Back-end Developer Interview Questions

The goal of a successful interview for a back-end developer is to assess the candidate's understanding of programming languages and technologies commonly used in back-end development. Specifically, the interviewer wants to evaluate the candidate's ability to design and implement efficient and scalable back-end systems, troubleshoot issues, write clean and maintainable code, and collaborate effectively with the front-end development team.

Want to Unlock the Secrets of Job Interviews?
Conducting job interviews is a critical task that requires preparation, structure, and a clear understanding of what you are looking for in a candidate.
Start evaluating candidates

Situational interview questions

  • You're tasked with optimizing a database that queries slowly in your web application. How would you go about identifying the bottlenecks and implementing solutions to improve database performance?
  • One of the server instances in your web application unexpectedly crashes and starts returning 500 Internal Server Error statuses. How would you go about troubleshooting and identifying the root cause of the issue?
  • You discover a security vulnerability in the authentication system for your web application. Describe how you would go about identifying the vulnerability, and propose a solution to fix the issue.
  • You're tasked with integrating a new third-party API into your web application. How would you assess the API's documentation and test its functionality to ensure reliable integration?
  • Your company's data privacy policies require the encryption of sensitive data transmitted between server instances. Describe how you would implement secure communication channels in your web application to meet these requirements.

Soft skills interview questions

  • How do you approach problem-solving and decision-making in your work as a back-end developer?
  • Can you give an example of a time when you had to collaborate with team members on a project and how you ensured effective communication and cooperation?
  • How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively to meet project deadlines?
  • Can you discuss a project where you had to implement a creative solution to a problem and the thought process behind your approach?
  • How do you handle difficult situations or conflicts that arise during a project, such as working with a difficult team member or encountering unexpected roadblocks?

Role-specific interview questions

  • What is your experience working with databases like MySQL, Oracle, or MongoDB?
  • Can you explain the process and steps you use to optimize website and server performance?
  • How would you secure a web application from SQL injection attacks or other types of security vulnerabilities?
  • Can you walk me through your experience with RESTful APIs? How have you implemented them in your previous projects?
  • Can you explain the most challenging problem you faced while working on the back-end of a website/application, how did you solve it, and what did you learn from it?

STAR interview questions

1. Can you walk us through a situation in which you faced a particularly challenging bug in the system you were developing as a Back-end Developer?

- What was your task in that situation?

- What steps did you take to identify and solve the issue?

- How did your actions contribute to the end result?

2. Have you ever implemented a new database system for a project?

- What was the current situation with the old system?

- What was your task in implementing the new system?

- What actions did you take to design and build the new database?

- What was the result of your work, and how did it impact the project?

3. Tell us about a situation in which you had to optimize an API endpoint for better performance?

- What was your task in this situation?

- What were the factors affecting the API endpoint's performance?

- What steps did you take to optimize the code?

- What was the result, and how did it improve overall system performance?

4. Have you ever worked on integrating multiple systems together?

- What was the situation that required integration?

- What were your tasks in integrating the systems?

- Briefly describe what actions you took to achieve integration.

- What was the result of your work, and how did it impact the project?

5. Have you ever faced a situation where there were competing priorities in the project that caused some challenges?

- What was the situation, and what were the competing priorities?

- What was your task, and what actions did you take to manage the situation?

- What was the result of your actions, and how did it impact the project?

Do you use a modern recruitment software? If not, you're missing out. See how your life can be easier. Start your free 14-day TalentLyft trial.

Start my free trial