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7 C++ Interview Questions and Answers

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Q:

There are many programming languages out there. What motivated you to learn C++ and pursue work in this language? 

A:

The answer to this question will tell you the applicant's interest in C++ as well as experience with the language. You will also discover whether the interviewee learned the language on their own, through coursework or in a professional environment.

  • Experience with C++
  • Goals with C++ and motivations for learning
  • Excited about programming
Example:

"I've been fascinated by programming since childhood, and C++ was the first language I learned. My friends and I learned together back in high school, as we wanted to build a computer game from scratch. I chose C++, because it's everything C is and more. C++ is focused on performance, productivity and flexibility. It's been the inspiration for other languages like Python and PHP, and it plays well with other languages. I truly think it's the best language to learn because of the code's adaptability and efficiency."

Q:

C++ is focused on being useful in the real world. What do you like most about the language's philosophy?

A:

Bjarne Stroustrup, the computer scientist who created C++, emphasized that the programming language's evolution should align with its original philosophy of being driven by actual problems in the real world. This question gives you insight into the candidate's understanding of the greater purpose of C++, as well as their general interest in programming, including its history and future.

  • Belief and commitment to C++
  • Excitement about the potential of C++
  • Knowledge of the language's history and evolution
Example:

"C++ is truly a breakthrough programming language. The fact it's still around today is a testament to just how great it is. What I like most out of the philosophy is that Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator, stressed that C++ must provide comprehensive support for each programming style. This ensures the language can attract a wide range of programming talents, which leads to more rapid advancement of C++."

Q:

Programmers always like to display their favorite projects in their portfolio. What's your most memorable project using C++?

A:

This questions allows you to see what the applicant enjoys doing with the language. It's a chance to understand their capabilities as well as their personality.

  • Awareness of the benefits of C++
  • Ability to plan and execute a project
  • Willingness to take on a challenge
Example:

"I'm amazed by the rise of the e-commerce industry, and I actually got the chance to help rebuild a site for a booming e-commerce startup. HTML and CSS were already written, so I had to write the code in C++ along with a colleague. I was a little nervous because of the scale of the project, but we did an awesome job after overcoming some early roadblocks. The most rewarding part was seeing how the client loved the clean, intuitive code. The website looked spectacular, and it actually led to a doubling of sales!"

Q:

Aside from actually being able to write code in C++, what are the most important skills for a C++ programming position?

A:

Success in C++ requires more than just knowing how to code in the language. This question gives you the opportunity to see what skills the applicant values. The candidate's answer will also provide insight into how they'll fit in with your team.

  • View on what qualities make a good C++ programmer
  • Ability to think logically and conceptually
  • Opinion on the importance of soft skills
Example:

"I think a good understanding of math helps. But what's more important is perhaps the logic skills and the ability to grasp algorithms. You have to be a conceptual thinker. Additionally, the ability to learn is vital, since programming changes much, much faster than other subjects. In terms of soft skills, communication is vital because most programmers work within a team, or at the very least must convey complex ideas to those outside of programming."

Q:

No programming language is perfect. What is one drawback to C++ that can frustrate you?

A:

All programmers have things they may not find ideal with a certain language. This question enables you to learn more about the interviewee's knowledge of the language, as well as their ability to think critically, recognize issues and overcome difficulties.

  • Resourcefulness and problem-solving skills
  • Understanding of the pros and cons of C++
  • Learning about the candidate's opinion of C++
Example:

"C++ is a powerful language that can be used to create just about any program. With that said, my one issue with C++ is that it doesn't, by default, have built-in memory management. This requires more work for developers, as external libraries have to be used and sometimes we have to sort of reinvent the wheel."

Q:

Many people are trying to learn how to code. What advice would you give someone who's learning C++?

A:

The success of an engineering team depends on collaboration and programmers learning from each other. This question provides you with an idea of how the applicant will share knowledge and work with colleagues.

  • Motivation to teach and learn
  • Ability to communicate complex concepts clearly
  • Teamwork skills
Example:

"First, be sure to understand the fundamental principles and concepts behind C++. If you can, don't simply follow tutorials, but find someone that can teach or mentor you while learning how to code in C++. While reading textbooks is important for grasping the language, nothing helps more than actively participating in projects. Take advantage of opportunities to contribute to open source projects and participate in competitions. Challenging yourself will help you improve quickly. Finally, understand that you're not going to master C++ overnight. Learning it is an ongoing process, so stay motivated."

Q:

Every programmer has an opinion when it comes to apps. What would you change about our company's app?

A:

Not only does this question test an interviewee's critical thinking and technical knowledge, it also shows you how much they have researched the company. Look for answers that show they have examined the app and have solid reasoning why it should be changed.

  • Critical thinking capability
  • Willingness to challenge decision-makers
  • Commitment to product improvement and usability
Example:

"Let me just say that the app is easy to navigate and quite intuitive. Users can solve their needs quickly. The only thing I would change would be to reduce the amount of steps it takes to sign up. By making that process quicker, the company could ensure more people register and use the app."

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