Top 8 Behavioral Interview Questions for Software Engineers | by Michael Hamill | Mar, 2022

8 of the highest widespread behavioral interview questions that try to be snug answering in your subsequent interview

Whilst you’re grinding away at LeetCode and HackerRank in your subsequent coding interview, be sure you don’t overlook to arrange for the behavioral interview as effectively.

Behavioral interviews can look loads completely different relying in your background, expertise, and the corporate you’re interviewing with.

These interviews are designed to get to know your character, perceive your resume extra deeply, and do a deep dive into your background.

Probably the most necessary methods to arrange for this interview is to make sure you can discuss every part of your resume intimately. Each the technical and non-technical facets of it.

I’m positive most of you recognize about this e book, I extremely advocate trying out Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell in the event you haven’t already. The e book does an excellent job of describing the behavioral interview course of at a excessive stage.

For this text, I’ll give the highest 8 behavioral interview questions that I’ve personally come throughout and actual solutions that I’ve given which helped me nail the interview.

1. Inform me a few mission that you just labored on just lately. Are you able to describe the technical challenges you confronted and the way you overcame these challenges?

That is the place understanding the ins and outs of the technical particulars of every piece of your resume actually is useful.

The interviewer could ask the query generically like on this instance, or they might level out a mission or function in your resume particularly and ask about that. So be ready to speak about this in both situation.

Instance: “I just lately labored on a mission that had some very particular safety necessities the appliance needed to comply with. At a excessive stage, we needed to construct a server that might operate as a reverse proxy and a ahead proxy and permit us so as to add in customized logic through the TLS handshake.

My first impediment was looking for an off-the-shelf product that we might use for this. Now we have usually used NGINX for all of our proxying and cargo balancing all through the system, nevertheless, NGINX didn’t help a manner for us so as to add in a customized hook to the TLS logic. We regarded into different OTS instruments like Apache HTTP Server and HAProxy, however nothing supported what we wanted out of the field.

Ultimately, I discovered that Node.js has a TLS module that offered precisely what we wanted. The TLS module allowed us to simply add in customized code through the TLS handshake, and it contained a really light-weight, straightforward to arrange HTTP proxy server.

This was my first time growing a manufacturing utility from the bottom up in Node.js. Going from primarily Java improvement to Node.js offered a little bit of a problem as a result of asynchronous conduct of Node.js. The customized logic we had been writing required us to make an HTTP request through the TLS handshake, nevertheless in Node.js this request is asynchronous, and I spotted that I wasn’t in a position to await the response earlier than the TLS handshake was accomplished.

Ultimately, I discovered a method to overcome this by not placing the HTTP request into the TLS logic. Since we had been caching the request, I made the request on the startup of the server, cached it, after which set a timeout operate to make the request once more after the worth expired. That manner we prevented making an async request within the TLS handshake and we simply grabbed the worth from the cache.

The mission ended up being an enormous success and handed all the necessities. These safety necessities weren’t solely inside our program, however different packages being constructed for the shopper as effectively. We truly had different packages throughout the firm attain out to us for the server that I had constructed so they might combine it with their system as effectively which saved the corporate weeks of improvement time in different packages.”

2. Inform me a few time you had a disagreement with a coworker and the way you resolved it.

Right here is the place the interviewer desires to see the way you deal with difficult conditions together with your coworkers, so that you need to give attention to an space the place you resolved a difficulty with them previously.

Even small disagreements that you’ve got had with coworkers can be utilized in questions like this, however in the event you actually can’t consider something, you could possibly attempt to form your reply right into a extra basic reply about the way you deal, or would deal, with disagreements between your coworkers.

Instance: “I’ll inform you a scenario through which I had a disagreement with my engineering lead. The group I used to be on by no means adopted an excellent branching technique. We had been consistently coping with points the place we might have half-baked options combined with different options that had been able to go, and we must cherry-pick the sure commits we wished to take into the following construct. This took up quite a lot of time.

My supervisor put collectively a brand new branching technique and offered it to us as the brand new path we might comply with. The others on the decision appeared tremendous with it, nevertheless, I did see a flaw within the technique, and I spoke up about it. My supervisor noticed the flaw as effectively however thought that it was nonetheless higher than what we’re at present doing and we must always current this to the remainder of the group to make use of for now since we now have quite a lot of different necessary duties to perform.

I stated that I didn’t assume it was a good suggestion to have the group begin adopting a brand new branching technique that we already know has a flaw and can want updating once more quickly. Though I understood the precedence to complete our different duties first, I supplied to provide you with an answer that fixes the difficulty right here and put collectively some slides with out impacting my different milestones. He agreed and we arrange a gathering for the following day to go over my design.

