10 Questions to ask Senior Software Engineers in an interview… plus a bonus

November 2, 2022
Being ready for a tech interview is extremely important. Let me repeat this, EXTREMELY important. You don’t want to jump on a call with a candidate without knowing what to ask them. Or even worse, not understand what they are talking about.
Tip: Before the interview, ensure you are clear on what the ideal candidate does; this will help you be prepared and you will avoid wasting the candidate’s and your time.
A type of interview that can be of great use is a contextual one. A contextual interview will give you a broader context of the work experience of the candidate. With this, your goal is to get a 360 view of what they do and how they think during the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). It will help you smoothen the conversation by giving it structure and a framework to follow.
So here they are, 10 questions to ask Senior Software Engineers on a screening call. I also added a little bonus. :)
1. Research stage:
  • Where did you start and what key things were you trying to understand?
  • Who did you reach out to when researching requirements?
2. Design stage:
  • What dependencies did you need to consider when designing the solution?
  • What was the primary use case for this project?
3. Build stage:
  • Walk me through the coding process. Were you solo or pair programming?
  • Were you building from scratch or were you able to reuse code?
4. Test:
  • Were you using TDD?
  • How was QA facilitated in your team?
5. Deploy:
  • What was your involvement in the deployment stage?
  • What was your release cycle?
Don’t forget to ask follow-up questions and walk with them through their problem-solving skills. For a senior role, it’s quite important that they have this skill set.
Now for the bonus, I wanted to give you a few behavioral questions that will help you check some of their soft skills. I will continue to share new ones on different posts.
  • What was your biggest motivator during this project?
  • What stage of the SDLC was frustrating to you and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself in this experience?
When building your team or helping others build theirs, confirming both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of each candidate will increase the opportunity of creating a match between talent and team.
A successful first interview will move you one step closer to a happy placement.
If you are a candidate, check out these 10 tips to prepare for an interview.

Daniella Meneses

Chief Growth Officer