Let’s face it, interviews are one of the most important parts of landing a job in technology. While it’s not impossible to overcome bad first impressions and subpar interviews, it’s extremely difficult.
Instead, wouldn’t it be better to master the interview process so you don’t even have to worry about it? This post will discuss common interview questions for Python and Java, as well as highlighting differences in the way candidates are tested on their knowledge of these languages.
This will be just one more piece in the puzzle of getting you into one of the best careers of 2019!
What Are Common Python Interview Questions?
Let’s look at a couple of questions seen in Python interviews. In theory you could be asked almost anything, but in practice there’s a limited pool of question types interviewers tend to ask.
- Q: How are lists and tuples different in Python?
A: Lists are slower than tuples and mutable, and they use brackets instead of parentheses.
- Q: What does it mean to say that Python is an interpreted language?
A: It means that Python isn’t compiled, and instead executes code line-by-line at runtime.
- Q: What’s the difference between global and local variables in Python?
A: A global variable is one that’s declared outside a function and accessible by the whole program, a local variable is one that lives in a function and is only active there.
These questions are entirely software-related, and require an understanding of how Python handles variables and basic data structures.
What Are Common Java Interview Questions?
Now, let’s repeat this process and examine some questions that come up in Java interviews.
- Q: How is Java platform-independent?
A: Java compiles down to a byte code that is executable on any hardware system.
- Q: Why is Java not totally object-oriented?
A: Java contains a number of primitive data types which don’t act like standard objects in object-oriented programming.
- Q: Provide one difference between heap and stack memory in Java.
A: Stack memory is only accessible by one thread, while anything stored in heap memory is accessible by anything in an application.
You can see that these are more likely to focus on hardware and distinctive features of Java.
How Are Python and Java Interviews Different?
To repeat: you could in principle encounter almost any question in an interview for either Java or Python, but hopefully seeing a couple of standard questions for each gives you some sense of what you can expect.
By and large, interview questions are going to challenge you to demonstrate a basic proficiency with the language, and may push into deeper topics like the mechanism which makes Java platform-independent.
For practice I recommend solving as many problems as possible through both whiteboarding and pair programming. Both are popular vehicles for assessing the abilities of potential candidates.