The interviews for Intern positions are technically easy, but the questions can be tricky sometimes. We have tried to cover one of the most common and the trickiest questions asked during Software Intern interviews.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Software Engineer?
This is an important question because your answer will help them understand how passionate you are about your work and how dedicated you will be to your job. Your answer should indicate whether you have a keen interest in engineering software.
What programming languages do you prefer?
A software engineer should have experience with a wide range of programming languages. This knowledge is vital to having success in this role. Before your interview, review the job description to see if they mention whether or not you'll need programming language experience for the role. Respond with languages you're familiar with that match the employer's needs.
What are your most used design patterns and in what contexts do you use them?
This question probes your knowledge of more abstract, theoretical concepts. Very few people are familiar with all of the formalised software design patterns. In fact, many well-established engineers have a hard time even naming more than a few. After reviewing the topic, you may realize that you leverage many of these patterns daily, even if you aren't aware of the formal name. Reviewing these concepts helps provide a common shorthand, streamlining complex discussions.
What is “Agile” software development and what are your thoughts on it?
Process is an extremely important component of software development. “Agile” is currently one of the most popular software development processes adopted in the industry. The core concepts were introduced in 2001 when “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development” was published. Since its inception, growing numbers of companies have adopted the methodologies in some form. However, there are a wide range of opinions and interpretations on the subject. Some invest the time to train for Agile certification while others use the principles as guidelines rather than hard rules, interpreting “Agile” as an adjective rather than a noun. And there are yet others who wholly disagree with the philosophy. No matter your opinion, wide industry adoption means you will likely work within the framework at some point in your career. You should be capable of articulating the details of the process. Try using concrete examples from your experience. In your answer, address areas of the process such as:
- What worked about the process?
- What did not?
- Did your team deviate from the recommendations?
- Did that work to your benefit or detriment?
What are your thoughts on software testing?
Testing is an extremely important component of the software development life cycle because it ensures the quality of the software before it is deployed to users. Approaches to testing range from manually testing the application to writing test suites for individual code modules, or “unit testing.” Within these approaches, there are many schools of thought. For example, unit tests may be written in a strict test-driven process where failing tests are written before any business logic, aiming for 100% of the code to be exercised. There are other approaches that enumerate particularly complex or sensitive code and write a test for those as opposed to every line. In fact, the point is even debated amongst the writers of “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development,” which arguably popularised testing as a standard part of the software development process. In the 2015 talk, “Agile is Dead,” co-author “Pragmatic” Dave Thomas stated, “I mostly don’t test.” This is in sharp contrast with other co-authors such as Martin Fowler and Kent Beck who largely advocate for a test-driven approach. You should have informed opinions on why you favour one approach over another. It will demonstrate that you are aware of the range of methodologies and have made a choice based on sound reasoning. Similar to speaking about Agile software development, negative statements should be avoided in general.
How do you determine a project’s success?
While releasing high-quality software is vital, software that doesn’t address the needs of the user and the business produces little value. Employers want to know that you are thinking beyond the technical aspects and aim to solve real-world problems. This often comes down to identifying a metric to improve and creating a testable hypothesis of your expected project impact.
Why Are You Interested in This Internship/Company/Industry, and What Skills or Experiences Do You Hope to Gain?
Show enthusiasm, do your research to come up with a thoughtful response for what drew you to the company or role, and get specific. The interviewer knows you’re looking for a learning opportunity—tell them what you want to learn from this internship in particular, and make sure it aligns with the organisation and what you know about the role so far. You can also use this question as an opportunity to talk about your experience, passions, and values.
Tell Us About a Situation Where You Took Initiative or Took on a Leadership Role.
A lot of times candidates answer this question with an example of leading a group project, which totally works as an option. But it can also be answered with an example of a time when you noticed something that needed to change and took the initiative to change it, whether or not you had a “leadership” title or role.
HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE YOUR DAY?
Here’s what this question is asking: When do you get focused and start working in earnest? What are the hours that you work optimally? Are you a night owl? A morning bird? Remote teams can be made up of people working different shifts and all around the world so you won’t necessarily be stuck in the 9-to-5 if that’s not your thing. And remote jobs are often flexible as far as day-to-day routines are concerned. So you can also arrange your work in the way that’s best for you – as long as you get it all done. So, take an honest look at what your natural rhythm is and how you’re most productive before you answer this question.
Do You Have Any Questions for Us?
You should always have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview—about the internship, your potential manager, the team, or the company as a whole. You literally have an expert at your disposal, so use your time with them wisely by digging into the specifics and getting any lingering concerns addressed. The interviewer wants to know that you’re engaged in the interview process, and asking thoughtful, provoking questions is a great way to show this.
Getting an internship can be hard sometimes. Use this list as a reference, after doing your research on the basic questions asked in an interview for backend developers. If you are looking for a job in Software domain, we recommend subscribing to the Growremotely's Newsletter and stay updated about jobs posted every week.