I spent a while placing collectively the branching technique, which was a extra widespread GIT branching technique that’s used within the business, and offered it to him and the opposite leads the following day. Everybody agreed on the brand new technique and my supervisor thanked me for talking up and placing this collectively in such a short while. Since this new technique has been adopted, our group has minimize down vital time on coping with model management points.

Total, after I cope with disagreements, I actually attempt to make sure that everybody understands each factors of view and why every particular person got here to the choice they did. I discover that usually when you dig deep into either side, we will often come to an settlement. Nevertheless, if that’s not the case and every particular person remains to be adamant about their determination, I wish to get different engineers concerned and get their enter on it.”

3. Why do you need to work at <company-name>?

For this query, it helps to analysis the corporate beforehand. Look into the businesses values on their web site, tasks the corporate is engaged on (if obtainable) and the applied sciences the corporate is utilizing.

Instance: “What first excited me concerning the place, particularly, was the applied sciences that the corporate is utilizing. I’ve been working with React and Node.js in my aspect mission and I’ve actually fallen in love with all the JavaScript ecosystem, so I actually need to steer my profession extra to that tech stack. I additionally need to proceed working with cloud providers and noticed that the group is utilizing AWS which excited me as effectively.

Other than the technical aspect of issues, I regarded extra into the corporate tradition and noticed that you just actually worth creating an setting through which engineers can be taught and proceed to develop. Steady progress is absolutely necessary to me, and I would like the following firm I be part of to share that significance as effectively.

Lastly, the product itself appears to be like wonderful and appears to have the flexibility to affect folks the world over. I might like to be a part of that initiative.”

4. Why are you leaving your present firm?

You need to give legit causes for wanting to go away, however don’t make it sound like you’re depressing at your present job. That might damage you within the negotiating course of, and in addition might make you appear to be a adverse particular person of their eyes.

One other angle to go at this query is to phrase it in a manner the place it doesn’t sound such as you actually need to go away your job, however you’ll simply somewhat be with the corporate you’re interviewing with. Then give causes as to why you’re excited to work there over your present firm.

Instance: “Though total I’m pleased in my present function, there are a couple of causes I’m in search of a brand new alternative.

I really feel that I’ve gotten to some extent in my profession the place I’m not studying as a lot as I need to be. I seen that your organization is utilizing AWS and that may be a know-how that I’ve been desirous to get some expertise in. Cloud platforms generally are one thing I’m excited to work with.

This sort of leads into my subsequent cause, which is that I’m in search of tougher work. As I discussed I really feel that I’m not studying as a lot as I need to be, and the work that I’ve been doing recently hasn’t actually offered any new challenges. I’m excited to work with the newer applied sciences that your organization is utilizing as I do know they’ll present new and distinctive challenges.”

5. What would you say is a weak point of yours?

You need to level out a legit weak point, however actually hone in on how you’re bettering, or have improved your self to beat that weak point.

Instance: “I might say my largest weak point is public talking. Generally I’ve hassle talking in entrance of different folks and I get extraordinarily nervous talking in a big group. After I was youthful, I used to attempt to keep away from conditions through which I must converse in a gaggle any manner I might, nevertheless as I obtained into faculty I began to comprehend that I must face this worry as a substitute of working from it.

As I’ve grown in my profession, I’ve turn into much more snug with talking in teams. I current in quite a lot of completely different conferences now each day like design evaluations or demos to the shopper, so I’ve gotten quite a lot of expertise talking in entrance of teams and main discussions with quite a lot of attendees. Whereas I nonetheless get nervous talking in entrance of huge teams, I’ve grown extra accustomed to it and notice that these nerves go away as I begin moving into the assembly and am snug with what I’m presenting.”

6. Describe a time once you acquired powerful suggestions or a time once you gave powerful suggestions. How did you deal with the scenario?

Constructive criticism may be useful in your total skilled progress, so take into account answering this query with a bit of criticism you acquired and the way it helped you enhance your work. You possibly can present your means to react positively to constructive criticism and exhibit that you just’re keen to be taught and progress.

On the flip aspect, having the ability to give good suggestions to your coworkers is necessary as effectively. This actually exhibits you’re a group participant and that you just care about bettering others round you.

Instance: “I really feel that constructive suggestions out of your friends is among the greatest methods for an engineer to develop. I additionally really feel that an necessary a part of giving, or receiving suggestions, is to offer or ask for steps the engineer or you may take to enhance.

