Looking for insightful Zoom interview questions to ask the next software engineer you hire?
Today, virtual interviews are the new normal. In a post-COVID world where social distancing and remote work are mainstream, Zoom has become a go-to virtual platform for any hiring manager looking to onboard talent.
Software engineers are no exception. With Statista reporting mindboggling increases in software market revenue between 2022 and 2025 alone, recruiters must find ways to bring software engineers on board their remote teams if they want to capitalize on a growing market.
That begs the question: what are the best Zoom interview questions must you ask software engineers to nail the right fit for your business?
Discover the answers in this recruiter’s guide as we break down each virtual interview question as well as the answers that top candidates for the job must provide to stand a chance at landing the job.
We’ve taken the liberty to group these questions into three clear categories to help you navigate them.
Let’s get right to it.
Software Engineering Zoom Interview Questions
Let’s kick things off by examining virtual questions that center around software engineering as a discipline for product creation.
These questions help hiring managers like you to test the candidate’s knowledge of software engineering. It also helps you single out the applicants who are most familiar with the intricacies of the field.
- What does the term ‘software engineering process’ mean to you, and what steps are involved?
This is a standard opening question recruiters use to get the ball rolling when interviewing potential software engineers.
Not only does it help to get the candidate’s feet wet before diving into more complicated questions, but it also gives the candidate a chance to talk about how they view their job. Since this question looks at the fundamentals of software engineering, it tells you how capable a candidate is from the start. This makes it easier to filter applicants from the get-go.
When answering this question, top candidates associate the software engineering process with the systems development life cycle (SDLC), also known as the application development life-cycle (ADLC). Software engineers use this framework to plan, create, test, and deploy both software and hardware configurations.
Credits: Big Water Consulting
Expect candidates to mention that the SDLC method comprises the following main phases:
Preliminary Analysis: This step involves defining the overarching problem and coming up with plausible solutions that remedy the problem.
Systems Analysis: This stage centers around determining end-user requirements, assessing the effectiveness of the existing technology put in place, and singling out the best solution to target the problem.
Systems Design: At this stage, software engineers qualify the kinds of features, requirements, and criteria that allow the implemented solution to flourish.
Development: At this point, software engineers write the code that brings life to the proposed solution.
Integration & Testing: Here, the software engineer brings together all of the system’s modules in a unique testing environment to gauge functionality and detect bugs.
Execution & Maintenance: Also known as the ‘deployment phase’, this step entails implementing the system and ensuring its upkeep throughout its lifecycle.
The best candidates are sure to reference the importance of an ‘Evaluation’ phase as an integral step in promoting an innovative work environment and culture during software engineering.
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2. What software design and analysis tools are you familiar with?
Once you’ve got a feel for the candidate’s understanding of software engineering, it’s time to segway into the tools they use to mockup and build software systems.
As a recruiter, if you already know the system that your company needs, then chances are you already know the design and analysis tools that work best for your specific system requirements. In such cases, this question helps you figure out whether the applicant knows the tools that are best suited for your system. That way, it’s easier to decide whether they’re the right fit for the job.
On the other hand, if you’re unsure about your company’s system requirements, then this question gives candidates a chance to prove that they know how to use the tools that work best for you.
Here is a list of the most common software design and analytics tools:
- Structured Charts
- Structured English
- Pseudo Code
- Data Flow Diagrams
- DFD Components
- Hierarchical Input Process Output Diagrams
- Data Dictionaries
- Entity Relationship
After mentioning two or more of these tools, the best candidates then follow up by stressing the need to match the tools they use with the specific type of system they must engineer.
- How do you assure software quality?
One way to follow up on a question related to design and development tools is to ask the candidate about how they practice software quality assurance.
As a recruiter, the last thing you want is to hire a software engineer who doesn’t have a quality control process in place to pinpoint possible bugs and fix them as they crop up.
