Once you graduate from coding bootcamp, it’ll be time to begin your job search. Like many coding jobs, front end web development positions often require rigorous interviews, and you’ll need to know how to prepare. Before we get into the details, it’s worth noting that coding jobs often include more than just your typical ‘why are you a good fit for the company’ routine. While that is important (you need to make a good impression), you may also have to demonstrate your skills to your prospective employer. In this article, we’ll cover three common front end developer interview questions, along with some tips and tricks to get you through the process. The purpose of this article isn’t necessarily to give you the answers—instead, we aim to give you an idea of what to study and expect from an interview.
Coding Challenges: A Necessary Evil
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Employers often give new developers coding challenges to test their skills. Each company will give a different challenge, and some are harder than others; however, an experienced and savvy web developer should be able to get through it.
While it’s necessary to demonstrate your qualifications to employers, we do have a brief warning for you regarding coding challenges. Occasionally, companies may try to use your expertise for free—giving you a complex problem to solve, then passing over you to the next applicant. Some companies have been caught using the code from these challenges in their software, despite never having hired the individual who wrote it. Thankfully, this sort of bad practice doesn’t occur often, but it’s something all new developers should be aware of.
Anyway, on to the meat of the matter. Here are three common front end developer interview questions and challenges.
CSS Questions and Challenges
If you’re out looking for a front end development job, you certainly have an in-depth understanding of CSS by now. It’s quite common for hiring managers to present CSS-based challenges to new applicants, and we’ll take a look at two examples to give you a better idea of what to expect. Though every company is different, many new web development employees report questions similar to these.
Companies often appreciate experience using Mixin blocks, as they save an enormous amount of time. Remember, it’s all about efficiency!
If you don’t already know what Mixin is, here’s a short description: it’s a block of grouped CSS declarations that you can reuse throughout the site. It’s easy to use, too—simply write @include, then the Mixin name, and a semicolon.
Another common topic that comes up in the interview process is CSS rules. You’ll be asked to explain them and possibly demonstrate how to use them. You may be presented with a stylesheet and an opportunity to showcase your ability to follow it.
This is a classic challenge that takes a little effort to get right. A palindrome is a word that reads the same in both directions, such as ‘mom’ and ‘racecar.’ The aim of the challenge is to reverse the string and return a ‘true’ value if you have a palindrome, and return a ‘false’ value if you don’t.
Find the Vowels
This challenge is just as straightforward as it is entertaining, but it’s still a very common front end developer interview question. The objective is simple: write a function to return the count of vowels in the input word. You can probably figure this one out on your own, but you can find plenty of examples online.
Front End Developer Interview Question Tips
There’s usually no way to find out what questions or challenges you’ll encounter prior to the interview, so don’t stress about it too much. Before you arrive, there are a few great ways to get ahead of the game. You can try out all these challenges on your own and practice thinking on your feet. In many cases, hiring managers allow applicants to take the challenge home if it’s complicated, so you’ll have ample opportunity to work it out. Here are our final few tips for nailing the rest of your interview.
- Research the company: Don’t show up to the interview knowing nothing about your prospective employer. It’s always important to know as much as you can about the company and the position you’re applying for.
- Dress the Part: Tech companies have a reputation for casual attire and a laid-back attitude towards old-school workplace technicalities, which isn’t entirely undeserved; however, it’s still important to do your best to look professional during the interview (unless specifically told otherwise).
- Present a Professional Portfolio and Resume: Make sure your resume and portfolio are organized, relevant, and presentable. This is your best chance aside from the interview itself to demonstrate your qualifications. Take the time to choose relevant projects, and always check your resume and cover letter for errors.
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