An instance that involves thoughts after I gave suggestions to somebody was with a software program engineer that’s on my present group. I seen that very often in our group conferences, this engineer would leap into the dialog to offer their ideas and opinions, nevertheless, it felt like they didn’t actually put together their ideas on what they had been attempting to say. They’d seemingly begin to ramble a bit and seem to get misplaced in their very own ideas attempting to determine what they’re attempting to say.

Our firm has semi-yearly efficiency evaluations; nevertheless, I imagine in giving suggestions straight away after I see one thing that I really feel my colleague might enhance on. So, in the future I spoke with them and advised them what I seen, they usually even agreed with what I needed to say and stated they seen it themselves too, however they weren’t conscious that it was apparent to others. I supplied some recommendation in that they shouldn’t really feel like they should rush with the intention to get their factors into the dialog. We’re all one group and we need to ensure everybody has a possibility to talk up and agree on selections we make as a group.

They advised me that they actually appreciated me speaking to them about this in order that they’ve the chance to enhance themselves. Since that dialog, I seen a steady enchancment of their means to interact in conversations on the proper time and be capable of get their factors throughout to the group effectively.”

7. Inform me about your self and your background.

I realized an effective way to construction this generic query from Cracking the Coding Interview. It’s damaged down like this:

  1. Present Function [Just the Headline]
  2. School [Include Internships]
  3. Submit School and Onwards
  4. Present Function [Detailed]
  5. Exterior of Work
  6. Wrap Up

Instance: “I’m at present a Software program Engineer at <company-name>the place I’ve been main a small agile group of senior software program engineers. I graduated from <school-name> in 2018 with a bachelor’s diploma in Pc Science and Engineering.

I put myself by means of faculty working as a waiter for some time and in addition working as a Java Marketing consultant for the college. As a Java Marketing consultant, I might assist college students with their course work and assist them perceive Java ideas and greatest coding practices.

The summer season earlier than my senior yr I changed my job as a waiter with an internship at <company-name> which was an incredible expertise for me. Over that summer season I constructed a brand new time monitoring utility from the bottom up utilizing Java and the Spring framework that ended up changing the present system utilized by the group. My success on the internship led them to maintain me on part-time whereas I completed up my senior yr.

After faculty, I used to be recruited by <company-name>and was introduced on as a stage one software program engineer. The group I used to be introduced onto is liable for the safety, deployment, and the monitoring and management interface for the system. After a few yr I grew to become the technical lead of the group I used to be on. I truly grew to become the lead at a important time, as this system I used to be on was in peril of being shut down. Since that point, nevertheless, we had been in a position to get better the schedule, repair all of the important requirement failures and get this system again on monitor for a profitable operation deployment. This success restored religion within the group and secured future enterprise with the shopper.

Exterior of labor I’m at present engaged on a aspect mission that I intend to complete and deploy to the net and app retailer this yr utilizing Node.js, React and React Native. I additionally only in the near past obtained into writing articles on Medium and have written a couple of articles on software program improvement ideas which were revealed.

So, now I’m in search of one thing new and the job posting for this function actually caught my eye. I really like every thing I’ve realized concerning the firm to this point and I’m actually excited for this chance.”

8. Inform me a few mistake you made and what you realized from it.

Everybody makes errors, however not everybody learns from them. The interviewer desires to see that you just be taught out of your errors and develop from them.

Take into consideration widespread errors that engineers make. Ever ran a question that worn out an necessary a part of the database? How about messing up a merge battle, or drive pushing one thing to the grasp department?

Instance: “Earlier in my profession, I used to be tasked with designing an answer to a characteristic that was wanted for a buyer mission. I put collectively the design and met with the methods engineering group and my result in current the design, and everybody agreed to go ahead with it.

Nevertheless, as soon as I offered the design to the shopper, they identified some flaws within the design and we realized there was a misunderstanding of the necessities. The massive subject was that we had already used up the entire time that was estimated for the design process, so we had been in peril of getting not on time with the event.

To treatment the scenario, I ended up working some extra time hours to place collectively a brand new design that might meet the necessities and resolve the problems identified by the shopper. I used to be in a position to rapidly put collectively a brand new design over the weekend and current it to the shopper the next week. The brand new design was authorised, and we had been in a position to get began on the event work on schedule.

I realized a beneficial lesson right here in that I ought to have gotten the shopper concerned within the design early on and iteratively as wanted. If I had carried out that on this scenario, I might have been in a position to catch the problems earlier and never on the final minute, which led me to overwork myself that week.”

Thanks for studying! I hope this may assist a few of you together with your interview preparation and need you all of the luck together with your job search.

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