Be sure to ask the software engineer to describe their quality control process and mention the tools they use to validate their development efforts.
Granted, most engineers tailor-make a quality assurance control process once they have become acquainted with the system they are building.
However, top candidates all make mention of the importance of this process in guaranteeing the asset’s success. These candidates also go on to reference a step-by-step framework for software quality assurance.
This framework encompasses the following:
- Technical audits and reviews
- System/system testing
- Error recording and analysis
- Change management
Programming Language Zoom Interview Questions
Programming languages are another must-discuss topic when conducting Zoom interviews for software engineers.
Let’s dive into some of the most revealing questions that hiring managers should ask prospective software engineers.
- What programming languages are you most comfortable using?
This question is a dealbreaker for most hiring managers. The response that candidates provide either convinces you that they are the right fit for the job, or confirms that you must interview another engineer for the job.
While responses vary, there are a few common programming languages that most software engineers are familiar with:
The best candidates are honest and upfront about their knowledge of programming languages. They do not set false expectations about their capabilities nor do they try to take you for a ride.
2. How do you make sure that your code handles various error situations?
From time to time, you encounter applicants who try to fool recruiters into believing that they know what they’re talking about.
However, this question is a subtle indication to applicants that you as a recruiter understand the complexities of software engineering and that you’re looking for someone serious.
The best candidates know that the best solution is to write tests that define those error situations.
That way, your code has an appropriate response for any possible error that crops up once the system engineering process is complete.
3. What do you think of software engineers who use catch?
‘Catch’, also known as ‘exception’ is a keyword that represents coding errors or exceptions that crop up during a program’s execution.
Some software engineers utilize ‘catch’ to identify errors. However, that is not a recommendable practice for two reasons:
- Since you haven’t defined the variable, you won’t have the option to decipher the exception.
- Exceptions are best when you know the exception type.
Top software engineer candidates know this. For that reason, they reject ‘catch’ unless they know the type of exception they’re working with.
Management Zoom Interview Questions
Now that we’ve examined the technical aspects of software engineering, let’s wrap up this guide by taking a look at some management-related questions you must ask candidates in your interview.
- Do you have any difficulties working independently or with minimum guidance?
This question is ideal for candidates since the role of a software engineer demands a higher level of independence, autonomy, and initiative than other types of positions in systems engineering.
The most ideal candidates are self-sufficient professionals who do not struggle to take the reigns of a problem and work towards meeting a goal with little-to-no supervision. They do, however, state how important it is to maintain healthy communication within the team to set reasonable expectations at every step of the engineering process.
2. Was there a time when you struggled to meet a deadline?
Setbacks are a fundamental aspect of the engineering process. No matter how much a software engineer plans and predicts possible curveballs that crop up, some things are impossible to foresee.
Those candidates who have faced setbacks on the job understand how important it is to communicate these challenges to their superiors.
Doing so helps to accelerate the speed at which the candidate eliminates roadblocks and gets back on track to delivering the software. Top candidates are sure to speak about the importance of guaranteeing transparency with the team when facing these challenges.
3. How do you cope with multiple competing priorities?
At times during the software engineering process, software engineers have to juggle multiple priorities at all once.
Recruiters who ask this question understand how vital proper management of these priorities is for the success of the engineered system.
The best candidates know how to gauge their priorities and manage each one without allowing the others to get in the way of each other. Don’t be surprised if these candidates tell you an anecdote or personal story about how they managed multiple priorities at once.
Zoom Software Engineer Questions: Key Takeaways
Hiring a software engineer is no easy task.
This guide provides you with some of the best questions that you must ask candidates to find top talent that’s right for your needs.
Be sure to go over the answers we’ve provided to help you sift through candidates and land the right professional for you.
Jobheron is here to help you find those candidates in record time and onboard them as part of your software engineering team.
Our innovative talent scouting solutions and job posting strategies allow us to maximize the reach of your job ads and secure the talent you need to succeed.
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