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Senior Software Engineer interview questions and answers

These sample Senior Software Engineer interview questions can help you assess candidates’ technical skills. Feel free to modify these questions to meet your specific needs.

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senior software engineer interview questions

Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Senior Software Engineers participate in the full software development lifecycle to provide technological solutions and maintain effective operating systems. They’re also responsible for managing a team of Software Engineers.

As with all technical roles, a written assignment can give you insight into candidates’ coding skills. These assignments will provide good talking points during your interviews and will help you understand how candidates approach and solve problems. Include questions that reveal candidates’ knowledge of software and specific frameworks you use.

Beyond a technical background, this role requires team management skills. Keep an eye out for candidates who are comfortable making difficult decisions and can effectively delegate tasks to their team members. Past experience will show you how candidates manage technical projects end-to-end on tight deadlines and budgets, while keeping their teams motivated.

Operational and Situational questions

  • If a very talented Software Engineer on your team kept questioning your decisions, what would you do? How would you address the individual?
  • What techniques would you choose to motivate disengaged employees?
  • How would you deal with disagreements related to system requirements between senior managers?
  • What advice would you give to a new team member? What’s the best way to onboard a new hire?
  • How would you negotiate a bigger budget for your team?

Role-specific questions

  • How regularly do you schedule meetings with your team members?
  • What metrics do you use to monitor your team’s performance?
  • What are the first things you would check in a legacy system that has frequent downtime?
  • What are some alternate ways to store data other than a relational database and when would you choose to use them?
  • What are the pros and cons of cloud systems?
  • What tests do you perform before deployment of a new system or feature?
  • What software configuration management tools are you familiar working with?
  • What tools and techniques do you use when reviewing someone else’s code? Where do you put most of your focus?

Behavioral questions

  • Have you ever identified a potential problem and proactively implemented a software solution?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with changes in technology? For example, do you ever attend seminars or contribute to open source software projects?
  • What’s your biggest professional success so far? Why?
  • Do you prefer giving team-wide or individual feedback? In which cases do you choose either method?
  • What would you help you become a better manager?

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