Top 21 Software Engineer Interview Questions in 2021 [with Answers]

Software engineers are known for grabbing some of the highest paying jobs in the world. The IT industry is booming since the last few years and it will still grow rapidly in the next few years. So, software engineers will be the primary demand of the industry.

The big tech or IT companies like Google, Amazon, Infosys, etc are known for carrying out some of the toughest interview rounds in the world. So, grabing a job in those companies isn’t a walk in the park. Being on your peak of preparation is very essential if you wish to crack these interviews.

Qualities of a Good Software Engineer

1. Good problem-solving ability

This is the most important quality that a recruiter looks for while hiring a software engineer. You should have a positive approach towards any problem and should be able to work logically to solve those problems. Debugging of code or program is the most common work for a software engineer which requires excellent problem solving skills

2. Good interpersonal skills

Most of the software companies are multinational and are known for working with big clients. So, having good interpersonal skills will prove you as an asset for the company. Good interpersonal skills have great hand in personality development. May it be client meeting, presentation or anything, interpersonal skills are essential.

3. Time management

As a software engineer you are required to stick to the deadlines when it comes to any assignment or project. So your time management skills are the key aspects to help you maintain a good work life balance.

4. Leadership skills

Leadership skills include not only leading a team but also being a team player. Most of the time you will be working with your colleague on projects and assignment. Your leadership skills can help you to do the work without any mis-management

5. Adaptability

Adapting to any situation and handling any problem is what a recruiter expects from you while hiring. This helps you to keep up with all the technological and social changes around you. This ultimately increases the productivity.

Top 21 Software Engineer Interview Questions

1. Why do you want to work with us? Have you used our products?

This question is to check your passion towards the company. Read about the companies achievement, ongoing projects to use it as reference for these answers. You can also use the employee testimonies as your reference.

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2. Do you have any personal project? Tell me about them.

If you have any personal project then try to explain it in brief. Try to highlight how you solved some of the problems that you faced while doing your project and how you solved it. If you don’t have any project please do not bluff.

3. Have you ever had a disagreement with your boss/manager. How did you react?

You should try to share a story where you disagreed with the you manager and you were right. This will reflect your competence and recruiter will gain more confidence in hiring you. You can also highlight your skills of negotiation and convincing a person. Try to be as professional as you can be while responding to this question.

4. Do you have any experience in competitive coding?

This question is asked to know if you enjoy coding and programming. If you have any experience then feel free to share that but if you don’t then assure them that you like to code and program by giving examples of some of your personal projects. There are many platforms like geeksforgeeks, Leetcode, codeforces ,etc that arrange competitive coding contests. This helps you to increase your time management skills.

5. What is difference between fixed and fluid layout?

This question is related to web designing. You could give a bit of a background related to responsive design before starting with the answer. Fluid designs use percentages as the relative indicator for width and fixed design use fixed pixed width. Fixed designs are less responsive and user friendly than fluid designs.

6. What is you process to test and debug an application?

Everyone has a decided logical process of debugging a software, code or a program. This makes it easy to debug. Explaining your process highlights yours organizational skills.

7. Which programming language do you use?

Knowing a programming language is the basis of becoming a software engineer. So, you should know atleast one programming language like C, C++, Java, R. Python is been used by many companies and is the most sought language today. The ore languages you know the more adaptable you will be.

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8. What is the software development life cycle(SDLC)?

SDLC is the process to produce software with highest quality and low price. It helps in developing, altering, maintaining and replacing the software systems efficiently.

9. How does an array differ from stack?

Array doesn’t have a fixed structure for adding and retrieving data but stack has a fixed last in and first out approach.This question is asked to test you knowledge of data structures and algorithm(DSA).

10. Do you have any project experience in html and CSS?

Html and CSS are used for web development. Web development and software development go hand in hand. So, having an experience with html and CSS for UI/UX design could be helpful.

11. What is black box and white box testing?

Both are software testing method. In black box testing the internal structure of the item being tested is not known while in white box testing  it is known.

12. How will you explain the concept of cloud computing to a non technical person?

Cloud computing means storing and accessing data over the internet. Instead of storing the data in your hard drives you store it in servers of cloud service providers like google,amazon, etc.

13. When do you consider a product to be finished?

I think the software product is never a finished product. Developing a software is a never ending process. It requires constant debugging and addition of new features even after the first release of the product.

14. What do you think is a role of software project manager?

This is one of the most common question asked in many interviews. Some of the common responsibilities of software project managers include tracking project progress, risk management, quality assurance, resource management, project planning, etc.

15. What is software configuration management?

This helps users to track the overall changes made in the software product delivery. It keeps records of the updates and changes in the software.

16. Can you name some project management tools?

Some of the project management tools are gaant charts, pert charts, MS project, etc. You could explain features of some individually if you want to make even better impression in front of your recruiter.

17. What is Data dictionary?

Data dictionary is used to store the information related to data ownership, name conventions of the object used in the program. It is also called metadata.

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18. Do you know what are CASE tools?

CASE tools stands for computer aided software engineering tools. It is a system software that supports software activities like debugging, result analysis, etc.

19. What are different challenges in a software?

The challenges in the software are:

i. Copying with legacy systems.

ii. Heterogeneity challenge.

iii. Delivery times challenge.

20. What is coupling?

Coupling is the degree of interdependence between two routines or modules.

21. What are benefits of smoke testing?

Benefits of smoke testings are:

i. Integration Risk is minimized.

ii. Quality of end-product is improved.

iii. Error diagnosis and Correction are simplified.

iv. Progress is easy to assess.