CodeSubmit Interview Series

The 11 Top Senior Developer Interview Questions in 2023

What do you look for in a senior developer? If you’re looking for interview questions to use in your hiring process, look no further. These senior developer interview questions will help you identify the right developer for your team. Read on!

Interviewing senior developers 

Senior developers have 10+ years of experience and their technical skills are typically very advanced. In addition to programming, they’ll take on other responsibilities too, such as mentoring and leading the development team. You’ll likely want to ask at least a few questions on how they help their teammates perform better. 

Other than that, senior developers should, among others, be able to work independently without much supervision, take the lead on projects, create and maintain relevant processes, transform business needs into technical specifications, and manage project timelines and priorities. 

Here below, you’ll get the 10 best senior developer interview questions to ask. 

Senior developer interview questions

Here below are some of the best interview questions to ask senior developers. Whereas you likely want to get some sort of understanding of candidates’ technical ability, remember that a coding test is the best way to figure that out. Primarily, you’ll want to understand how your candidates would lead a team and mentor others. 

1. What are your preferred languages and why? 


Depending on your company needs, you’ll be looking for candidates with knowledge of specific programming languages. Plus, developers should understand the business case of your language/framework. What are the benefits and drawbacks? Some of the most popular languages include JavaScriptPythonJava, and TypeScript

2. How do you measure a team’s performance? 


Results tracking is key for well-performing teams. Look for how your candidates: 

  • Measure KPIs

  • Set their priorities

  • Ensure that KPIs are met 

  • Understand why KPIs weren’t met 

3. What does your quality control process look like for developing software? 


Quality control processes are key for a well-executed programming project. Small errors can have a big impact and you don’t want to go around fixing code all the time. What does a candidate’s quality control process look like? And what tools do they use to test results? 

4. Tell me about a time when your team failed to deliver on expectations. What steps did you take afterward? And what did you learn?


The senior developer you end up hiring should have good management skills. While most teams will make mistakes and perform worse than expectations, there are always lessons to be learned from these situations. And there are always ways to improve. Can candidates communicate how they work through these types of situations? 

5. What does your process for scaling systems look like? 


You’d look for a specific example of how they scaled systems. For instance:

“In my last position, I implemented scaling methods to streamline our customer service functionalities. We looked at various factors, such as databases and message queues, which helped us decide on AWS to organize and manage ongoing customer communication. As a result, we were able to cut down answer times by 24%.”

6. What graphs and instruments do you use to ensure high performance? 


Performance and debugging instrumentation need to be added to the code and graphs will need to be created. Your candidates need to know which graphs they’ll use to monitor the health of the system. 

And to see how your candidates would investigate problems and proactively monitor and detect problems, ask which graphs are useful to see if the system is responding slowly. 

7. Explain how you refactor classes for easier unit testing.


How do your candidates make decisions early on to improve performance and reduce technical debts? For instance, the candidate might deconstruct multiple classes into different groupings and responsibilities for team members to implement. 

8. What are the features of an interface? 


An interface is a template, which contains the signature of methods with numbers, types, and orders of parameters. Interfaces can’t be implemented on their own because they contain method definitions but lack a method body; however, they can be derived from more than one interface. 

Interface features include the definition of a specific set of methods and their arguments, the implementation of multiple inheritances in code, the declaration of variables as public, static, and final, the declaration of methods as public and abstract, and the implementation of all methods of the class. 

9. Explain sharding strategies for Postgres or MariaDB/MySQL time series and geographical databases. 


Sharding is an important component for large web services and understanding how candidates would design sharding with time series and geographical data gives you an understanding of how analytical they are and how they approach problems.

10. How do you respond if someone on the team questions your decision? 


A good team member/manager is open to hearing other people’s feedback. Are they receptive to other people’s ideas? Or not so much? That’s what this question will assess.

11. What is the software development life cycle? Why is it important? 


Software Development Life Cycle is used to produce high-quality software in a short time and with specific steps to develop, launch, and maintain software.  

Typically, there are seven phases in a Software Development Life Cycle, depending on the methodology a team uses (Waterfall or Agile): 

  • Planning

  • Requirements

  • Design

  • Software

  • Development

  • Testing

  • Deployment

  • Maintenance 

Over to you!

There you have it. These are the top senior developer interview questions. 

Senior developers need, apart from solid technical skills, leadership skills so that they can support the rest of your team and help them thrive. In your interviews, focus on understanding both. And to get an even better understanding of your candidates’ technical skills, use technical coding assignments.

At CodeSubmit, we offer different types of coding tests that work for all seniority levels. You can either upload your own assignment or choose one from our library. We also support 60+ languages and frameworks. 

Try our coding tests for free here. (No credit card required.)