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Web development isn't a plug-and-play position. The developer you hire should understand the goals of your organization, be available when needed, and be willing to accept and adapt to feedback from team members.
The questions that you ask a developer during the hiring process will help you discern whether or not considered candidates are a good culture match. Hiring the wrong candidate can result in wasted time and money and could be detrimental to a project goal or deadline. You'll find the best web developer interview questions that we've come across below.
Q: Tell me about something happening in the web development world that you're interested in right now. [Hint: look for a reply that has depth. While the developers you're interviewing may not live and breathe development, they should have a vested interest in current technology or a major player in the web sphere.]
Q: How do you feel when you have to give a presentation? [Watch and see how candidates react to this question. Too much confidence may be just as inauthentic as too little confidence. What you're looking for is someone who has presented before and can talk about it.]
Q: Do you like to work in groups, or do you prefer to work alone? [Rarely, a designer won't have to work with another team member, so finding someone adept at communicating may be essential.]
Q: How do you handle criticism? [Almost every applicant will say that they are okay with feedback, but few mean it. Ask for an example of negative feedback and find out how candidates proceeded to alter or adjust a design.]
Q: Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? [Most people won't like answering this question, but almost everyone has been in this situation. What you are looking for in response to this question is honesty and what steps were taken (if any). The best team members look for a way to problem solve without bringing it to the attention of a boss or manager.]
Web developer interview questions for experienced hires will differ from those aimed at new hires, but all candidates should be able to reply to the following questions with necessary details.
Q: What are the first steps you take when an application stops working or something breaks? [Problem-solving is essential in any position but more so when it comes to web development. There's rarely time to call a meeting or meet with team members if an application quits or a site shuts down. Look for someone who can think independently and fix issues as they arise.]
Q: Are you familiar with WordPress? [This is the most basic Content Management System (CMS), and all developers (regardless of level) should know WordPress inside and out. If you are hiring for a high-level position, candidates should know how to use various systems.]
Q: List the steps you would take to fix our current website. [Ask for specific, technical, actions, and pay attention to how easily those steps are simplified.]
Q: Can you tell me about your process? [You're looking for exact steps here. Every candidate will have a unique way of breaking down a project, but the more you know about the process, the easier it will be to choose someone that fits with your current workflow.]
Q: How much of our site or application will be custom? [Are you paying for a completely customized website that fits all of your needs, or will the person you're working with choose an existing cookie-cutter template? Both are perfectly fine depending on what you are looking for and how much you want to spend (custom sites are more expensive).]
These common web developer questions should be answered with ease by newly graduated candidates.
Q: Can you tell me about a project you worked on that was similar to this one? [New candidates won't have a resume full of work-related projects to discuss, but they should have a school project or internship that they can discuss.]
Q: Why do you think that this position is an excellent first fit for you? [Look for candidates that talk about the company, the team, or work that your company has recently done. While everyone wants to bring home a paycheck, you don't want to hire someone solely seeking money.]
Q: Where do you see yourself in a few years? [Job turnover rates can be costly. Candidates that want to obtain a better position with your company are looking to stick around for a while.]
Q: What CMSs are you familiar with? [As noted above, WordPress is the most obvious, but if a candidate knows Joomla or other CMSs, that knowledge may be useful.]
Q: How will you communicate with our team, and what do you estimate the turnaround time for this project to be? [New candidates may have no idea how to structure a plan or what a realistic timeline should be, so instead of looking for the right answer here, look for a person that is open to suggestions.]
Experienced candidates should be able to provide you with more details than an entry-level candidate.
Q: Can you tell me about a project you worked on that compared to this one? How would you make our project unique? [You do not want the same site or app that another company has, which can often happen if you work with an agency that has niche clients. What you want is a designer that will treat your project differently based on your goals and current culture.]
Q: Can you tell me who we will be communicating with from your team? [This is an important question to ask if you are considering an agency or candidate with a partner. You'll want to have direct access to the person you're interviewing and not an intern or administrative assistant.]
Q: Do you offer any Search Engine Optimization services? [Websites must be optimized for search engines, but not all designers do this type of work. Typically, experienced hires will have some expertise in SEO or contract out to someone that does.]
Q: Can you draft a complete scope of work? [When it comes to design, it's never a good idea to assume anything -- make sure it's all on paper.]
If you're unsure of how much to pay a designer, take a look at our Technology & Engineering Salary guide which includes a comprehensive listing of technology job descriptions and salary data . We are also happy to assist you in finding the right candidate for your design needs. Hiring the wrong candidate can be costly and time-consuming, but it helps to have the right questions lined up during the interview process.