Top Questions for Interviewing a Software Development Company

Customers in Thailand that are thinking of hiring a software engineer or software development company should engage in the interview process with caution and consideration. A skillful and value-adding person has the potential to help your company grow, however one that does not have a good work ethic or does not process adequate skills can hinder company growth.

That is why it is important to ask the right questions to decipher whether or not someone will be a good fit for your company.  Here are the top questions asked by Nexsource clients who absolutely loved the software development service they received.

  1. What made you want to become a software engineer?

Firstly, you should ask the interviewee what drove them to choose software engineering as a profession. This is a great question as it allows you to understand if they are passionate about their job and if they will be dedicated to the work you assign. The answer to this question can help you tell a lot about the software engineers future work ethic and if they will be a good long term fit for your company.

  1. What programming languages do you use?

There are many different programming languages that developers can use. Asking the interviewee what programming language they prefer can help you decide if they are suitable for the job or project at hand. It is useful to ask whether a developer uses an object-oriented language like Java, a functional programming language like Scala or a powerful scripting language such as Python. It is even better if the developer has knowledge of all types of programming languages.

  1. What types of project management tools are you familiar with?

Similar to the question above, it is a good idea to ask the interviewee what types of project management tool they use or are comfortable with. Tools such as Jira, ProofHub, Asana or Soro differ slightly in functionality. It is therefore important to ask this question to understand what type of work environment the interviewee is used to.

  1. Can you give an example of a project you completed successfully?

Asking this question will allow the engineer to discuss a previous project and why they thought it was successful. The answer should give you an understanding of how they work, what types of contributions they made and how they interacted with the team members and managers who were also involved.

  1. Why did you apply for this job in particular?

This is also an incredibly important question to ask because as an employer you want to know two things. The first being why the candidate is looking for a new job? And the second is why they applied to work at your specific company? This will give you an indication of whether they researched your company before the interview and are keen to work there or they are just simply looking for a new job maybe purely for monetary reasons.

It is a great sign if the interviewee has done their research beforehand. Someone who shows little interest or knowledge of your company may not end up being a good fit. The software developer you hire should be passionate about your company values and want to help contribute to the company’s success.

  1. Are you currently working on anything?

Often software engineers are working on freelance projects if not already employed at a specific company. Find out if they are currently working and if so, what kind of project they are working on. You can also ask why they choose to take on that project specifically and what various aspects of the work they enjoy doing. 

  1. Why do you think we should hire you?

This is a standard interview question as it gives the applicant the opportunity to essentially sell themselves. You will learn about their opinion and why think they will be a good fit with your company. This question also allows the candidate to outline all the various skills they can bring to table in order to make them an important asset to your team.

  1. Explain how you made a mistake in the past and learnt from it?

People learn important lessons from their past failures. It is how they have overcome those failures that’s important, not the fact that they may have made a reckless mistake. Asking a software engineer about a past project that ended up failing will show what type of lesson they learnt and how they are working to improve their skills to ensure it does not happen again.

  1. How do you react when faced with a difficult problem?

This question will allow you to gain insight into how the candidate approaches problems and their methodology for solving them. Software engineering can be a stressful job, it is therefore important that the candidate has the skills to face a problem and arrive at a viable solution. This question will also give you an insight into whether or not the interviewee prefers to handle problems alone or will turn to colleagues to ask for help.

  1. What would you look out for when checking a team members code?

This is an incredibly useful question because it will give you an insight into the interviewees thought process when coding. What types of things do they look out for? Are they aiming for functionality or rather simplicity? Is security something that they are concerned with when writing code? It will also allow you to see whether the interviewee is fair or too critical of another person’s work.

  1. Are you a team player or do you prefer working alone?

Some companies prefer independent engineers while others want a team player. It all depends on what you are looking for in an employee. You may want a developer who works hard independently or someone who is more of a team player and can work well in a group.

  1. What should you consider when writing your own database server?

It is important to know whether your candidate understands how to use data stores and all their underlying principles. A qualified software engineer should know how to work backend applications such as MySQL or MongoDB. By asking an open-ended question like this one you can engage in further discussion about backend applications, file storage, optimizers, indexing and much more.

  1. Can you work within a set timeframe?

Many companies like to know whether their software development engineers are able to deliver an end result within a specified timeframe. Asking this question will allow you to see whether the candidate sets realistic expectations for themselves when it comes to completing a project. You can judge their answer by comparing work completed in the past and see if your candidate is accurate or being a bit too ambitious.

  1. What are your career ambitions?

It is important to know where the interviewee sees themselves in five or ten years from now. You may be looking for someone long term who wants to grow to more of a managerial position in your company or someone who is happy to stay in their role as a software developer.

  1. How do you assure quality at the end of a project?

Running a software quality test is so important to ensure that the final product is working great. Ask the candidate what steps they take at the end of a project and whether they use any specific quality testing tools to test for bugs etc. 

  1. How do you keep up to date in this fast-changing industry?

New technology is constantly emerging, it is therefore important all software engineers stay on top of changes in the industry and keep updating their skills. It is insightful to learn how your candidate will keep up to date and adapt to changes in the industry.

  1. Do you have any questions?

You can now turn the table and ask the interviewee if they have any questions for you in return. A person who does not really care about the job may not have a lot of questions. On the other hand, someone who asks a lot of relevant questions shows they may be more interested in the position. Questions you may be asked by a keen potential employee could center around your company culture and values, the work-life balance that comes with the job or what you are looking for in an employee.

Software developers provide long-term partnerships with business and cater to all different types of needs. Companies in Thailand and across the world can use their services to develop high end software to help grow their businesses.

Above are just some of the top questions asked by Nexsource clients who have interviewed our software developers and loved the services we provided. Along with the questions above, there are many other questions you can ask that are specific to your company and the position you are offering.

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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