When hiring a front end engineer, interviewers typically look for in-depth knowledge of HTML5, an understanding of key website design principles, testing and debugging skills and advanced problem-solving skills. Apart from above skills, candidates should also have a user-focused mindset and experience in implementing usability and accessibility standards.
Interviewers generally ask for the following interview questions to get a better sense of a candidate’s front end development skills and experience.
How do you ensure that your website design or web application is accessible and user-friendly?
Front end engineers need a strong grasp of usability and accessibility when they’re designing experiences for end-users. This question provides the interviewer insight into the candidate’s knowledge of these standards and best practices. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. Applicant's first-hand experience in implementing usability and accessibility standards
2. A drive to create a web experience that’s accessible to all end users
3. Ways that the applicant has implemented usability and accessibility in their previous projects
What are your favorite features of HTML5, and how have you implemented them in your front end development projects?
Front end engineers spend a lot of time using HTML5 when they’re putting together web designs and have access to a wide range of features that can save development time and improve the end product. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. In-depth knowledge of HTML5 features
2. Clear explanation of how the applicant used HTML5 in past projects
3. Creative usage of HTML5 features
Front end engineers often work on code created by previous employees or operate as part of a team. This question provides the interviewer an idea of whether the candidate can create websites or web applications that will be understandable by other employees. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. Experience with code organization and code commenting
2. First-hand knowledge of what happens when code isn’t commented appropriately
3. A willingness to make things easier for other development teams
Can you explain the concept of a CSS float and provide an example of its usage?
This technical question provides the interviewer with an idea on the applicant's understanding of a common CSS element. Interviewers ask this question to screen the applicant and ensure that they’re more than acquainted with CSS. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. A concrete definition of CSS floats
2. Examples of how the applicant uses this element in their code
3. Confidence in explaining this technical concept to any audience
What’s your process for addressing browser-specific rendering problems? Do you find that a certain browser is more challenging to work with than others?
Front end engineers have to introduce browser-specific hacks into web applications and pages due to the way each application handles rendering. This common process should be a familiar one to the candidate. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. Examples of browser-specific workarounds
2. Understanding of how browsers render apps and pages
3. Knowledge of troubleshooting browser-specific problems
What resources do you use to learn about the latest in front end development and design?
Technology and standards change constantly in front end development. Applicants who have an “always learn” mindset can learn new ways to improve the development process and improve the experience for end users. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. Examples of publications the applicant reads
2. Participation in open source or personal front end development projects
3. Enrolment in continuing education workshops or online courses
What are your favorite types of front end development projects to work on? What do you like about them?
This question gives the interviewer insight into personal preferences of the candidate. Some applicants may prefer to only work on website projects, while others enjoy being involved in web application teams more. Here, the interviewer is looking for:
1. A strong opinion on their favorite types of development
2. Enthusiasm for the project types they describe
3. Examples of their favorite front end development projects
What do you think are the most important aesthetic aspects of a webpage and why?
Front end engineers need to be able to balance creative design with the technical skill involved in creating a website. They have to think about what makes a website most appealing to visitors while still maintaining functionality. Front end engineers can have different opinions on how to create an impactful design, but they should be able to explain the creative process and the reasoning behind their aesthetic choices. Some of the elements of an excellent answer may include:
1. Example of webpage elements
2. Discussion of personal style choices
3. User-focused mindset
Front end interviews can be stressful! There are infinite things to learn. I always recommend people study but be sure to study at a healthy pace. Set realistic goals and a time limit when you'll start applying for jobs. If possible, always practice with real tools like a whiteboard or the hackerrank editor. Practice not only solving problems but learning to talk while you code. Remember, don't rush into coding! Ask questions until you fully understand the problem. Also, keep in mind you can fail a question and still get an offer! Just do your best, communicate what you can, and stay open to any feedback from the interviewer. Good luck!