So you’re interviewing and looking to hire a great Node.js developer. Somebody who really gets Node.js and can create high-quality code. You know the competition for top candidates is fierce, which is why you want to make sure you’re hiring the right person.
When you go to interview a Node.js candidate, you’ll want to cover all your bases. Finding the perfect fit for your company not only involves the right personality and goals but also skills. If you’re not sure how to determine whether a candidate has the first-rate skills you’re looking for, you should use the interview as an opportunity to probe the candidates’ current skills and future potential.
To help your Node.js interview run smoothly, check out these personal, theoretical and practical Node.js questions that you can ask any candidate to better understand his/her strengths and weaknesses as a programmer.
Personal Interview Questions
Studies on effective interviews suggest that starting with personal information can help the candidate feel comfortable and act more like him/herself. Even if you’re anxious to get into the technical nitty-gritty, warm up your candidate with personal questions.
Finding out more about your candidate’s personality and communication style is a key aspect of being a successful programmer. You can ask questions such as:
- Tell me about a challenge you faced at work and how you resolved it.
- Can you give me an example of your leadership skills?
- Have you ever disagreed with your manager’s decision? When?
- How do you handle stress or high pressure?
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake.
- What do you like to do outside of work?
Once you’ve wrapped up the personal questions, it’s time to get into the technical stuff.
Theoretical Interview Questions
Next, you’ll want to talk with the candidate about Node.js and how it works. If you notice there’s a gap in theoretical knowledge, it may not be the end of the world for this candidate. However, these questions can help see how the candidate thinks and solves problems within the parameters of Node.js. No matter what, these questions will let you see the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some top theoretical questions to ask:
- Why use Node.js? What are the benefits?
- Why is Node.js single-threaded?
- How do you update NPM to a new version in Node.js?
- What is callback hell in Node.js?
- How do you ensure consistent style in Node?
- How can you secure your HTTP cookies against XSS attacks?
- Why should the Express ‘app’ and ‘server’ be kept separate?
- API functions.
- DNS module.
- LTS releases.
- Blocking code.
- Test pyramid.
- Reactor pattern.
- Child processes.
What is the difference between…?
- Node.js and Ajax.
- SetImmediate() and setTimeout().
- ReadFile and createReadStream.
- Asynchronous and non-blocking.
- Global and local installation of dependencies.
- Event loop and event emitter.
- Modules for files, buffer operations, and web-based operations.
You can also add more questions to this theoretical list, depending on the needs of your company. Be sure to ask about the areas that you think your team needs more expertise in so that you can find a candidate to fill that gap.
Also, you don’t need to ask all of these questions. Select the ones that make sense for the candidate you’re looking for - otherwise, your interview will last for hours!
Practical Interview Questions
After getting a sense of the candidate’s theoretical knowledge, now it’s time to jump into the practical section. Arguably the most important part of a Node.js interview, these practical questions will require your candidate to have a pencil/pen, whiteboard, or a text editor open. On a remote interview, this can be easily substituted by a blank Google doc and a share screen button.
If you want to see how your candidate talks and communicates, ask him/her to solve these problems on the whiteboard or screen in front of you. Or, if you want to give the candidate more time to think about his/her answers, you can easily give a written test section with these technical questions that require candidates to dig their heels into code.
It’s a good idea to ask a wide variety of practical questions so that you get a sense of how your candidate resolves problems and what his/her coding style is. Here are some great practical questions to consider, compiled from top tech sites today:
- How will you write a file in Node?
- Write a simple code to enable CORS in Node.js.
- Rewrite the code sample without try/catch block (from FullStack).
Don’t forget to add any practical questions that you would like to know, too. And remember that you can see the candidate’s communication skills by asking him/her to explain the answers out loud. This is a particularly good idea if the interview is remote since you can see how he/she may work online in the future.
Final Tips for Remote Interviews
When it comes to hiring the right candidate, the interview process can help you see the strengths and weaknesses of each potential hire. Remember that many of your interviews will take place remotely. To make the most of interviews with remote candidates, you should be sure to:
- Check your Connection. There’s nothing worse than having your video call cut out. Secure your connection, so that both you and the candidate can feel confident and also see how communication would potentially work on a daily basis.
- Record your Interview: Tools like Zoom now let you record interviews. This is a great idea so you can go back and review the candidate’s style and answers. You can also send this interview to other team members to see what they think!
- Ask the Candidate to Send Email as Well: If you’re curious about your candidate’s written skills - in addition to oral skills - ask him/her to send an email in English to showcase language skills. By requesting this, you’ll get to see several sides to this candidate’s communication ability.
Hiring is a tough process, but by following these questions and tips, you’re sure to find the best Node.js candidate for your company. Don’t forget to test your candidate on personal, theoretical and practical questions, so that you get a thorough probing of his/her skills.
Remember that if you’re struggling to find good Node.js candidates, you should use specialized platforms for developers, so you can fill your hiring or staff augmentation needs. These platforms can help with whatever type of candidate you’re searching for.
We hope these Node.js interview questions give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your next hire!