7 Web Developer Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Web Developer interview questions and answers.

What are the responsibilities of a web developer?

A web developer should fully understand their role and how they contribute to web design and development. This question will help you find out how a candidate plans to support the team and what tasks they will take ownership of.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Clear understanding of web development processes
  • What tasks they emphasize
  • How they plan to contribute
Example: “A web developer designs, develops, enhances, tests and deploys web applications with an end goal of creating engaging and user-friendly site layout and function. A developer gathers and defines requirements, maintains websites, troubleshoots and fixes bugs, follows best practices and collaborates with other teams.”

What sparked your interest in web development?

Did the candidate want to become a web developer at an early age? Are they self-taught? Learning why a candidate chose web development can help determine their level of passion and commitment to the profession.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivation
  • Experience
Example: “As a previous marketing coordinator, I frequently used an online tool to create and customize email campaigns. I found the drag-and-drop feature buggy and discovered that I could achieve the look I was going for if I edited the HTML instead. I became fascinated the ability a web developer has to be imaginative, artistic and technical, while developing a product that benefits and inspires others.”

What is W3C and why is it important?

A web developer should take responsibility for the content they produce, see that it is accessible by all users and follows W3C standards. This question will let you know if a candidate has a working knowledge and respect of W3C.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • General knowledge
  • Consideration of standards
  • Specifics on how they adhere to standards
Example: “W3C stands for World Wide Consortium and it is an international community that focuses on developing and standardizing the web. As a web developer, enforcing these standards ensures that web content is accessible in all browsers to reach all audiences, as well as optimizes the user experience. For example, using W3C-compliant CSS and XML allows every website to function similarly, but also improves SEO.”

Explain how you optimize and reduce web application load time.

Almost half of all users want a web page to load within two seconds. Ask this question to learn if a candidate is aware of the impact that page load time has on the user experience, and how a web developer should analyze data and track improvements to optimize load time.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • How much importance they place in optimizing web applications
  • Understanding of tools they can use to analyze website speed
  • Evidence they have successfully reduced load time
Example: “Although there are numerous techniques a web developer can use in reducing load time, I always rely on optimizing images, enabling browser caching and minimizing HTTP requests. My go-to tool for evaluating site speed is Google PageSpeed Insights. In one instance, I successfully reduced page load time from 2.1 seconds to .7 seconds by soley enabling browser caching.”

What are the differences of using HTTP/2 as opposed to HTTP 1.1?

Knowing if a candidate understands the main differences and advantages to using HTTP/2 will reveal their level of understanding, cluing you in to how their methods will align with the web developer role.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Overall HTTP knowledge
  • Ability to recall specific information
  • Insight into their approach
Example: “HTTP/2 was designed to improve web application performance. A web developer can appreciate how it makes applications simpler and faster by reducing load times and improving communication between browsers and servers. I’m a strong advocate for using HTTP/2, as I’ve analyzed data and seen how HTTP/2 can decrease page load time by up to 20%.”

In what programming languages are you proficient?

HTML, CSS, SQL, PHP, Ruby, Python and JavaScript are a few of the common coding languages a web developer should be able to navigate comfortably. This question will tune you into a candidate’s experience, preferences, strengths and weaknesses.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Familiarity with coding languages
  • Level of interest in specific languages
  • Fit with the role and company
Example: “I’m proficient in HTML, CSS and PHP, and I have beginner-level proficiency in SQL and JavaScript. I would love to expand my web developer skills to include Python and am currently researching the right Python course to take in my free time.”

What steps do you take to balance demanding client requirements?

A web developer may face unexpected challenges, including short turnaround times and overly-ambitious clients. Gaining a clear understanding of how a candidate handles this type of situation will help you understand their priorities and thought processes.

    What to look for in an answer:
  • Performance under pressure
  • Communication skills
  • Commitment to releasing high-quality products
Example: “In balancing demanding requirements as a web developer, I take steps to fully understand what is expected of me, prioritize my tasks and keep an open line of communication with the client. Keeping a client pleased is a high priority, although I am not interested in producing buggy code and taking ineffective shortcuts to damage the final product. I keep the client informed of my progress and work efficiently to complete the task.”

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