Let’s be honest — finding a web developer who’s the complete package is tough. You want top-notch technical skills, an eye for design and a focus on security. However, you also need someone who can work well with your team and break down complex ideas for nontechnical colleagues. These 16 interview questions can help you find that gem. 

1. What was your favorite project, and how did you approach it?

This web developer interview question does more than reveal how a candidate works. It can also show you what truly excites them about their profession. To see what makes them passionate, listen to how they describe a project they’re especially proud of. Focus on the challenges they faced, the solutions they came up with and how they worked with others (like quality assurance or users) throughout the project.

2. How do you advocate for UI/UX changes with nontechnical team members?

This question assesses how well a candidate can explain and justify UI/UX modifications to nontechnical colleagues by linking these changes to clear business or user benefits. Look for answers that show clear communication, the use of persuasive evidence like user data or visual aids, and the ability to collaborate and incorporate feedback from team members across departments.

3. How would you explain other concepts like (see list below) to a colleague with no tech background?

Your newly hired web developer must interact effectively with their nontechie colleagues in departments like sales and marketing. Test their ability to communicate in jargon-free language on topics such as:

  • MVC (model, view, controller)
  • Responsive design
  • Commonly used cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure
  • Web accessibility
  • Content delivery networks
  • Microservices architecture
  • Progressive web apps

4. Name a website or app that annoys you. What’s wrong with it?

This web developer interview question gauges the candidate’s level of interest in good web design and their problem-solving abilities. A good answer is one where the candidate does more than just gripe about someone else’s work. Skilled web developers will offer real solutions to practical issues, such as how to improve load times or optimize the user experience.

5. Describe your process for debugging a complex application issue. Can you give an example?

How does a candidate approach problem-solving in critical situations, and what is their methodology for addressing software bugs? Listen for a systematic approach to identifying, isolating and resolving errors. Strong answers should include specific steps they take, tools they use and an example of a past debugging challenge they successfully managed.

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6. How do you handle constructive feedback during code reviews?

Web developers constantly receive feedback, from code reviews to user comments. This feedback can sometimes be challenging to process. This question helps you understand how a candidate handles constructive criticism and acts on it to make improvements. Pay attention to how they describe their process — do they see feedback as a valuable tool for growth?

7. How did you handle it when you were unfairly blamed for an error?

This is a challenging question for a web developer, but it’s a good way of assessing the candidate’s attitude toward teamwork. If an interviewee is quick to throw colleagues under the bus, that’s a red flag. You want to hire a diplomatic web developer who doesn’t get frustrated quickly and will work toward a solution.

8. How do you ensure your web applications adhere to accessibility standards?

Designing for accessibility is essential in creating a web that works for everyone. This web developer interview question helps you determine whether a candidate understands those needs and has a straightforward process for making their applications inclusive. Look for specific techniques they employ, such as mentioning ARIA roles, testing with diverse users and tools for checking accessibility. Also, pay attention to whether they can share real-world examples of how they improved accessibility in a past project. This demonstrates that they can successfully put theory into practice.

9. What personal or open-source projects are you currently working on?

This question helps you discover if a candidate is genuinely passionate about coding beyond just their day job. Listen for specifics about the kinds of projects they work on, what they actually do in those projects, and how their work helps the project or broader coding community. Strong answers will show off their technical skills, how they work with others, and a sense of self-driven initiative

10. What APIs have you worked with?

This question helps you gauge a candidate’s practical experience with APIs and how up to date their knowledge is. Listen for them to talk about specific types of APIs they’ve used (like RESTful or GraphQL) and whether those projects were simple or complex. Strong answers will include real-world examples, the challenges faced during integration and how the candidate solved those problems.

11. What excites you about the future of web development?

This is an open-ended question, and candidates may talk about technologies like Web3, advances in AI, 5G and edge computing, the metaverse or other hot topics. You can follow up on this question by asking how the candidate hopes to develop their skills. This can lead to a conversation about your company’s professional development program, which can help you and the candidate set long-term expectations about working together.

12. Can you describe a project where you integrated AI or machine learning technologies into a web application?

This web developer interview question helps you dig into a candidate’s real-world experience using AI in web development. Listen for them to name specific technologies — think TensorFlow for machine learning or OpenAI’s GPT for natural language prompting. Pay attention to how they built these AI tools into their project, along with any technical issues or user-experience challenges they had to solve. Ultimately, you want to see how using AI made the end product better for users. Experience in headless or decoupled CMS sends a strong signal that the candidate has advanced web development skills.

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

Mobile-friendly design is essential for all web projects. Over half of all web traffic is delivered on mobile, and Google search rankings favor websites optimized for phones and tablets. A suitable candidate for the web developer role should know how to optimize for all platforms. They also should be able to sound off on crucial differences, such as screen size, touch input, limited multitasking and the variation in browser plug-ins.

14. Here’s a snippet of code. Please review it and suggest improvements or find errors.

Present a piece of code (ideally using a modern stack like a React component or a Python script with Flask) that contains deliberate errors or areas for improvement. This effectively tests a candidate’s debugging and code optimization skills, revealing their technical acumen and problem-solving approach. Ask them to walk you through their thought process as they work, offering valuable insight into how they tackle coding challenges.

15. Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines on the job?

Web development is highly deadline-driven, and the pressure to deliver a high-quality project on time and on budget can be intense. This type of open-ended interview question about deadline management can provide insight into how the candidate handles stress on the job, how they schedule their time and what their general work ethic is like. Encourage the candidate to share examples of how they have overcome obstacles in the past to meet critical project deadlines.

16. How do you stay updated with the latest web development technologies and practices?

It’s vital to know how a candidate keeps up with the ever-changing world of web development. Listen for the specific things they do to stay sharp — do they read popular tech blogs, join online developer communities, go to conferences or contribute to open-source projects, for example? Strong answers will show that they’re proactive about learning and committed to keeping their skills at the cutting edge.

Asking these web developer interview questions should help you identify candidates with impressive technical skills and strong interpersonal qualities — exactly what you need to help your company deliver a top-class digital experience.

Check out the articles below to help you prepare for interviewing tech job candidates, and contact Robert Half if you’re ready to stop searching and start hiring.