How to Hire a Web Developer Effectively | Modis US

How to Hire a Web Developer Effectively

Modis Posted 25 July 2019

Finding a web developer that is reliable, skilled, and understands your company's mission is essential. The person you hire will design and update your website, help you interact with clients seamlessly, and provide a myriad of other services. Choosing a developer that can work with your team begins by asking the right interview questions.

Web Developer Behavioral Questions

Technical skills are essential, but developer personality traits and soft skills are also vital. Here are some questions to ask candidates that will help you understand the person behind the resume.

  • Do you work in real-time? Some developers are available during office hours and can make changes to a site during a conference or phone call. The advantage of working with this type of developer is that you can make edits and suggestions in real-time, resulting in more efficiency.
  • Have you worked on a team before? Consider how large your organization is and whether or not various team members will comment on design and development. Will you require your new hire to attend meetings and be available during office hours? Someone that has never worked as part of a team may have a difficult time taking direction from more than one person.
  • Can you explain technical terms and functions in more straightforward terms? If you're looking for someone to work with other departments and people that are not technical, you'll need a person that can explain complex terms with ease.
  • Are you comfortable with video calls, phone calls, and presentations? If you need your developer to lead presentations or attend conference calls with clients, the person you choose should be relatively comfortable with communicating.
  • How do you feel when someone gives you negative feedback? Some people may love a site design while others hate it. Either way, your developer should be able to handle criticism and work within those limits to adapt and change the design.
  • Are you used to working with this type of company? A designer that can work with both large and small companies will have an easier time adapting to any work environment.
  • What are some courses or workshops you've taken recently? Developing new skills are a necessary part of adapting to a quickly changing landscape. Hiring someone that is naturally curious and genuinely interested in web development will ensure that your new hire keeps up with the latest trends.

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Web Developer Technical Questions

Even though learned skills can quickly become obsolete, hiring someone with a strong background in current technical skills is intelligent. Some people are great at faking abilities during an interview, which is why asking problem-solving type questions is a better route to take. Here are some challenging questions that are hard for candidates to fake during an interview.

  • Prepare a line of code and ask candidates to find hidden mistakes. Make sure to create a new test after every interview to avoid candidates sharing answers with other potential hires.
  • Develop fake crisis scenarios and ask candidates how they would solve each problem. A web developer that can think creatively and flexibly to solve problems is invaluable.
  • What personal projects are you currently developing? Candidates that love what they do tend to work on smaller projects in their spare time. Hiring a passionate developer may result in a better overall candidate.
  • Are you familiar with WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla? Do you work with any other Content Management Systems?You may want to ask second-round candidates to perform a small test on any CMS your company currently uses to ensure that the skills noted in a resume are current.
  • How would you fix our current website? What you want to listen for here is how someone replies to this question. If a candidate says that they would not fix anything, it's possible that they did not look at your site or do not dare to tell you what's wrong with it. If a person can list various things that your website is lacking (and ask additional questions), they are likely more engaged and excited about the current job opening.

Entry Level Questions

Asking a new graduate about any prior experience is a lesson in frustration. Instead, make sure the questions you're asking are appropriate for the available position. Take a look at these basic questions to ask when hiring for an entry-level position.

  • What courses did you take in school? If you're talking to a recent graduate, you'll want to know if they have completed basic courses in web development and can work with the technology your company currently uses.
  • What makes you excited about this position? You'll want to hear about your company, perks, benefits, and anything else that is unique to your organization.
  • How do you feel about working with a larger team? Determine whether or not a new hire is comfortable working with a larger group or various team members.
  • Why are you interested in web development? What do you hope to get out of working with our team? Listen for enthusiasm and interest in the profession when asking this question.
  • How would you respond if a program stopped working and no other team member was around to assist? Is the person able to detail logical steps and provide a reasonable solution?

Experienced Hire Questions

You can get a lot more technical with experienced candidates, but make sure to ask personality or soft skill questions as well. The person you hire should be well rounded and have an agreeable personality along with the right technical skills.

  • What are some types of CMS sites you have developed? Someone with extensive experience should have created a variety of site types, including WordPress, Joomla, and others.
  • Have you ever created a custom site drafting code from scratch? Can you provide an example? Most sites run on plug-and-play type templates, but having a developer who can tweak the code, create custom code, or develop unique site applications is indispensable.
  • Are you comfortable with PHP and MySQL? Since most CMS are written using these codes, a designer that knows both can easily customize a site without costing you a lot of extra time and money.
  • What other skills do you have related to site development? It helps to have a developer on staff that has marketing, graphics, SEO, or other skills that complement web development.
  • What is your process? It can be frustrating to wait for mockups without knowing how a design is developing. Try to find a developer that's okay with regular check-ins and last-minute edits.

What to Pay a Web Developer

On average, an experienced web developer can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 per website project. If you want to keep a developer on staff, salaries range from $60,000 to over $100,000 annually. For more detailed salary information and job descriptions for developers, you can request a free copy of our 2019 Technology and Engineering Salary Guide.

If you want more information about how to hire a web developer online or what to look for, our platform contains useful information, job descriptions, salary guidelines, and the expertise required to find the right developer for your organization. While there are a lot of web developers out there, only one is right for your company!

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