It’s that time of the year again – you’re back on the job market and are ready to begin your search for new opportunities. You’ve scoped out possibilities through your own personal networks and have scrolled through numerous job boards looking for front-end developer jobs. The phone rings and when you answer, you hear the voice of a recruitment consultant asking for a few minutes of your time. Continue reading this article if you’re not sure what to expect, what typical front-end developer interview questions could be and learn how you can master your next interview!
- Getting in touch with the right recruiters
- Common front-end developer interview questions
Getting in touch with the right recruiters
Whatever your own personal feelings are about the recruitment world – let’s put them aside for a moment. It all depends on getting in touch with the right recruiters. The right ones can put roles in front of you that you would not normally have access to. They will also have the advantage of a strong network and will connect you with anyone looking for your particular skill set, even if the company in question is not hiring.
The right recruiters will recognise what your strengths are and work with you on an equal footing to help you land your next job.
When looking for candidates for a vacancy, recruiters spend a lot of time understanding the purpose and function of the role in question. They make sure they have knowledge on both technical and common topics related to the role. These may include:
- the current development projects being worked on;
- the development methodologies, programming languages and technologies used;
- plans that the company in question has for the next 12 months;
- the organisational setup within the company;
- the culture within the workplace;
- the benefits and remunerations one would receive, so on and so forth.
They will also be able to provide general knowledge about the company such as:
- its unique selling points;
- what makes them different;
- why other employees like working there.
In short, a good recruitment specialist will not put you forward for a role that they themselves do not have a full understanding of. The opposite is also true here. A recruiting specialist will not suggest you to a client without understanding your skill set and what you bring to the table. You will therefore need to be prepared to be interviewed.
Common front-end developer interview questions
Before even considering sending your CV to their clients, recruiters will speak with you at least three times. Let’s take a look at some of the front-end developer interview questions that may be asked during this stage:
#1 Situational call
This call will last 10-15 minutes and the sole purpose of it would be to understand your current situation, a brief overview of what you’re looking for and what your personal search parameters are. This information will then be used to see what roles are relevant to you. Example questions may include:
- What is your current situation, job-wise?
- When does your contract end (if applicable)?
- What is your current salary/day rate? (This is asked to measure against the next question. If, for example, your day rate was £200 in your last role and your expected rate in the next role has risen significantly, the recruiter would want to know what exactly has changed and why)
- What is the minimum salary/day rate that you’re looking for?
- Why are you looking to leave your current role?
- What did you enjoy about your last role?
- What is your realistic maximum commute time?
- Will you relocate?
#2 Telephone interview
A 30 minute telephone interview will then be conducted with the front-end developer. The purpose of this is to understand exactly what your role is, your level of experience and what you can and can not do. What may be included in this interview is as follows:
- What are your responsibilities on a day-to-day basis in your current role?
- Why are you looking to leave your current role?
- What do you like about your current role?
- What parts of your current role, if you had a choice, would you not want to do in your next role?
- If I asked your employer, what would they say was the best development project that you’ve completed while at the company? Why would they say that?
- What web standards are you familiar with?
- What development software do you generally use? (This is to understand if you can code or if you’re using tools)
- How do you generally test projects? Do you test it alone or do you use a team of testers? What testing tools were used?
- What are your favourite development tools and why?
- What’s your favorite development language and why? What other features (if any) do you wish you could add to this language?
- What web browsers do you use?
- Are there any industry sites and blogs that you read on a regular basis?
These front-end developer interview questions will all be based on exactly what it is that the recruiter is looking for. For example, if they were looking for a web developer who could test their own work but the candidate that they’re interviewing has had a team of developers do this for them for the past 5 years, then they probably aren’t the right fit for the company.
After the interview, the recruiter will want to see a portfolio of your work. If everything up until this point has gone smoothly, they may take the next step and invite you to a meeting.
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#3 Competency behavioural-based interview
This process provides the recruiter with a real understanding of what your responsibilities and skills are and how these match not only with what the client is looking for but also what you are looking for.
In case the client decides against interviewing you, the recruiter may be able to potentially overcome their objections and secure you an interview as they now have a deeper understanding about you than what is just detailed on your CV.
During the competency behavioural interview, the recruiter will normally pick 3 or 4 front-end developer interview questions that address certain key points about what the client is looking for within their job matrix. This interview should take approximately one hour. Here are a few examples of questions that can be asked:
- Was there ever a situation where you disagreed with the client or company about the direction they were taking a project in? If yes, how did you handle it?
- Was there ever a situation when something you developed was not delivered as intended? Do you know why it happened? How did you react? What did you learn?
- Have you worked on projects where you had to liaise with third party vendors to develop and integrate API?
- Was there ever a situation where you had to get people to work together?
These questions are designed to be uncomfortable and are tailored to uncover specifics. For example, if a client is looking for a Senior Developer whose responsibilities include leading a team, these questions will help the recruiter understand if you’re the right fit or not.
#4 Using the STAR technique
If you’re unsure how to answer competency-based questions, there’s a strategy called the STAR interview method that you can use. This stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result and is particularly helpful in providing responses to behavioural-related questions.
To begin with, think of an example that you can base your answer around. It’s always smart to keep a few specific stories in mind before you go in for your interview. After you’ve established your example, you need to lay out the situation. Describe the challenge that you were faced with or the task that you needed to complete. Remember to be specific and only focus on things that are relevant.
Next, highlight your role and responsibility in the situation mentioned. Make sure to clarify exactly how you were involved and what goal you were working toward.
You’ll then want to move on to the action part of the STAR method. This involves you telling the interviewer exactly what action was taken to complete the task in hand or overcome the challenge.
The final step of this technique is showcasing the result of your work to the interviewer. Describe in detail the outcomes of your actions and how your contribution helped achieve them.
We hope this helps you with your future interviews. Feel free to share your experience with us in the comment section below!