In this digital age, hiring the right web developer is critical. Your web developer should be tech-savvy and highly skilled. They should have a critical eye for great digital design and be security-minded throughout the process.

Cross-departmental collaboration and stakeholder communications will require soft skills in abundance, not to mention resilience and the ability to respond positively to feedback.

They should also display a passion for tech and have the drive to keep up with the ever evolving tools, techniques, and trends that make up web development in 2022.

Identifying the right web developer to join your team is key to digital success.

Here are a few web developer interview questions to set you off on the right track.

Tech savvy.

What’s the biggest difference between developing for mobile and desktop?

Over 50% of web traffic is delivered on mobile and Google favours websites optimised for mobile and tablets. Therefore, small-screen friendly design is essential for all web projects. Your candidate should know how to design for all platforms. They should be able to talk fluently, and at length, about the crucial differences between the two such as screen size and touch input, for example.

Can you find the error in this code?

Candidates are often asked to write code in an interview. An alternative is to ask them to identify strategically placed errors and debug them. This exercise will allow you to establish both their technical proficiency and attention to detail.

What APIs have you worked with?

Candidates should be able to evidence that they have worked with APIs for well-known commercial services, such as those offered by Twitter, Slack, Dropbox, and the suite of APIs offered by Google, for example.  Depending on the level of developer you require, candidates should be able to explain how to call API functions and integrate results into their design. More experienced web developers may even have helped to develop and document their own APIs.

They will also be able to talk about how they have worked with the development team to create secure and useful interfaces in the past.

Do you have any SQL experience?

Although web developers may not interact directly with a database, they do need to understand how they are structured. Therefore any SQL experience such as working as a DBA will be helpful.

Problem solving and resilience.

What steps do you take when an app stops working?

Problem-solving is at the heart of web development, so it’s important to hear about how your candidates approach a fix when things go wrong. You may like to follow it up by talking about how they identify and analyse potential causes, how they might ask for help and guidance, or how they respond when their first idea for a fix doesn’t work!

Tell me about a time when you had to respond to negative feedback.

Feedback for beta tests and users can sometimes be negative and discouraging. It may also invoke an unfavourable response. An ideal candidate will show resilience and a growth mindset; using the feedback to learn, create and apply a solution.

Passion and a desire to learn.

What excites you about the future of web development?

This is a chance for your candidate to demonstrate their industry knowledge and their desire to be a part of the discipline. Listen out for their knowledge about trends on the horizon, disruptive tools, and emerging technologies.  You can then have an open-ended conversation about their professional development plans and how they would like to be supported in those.

What was your favourite project, and how did you approach it?

This web developer interview question will help you establish the candidate’s interests and working style. The second part of the question will assess how they approach problems, use feedback, and interact with the development lifecycle in a team setting.

Tell me about a project you have worked on in your spare time?

Development tools and trends move quickly and are ever evolving. When you are hiring a web developer, you need to resolve that they are an individual who is willing to invest their own time in professional development and growth. They should be able to demonstrate this and even show you some of their current or past work.

Soft skills and communication.

How would you explain a technical concept to a colleague with no technical background?

Your web developer will need to work effectively with non-tech colleagues in other departments. Sales and marketing professionals will not necessarily be knowledgeable about things such as MVC, Responsive Design, commonly used cloud platforms, APIs etc.

They should be able to talk in non-jargon language to best enable the performance of their colleagues in non-technical disciplines.

How would you handle tight deadlines on a project?

Web development is a career that works in deadlines. The pressure to complete a project on time and on budget can be massive. You need a web developer that can handle an intense environment and who can manage their own workload.

The candidate should be encouraged to share examples of how they have overcome obstacles in the past to meet deadlines.

Are you looking for a web developer with these skills and more?

We can help. Our consultants have a network packed with the best tech talent in the UK.

For more information about how we work and the value we can bring to your organisation, reach out today.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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