The Entry-Level Front-End Developer Interview Is No Joke, But These Tips Will Help You Ace It!
So you want to be a front-end web developer but don’t know how to ace an entry level interview. You’re definitely not the only one. Front-end development roles are certainly booming, so the chances of scoring an interview are hopefully quite decent.
But what does a front-end developer interview look like? I hate to tell you, but the application process is pretty intense. But I’ve done my research and can tell you what to expect.
A Typical Entry Level Front-End Developer Interview
- Coding test
- Screening interview
- Second interview
Although this doesn’t look too crazy, when you break down each of these stages you’ll see why I’m scared for you.
The Coding Test
It could happen anywhere… at any time… but one day the coding test is going to come for you...
Joking, obviously. But I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.
Your prospective employer is all but guaranteed to send you a coding test. A standard thing in the tech industry, coding tests can be anything from a nightmare to a walk in the park.
Expect to be sent a timed HackerRank-style challenge, where you’re tasked with writing a small sample of code. This might sound simple, but nerves can really mess you up in a test like this.
The Screening Interview
Your first interview should actually be a lot easier than the coding test. Shockingly enough, front-end developers usually have to answer the same old interview questions.
- Why did you apply to this company?
- Why did you apply for this role?
- Do you work well in a team?
- What project are you most proud of?
- Tell us about yourself.
Be sure to prepare some questions for your interviewers, too. I like to ask:
- What are the progression opportunities in this position?
- What are the long-term goals for this role?
- Is there anything you need me to clarify or explain from my CV or answers today?
Although your interview could look like any-old conversation in the beginning, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be some curveballs in there. Specifically a white board test or a mock-up.
The White Board Test
If you sit down in front of your employer and see a whiteboard with a pen in front of you like you’re in a high school maths class – try not to panic! This is a really common thing. Your interviewer will talk you through a problem and you will need to work through your solution on the whiteboard.
Don’t worry – it won’t be something incredibly difficult. All you need to do is have a good crack at it, talk through your process and ask as many questions as you can until you have the information you need to figure it out.
If you’re coming to the end of your first interview and your practical skills haven’t been tested yet, look out! A mock-up is probably coming!
This test is where you have to create a fake (or ‘mock’) part of a website using your development skills. You’ll have to write a decent bit of code, but if you’ve made it this far that should be a breeze.
The Second Interview
Now you’re going to really go under the microscope. Depending on your interviewer, all of the difficult technical know-how questions could be left for the final interview. So be sure to know your stuff.
Alongside being prepared to speak about industry developments and different frameworks, prepare for the usual questions too.
- What role do you normally hold in a team?
- How have you overcome challenges in the past?
- Why are you perfect for this role?
- What’s your biggest weakness?
Be sure to have some more questions prepared. I like to use:
- How would you describe the work environment? Is it more independent or collaborative?
- How big is the team?
How to Prepare
If you’ve read through all of that and you still want to go through with becoming a front-end developer, you’re very brave. And this confidence is something that will help you ace your entry level interview.
Be sure to practice completing coding tests and thinking on your feet. Take a free developer training course to ensure that your essential skills are fresh in the front of your mind.
- Research the company and role well.
- Prepare answers for standard interview questions.
- Have your questions for interviewers ready.
- Sleep well the night before, have a shower and put on some smart clothes.
- Be confident. Remember that interviews are just conversations you have in smart clothes. Your interviewer is probably looking for a nice personality just as much as they are looking for technical skills and professionalism.
- Send a thank you email after the interview with a thoughtful comment about something you discussed. Add a link to a piece of your work that you mentioned too and the interviewer will gobble it right up.
Now that you’re all ready for your entry level front-end developer interview, sign up to DigitalGrads. Not only to we have a training course that’s built to help you ace this interview, we also have a unique tech jobs board. Apply to one of our developer roles today to ensure that you’ve got your backup job sorted, in case you turn up to this interview with your shirt on inside out or something.