Technical Interview Questions to Ask in 2022

Updated for 2023 hiring!

Hiring great software engineers is one of the most important challenges a company faces in building a competitive software development team.  What technical interview questions should you ask to help identify those 10x candidates?

Luckily, new engineering managers will find plenty of engineering interview tips online.

The first round of interview questions may focus on credentials and experience: What was your most recent software development project? Do you work best alone or as part of a team? Where do you get your tech news?

Most of these questions apply to prospective engineers at any level of seniority.

But the stakes are higher and the questions tougher when it comes to the technical interview. Engineering managers must focus on the specific role being filled (for example, full stack engineer), the seniority level (for example, junior/mid), core skills required (for example, systems thinking), and the company’s current problems and project goals.

These common 2021 interview questions assess basic computer science competence:

  • What is a file?
  • What is a class?
  • What is an object?
  • What is a constructor?
  • What are the different ops principles?
  • What is inheritance?
  • What are the steps for creating an object?
  • What are the different types of access modifiers?
  • What are multiple inheritances in Java?

These types of questions establish the ability to handle basic computer science concepts and processes. But in the case of senior engineering candidates, this level of knowledge is assumed.

Strategic interview questions to ask candidates should include 1) some specific to the role in the company, 2) some open-ended questions, 3) and the same questions being asked to each candidate.

Here are some common strategic behavioral interview questions:

  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a stressful situation you faced recently. How did you manage it?
  • Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How were you able to achieve it?

As you may have guessed, answers to strategic behavioral interview questions, situational questions, and career development questions like these all require the time and effort of senior engineers at your company who can evaluate and compare candidate answers.

Technical Interview Questions For Hiring Managers

To help new engineering managers get started in creating the technical interview process that’s right for their company and the position they’re recruiting, Woven has compiled a helpful 50 Interview Questions and Answers PDF.

The engineering questions and answers you select will depend on the positions available and the skill level required, like junior, senior, or executive management.

One resource commonly used by candidates says that these are the top 3 questions to ask in an interview:

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What interests you about this role?

Technical interview questions for new engineers

If you’re an engineering manager recruiting new devs, you can usually build the technical interview around coding challenges or “code quizzes.”

Writing clear, accurate code in a language such as Java or Python is a key skill for the fresher who will be learning on the job. There are plenty of online resources with questions for freshers, and there are sites that provide ready-made interviews. When it’s time to host the coding interview with the candidate, quizzes can be geared to any of the dozens of coding languages.

Here are examples of technical interview questions for freshers 2021:

  • What coding language are you most comfortable with?
  • What is a SAN, and how is it used?
  • When is it appropriate to denormalize database design?
  • What is the role of continuous integration systems in the automated-build process?

What about Senior Software Engineering Hiring?

When it comes to hiring experienced developers, software engineer coding interview questions confront engineering managers with more complex choices.

Assessing a senior engineer’s skills in systems architecture, debugging, and technical communication can’t be accomplished with questions like, “What is a SAN, and how is it used?”

A code quiz also can’t identify the experience, special role, and problem-solving skills a candidate must bring to your company’s software development team. In fact, many senior engineers now decline taking coding quizzes.

The senior developer technical interview must challenge the candidate’s in-depth knowledge. That’s why Woven’s challenges go beyond code and probe understanding of debugging, technical communication, systems thinking, backend programming, and frontend programming.

Additionally, the emphasis on different skills depends upon the candidate’s expected role in the company. We have a total of nine role-based challenges for the Mid/Senior Fullstack Engineer, Junior/Mid Fullstack Engineer, and Engineering Manager.

All have been developed, extensively tested, and continuously refined to reflect real-life demands in using code to define problems and propose solutions.

What should the candidate ask?

Just as experienced engineering candidates can expect open-ended questions in the technical interview, the engineering manager can expect to field sophisticated questions from candidates.

Candidates enjoy turning the tables by formulating unique interview questions to ask employers.

Here are some examples of frequently asked technical engineering questions:

  • Can you tell me about the members of the team that I would be joining? What type of experience do they have?
  • What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • Why do you enjoy working here?
  • What technology is the company using now?
  • Tell me about [a specific company product]?
  • Tell me about {a specific company emerging market]?

Some candidates may hope to come up with killer interview questions to ask employers.

Typically, these questions are based on the candidate’s insight into your company’s technical problems or comparisons with leading competitors. Both can signal that the person applying for the job is already grappling with challenges relevant to your company.

Questions to ask at the end of a technical interview

It’s natural for both you and the candidate to recall most clearly the questions asked at the end of the technical interview.

Typically any nervous energy has been released by then, so your attention is now on final impressions.

One of the most common final interview questions to ask employers is if they have any feedback for the candidate. If there is feedback, the candidate has an opening to provide information that the interviewer feels was missing or to correct misimpressions that the interviewer received.

Among the questions to ask at the end of every job interview are company-specific inquiries that give you a chance to talk up your company and its prospects.

Related questions to ask after technical interview:

  • What does a day in this position look like?
  • What is the culture of your company and its software engineering department?

Final thoughts

For the employing company, Woven’s technical assessment platform saves the time of senior engineers who must be present for technical interviews and devote time to scoring answers and then comparing the performance of all candidates.

Our tests are role- and seniority-specific, highly focused on performance of real-life challenges, and thoroughly assess advanced coding skills.

Our equally rigorous process of evaluating the results of each test provides you, the engineering manager, with an effective screening of each candidate before the interview process begins.

Because you’re saving engineering time, your focus can be on your company, team, and development dimensions of the position.

Ready to explore Woven’s comprehensive recruiting, testing, and reporting system? Sign up for a free trial today. More than 85% of senior engineering candidates are willing to take our challenges, and each candidate receives a full report of their test results to inform future career development.

Happy hiring!