An understanding of front-end and back-end work:When starting as a Junior Developer, it’s important to have a general understanding of front-end vs back-end developer work. Plus, you can always specialize further down the road, but starting with a wider breadth of knowledge is helpful and can allow you to draw from different areas of expertise.

  3. Problem-solving:When it comes to problem-solving, a 'one size fits all' approach will only get you so far when dealing with different languages and programs. Every project you work on will come with its intricacies, so it's crucial to always identify the problem, analyze it, come up with a list of potential solutions, and implement each one to see what works best for your scenario.

  4. Knowledge of content management systems:Content management systems (CMS) manage web pages. Think of programs such as Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix—these are all software we can use to create and publish content.

  5. Testing and debugging:These skills are essential for checking the quality of your coding or programming work to ensure that everything operates smoothly and correctly. You can’t write code and expect it to work flawlessly without testing it and checking for potential errors.

Why should we hire you as a web developer?

This is your opportunity to sell your skillset to potential future employers and show them that you would be an asset to the company.

An example response could sound like this: “with technology constantly evolving around us, I pride myself on keeping up with the latest trends and understanding what today’s client needs. This is why I am well-versed in multiple programming languages so that my skills are easily transferable regardless of the project that I am working on.”

What are your salary expectations?

This is a common question that will get asked in almost every interview, no matter the industry, so it’s important to do your market research beforehand to see the average salaries in your field. To give the best answer to the question, “what are your salary expectations?” consider providing a range that aligns with your qualifications and experience rather than offering a concrete number—and highlight your expertise before providing a range.

What are your weaknesses/strengths?

Employers typically ask this question to get a better idea of how you work. Start by talking about your weaknesses so that you can end with your strengths. When discussing weaknesses, choose something that won’t be detrimental to your getting hired for the job.

Sample weaknesses could entail: lacking experience, being shy, uncomfortable with public speaking or taking risks. Even though you’re talking about weaknesses, you should always have a solution for how you are tackling a given imperfection. This shows that you are not only aware of it but are also actively working on improving it. When it comes to strengths, see what’s listed in the job description and use that to your advantage.

How are you keeping up with the latest developments in web development?

There are lots of ways you can stay up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry. A couple of things you can do include: connecting with peers on LinkedIn, joining forums or online groups like Reddit, attending industry-specific events or conferences, and setting up Google alerts.

You can’t work out how to solve a coding problem. What do you do to find the answer?

This is where teamwork can come into play. Ask your peers for advice and problem-solve together. Alternatively, you can start a trial-and-error process based on research to see the missing link in your problem.

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?

The best approach with this one is to be transparent about what working on a project was like for you, including the challenges you faced along the way and your attitude towards solving any issues. It’s unrealistic to talk about a project without any flaws, and your employers know that; the important thing is to articulate how you solved problems and ultimately complete your project.

How would you help your team members improve their coding skills?

Did you know that 70% of learning happens through experience, especially with daily tasks? This is something you could mention and highlight how spending time with your team and walking them through coding exercises can help them improve their skills. 20% of learning comes through conversations, so you can also set aside meetings with your team to go over any pain points and find solutions to address them. This answer should showcase your ability to work in a team and your willingness to help others succeed.

Can you find the error in this code?

This probably won’t be asked in the first interview, but it could be in the second or third round. Regardless of how rare the question could be, it serves as a reminder that you should always be expecting technical questions at some point. When asked, you need to be ready.

Is web development a good career path for you?

Working as a web developer is often a well-paid and fulfilling experience. Demand for well-trained web professionals is rising as we move towards a digital economy. How do you know, though, if it would be right for you? Well, are you creative? A thinker that enjoys expressing ideas and solutions in visual form? Are you a problem-solver who likes to collaborate on tasks with others? Are you patient and adaptable? Able to listen to a client's requests and willing to compromise on solutions? And are you passionate about all the things listed above? These soft skills and personality traits indicate that a web development career would be the right fit.

If learning about the common interview questions in this field has piqued your interest, there's only one way to determine if becoming a web developer is the right choice: the 12-week Web Development Bootcamp offered by Lighthouse Labs. Here, you'll learn about coding logic using popular languages such as JavaScript and Ruby on Rails.

This boot camp is not for the faint of heart, though — it's a full-time commitment, but one that will provide you with mentorship, a data-driven curriculum, and a top-notch learning environment that will launch you into your first Junior Web Developer role.

Connect with Lighthouse Labs’ Web Development Bootcamp Alumni and Career Services

If you like what you're seeing so far but still aren't sure if this Bootcamp is right for you or whether you need a part-time option, we recommend that you connect with our Lighthouse Labs alumni to learn more about the experience from someone who has gone through it and is now in a successful role. Please chat with our alums and connect with our community here.

With our Career Services, you can also learn more about our various program offerings to see the best fit for you. When you register for our career services, you'll gain access to our robust team of mentors and guides who can help answer your questions.

Ready to begin your journey to a career in tech? Download the Web Development curriculum here, or click the button below to visit our program page and see which of our Programs is right for you!