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How to Prepare for Full Stack Developer Interview

Posted on 
July 13, 2021
Swaminathan Iyer
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About The Author!
Swaminathan Iyer
Swaminathan Iyer
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The intriguing mind brainstorming ideas day and night for the creation of projects from simple “Hello World” to building strategies and frameworks.

Full stack developers use programming languages, frameworks, and design strategies to develop and maintain websites and applications. With an anticipated job growth rate of nearly 13% in 2021, it is currently one of the most in-demand skills. It is also one of the most satisfying jobs, as reported by USA Today.

If you are appearing for an interview for a full stack developer position, it means that you are already an expert in HTML. Interviewers expect you to be an expert in at least one programming language necessary for the job role for this position. The knowledge of web tools such as jQuery, GitHub, and Sass will work as an added advantage.

This guide will help you understand how to prepare for a full stack developer interview. We’ll cover everything from what rounds you must prepare for and tips that will serve you in your prep.

Three Stages of the Full Stack Developer Interview

In most organizations, the full stack developer interview is divided into three segments — introduction, pair-programming, and Q&A

As a full stack developer, you should be adept at front-end development that uses  Java, JavaScript, and HTML. The knowledge of the Ruby program is also desirable. In addition, in-depth knowledge of palindrome functions and data structures will ensure you go a long way in the interview process. 

Round 1: Introduction

In this round, you’ll introduce yourself and provide information about:

  • Your previous role as a full stack developer
  • Your most preferred programming languages 
  • Ongoing projects

If you are working on any personal projects, discuss your approach, its development, and implementation. Help the interviewer understand your role in the process. 

Round 2: Pair-Programming

During this round, you will be asked to write a code for a particular program or API. While working on the code, you should explain your approach to the interviewer. 

This is one of the crucial rounds, where you need to showcase your problem-solving skills and implementation ability while working toward a common goal as a team. These situations are generally based on actual problems that you may be required to work on once you are hired. 

Round 3: Q&A Round

The Q&A (question and answer) round is held to discuss your achievements, previous experiences, and other job-related aspects. You can expect discussions about the company, job role, and what it entails, making it an opportunity to learn about the organization's functions, business operations, and expectations from a candidate.

How to Prepare for a Full Stack Developer Interview

Besides having an impressive resume, a technical interview for the position of a full stack developer is an opportunity to showcase one’s technical skills. Cracking a full stack developer technical interviews basically requires the following three steps:

  1. Understanding the problem at hand
  2. Finding a possible solution
  3. Explaining and implementing the solution (while showcasing attributes of a well-versed full stack developer)

While this might look short and simple, you will need to do solid prep to understand, solve, and explain any problem or question thrown at you. 

Here’s what you should do while preparing for that full stack developer interview:

Master the Fundamentals

Mastering the basics of stacks is key to cracking a full stack developer interview at any company. Research and review of the company’s stacks is a good start to a stack interview prep. If it's a Ruby shop, you would also need to know how it works before the interview. Studying StackShare and GitHub repos of a company to find libraries and languages they use is critical for the technical interview round preparation. 

Fundamentals of data structures, object-oriented programming, string manipulation, and control flow must be a part of your full stack developer interview prep. The main objective is to assess your ability to code with a reason rather than in-depth preparation. Since most languages have similar constructs, it is not necessary to be a master of every language. 

Practice Live Coding

A common task that an interviewer will assign you is fixing a “broken code.” You will need to identify the bugs and fix them. This is used to ascertain if you can identify code blocks, read test specs, and make changes wherever necessary. Your approach is the key here; in all probability, you will be working on unfamiliar development conditions — Integrated Development Environment or an unfamiliar computer system. 

When preparing for a full stack interview, practice without fancy key bindings, custom dotfile alias, or convenient dual-screen setups. Furthermore, it is beneficial to ask which language your technical round will be based on to avoid hassles.

Prepare for the Take-Home Assignment

You might receive a take-home assignment as a part of your tech interview. This can work to your benefit — you can use Google, Stack Overflow, and the likes, along with your dev station. An example of such an assignment would be “Implement a validator for simple games such as Solitaire along with a test suite.” The implementation of the validator is the primary goal of this assignment. 

The deadline for such as task can be anywhere between 4-6 hours to 2 days, depending on the job and task. 

Prepare for the Build Challenge

In a build challenge, interviewers may task you with building a Web 2.0 application with boundary conditions — you must outline the data types you need and functions of your model. They can add further restrictions to minimize your options and test your adapting ability. 

To be successful at a building challenge, you should know the intricacies of an application’s stacks, even if you are not well-versed with low-latency networking or database administration. 

In order to practice, you can work on a previous project at your last job or a personal project, and as you come across errors, develop an in-depth understanding of the interaction between UI, backend, and frontend, and your approach toward it. These are crucial elements for full stack developer interview prep.

Prepare Questions; Rehearse Answers

Create your own set of questions on various topics depending on the job role you are preparing for. Rehearsing answers for questions around building strategy, workflow, dealing with changing requirements, and dealing with low or sub-par product specs is an integral part of the full stack developer interview preparation. 

Online Coding Courses

Software engineers can take up online courses as part of their interview preparation for a full stack developer position. Receiving guidance from industry experts and senior software developers who are familiar with the nuances of preparing for a full stack developer interview can prove beneficial in clearing the interview. 

FAANG technical interview preparation specialty courses are available in abundance, where former employees of various companies give the requisite training to candidates to help crack interviews. Bootcamps can also help coding engineers to acquire in-depth knowledge.

Learn more about Interview Kickstart’s interview preparation course by attending our free webinar. Book your slot now!

Topics to Prepare for Full Stack Developer Interview

Irrespective of whether the job role is front-end framework intrinsic or backend, you should be well-versed with the basics. Topics you must prepare for include:


  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. SQL

Front-end Frameworks:

  1. VueJS
  2. Angular JS
  3. BootStrap
  4. ReactJS

Other Programming Languages:

  1. JavaScript
  2. PHP
  3. Python
  4. Ruby
  5. TypeScript

Backend Frameworks:

  1. Express
  2. Django
  3. NodeJS
  4. Rubyonrails

Basic Database Systems:

  1. AI or Machine Learning
  3. .Net and Framework
  4. Linux Command-line
  5. Data Structures
  6. Character Encoding

In addition to this, knowing about the company, the job role, what the organization expects from you is an integral part of your stack developer interview preparation.

FAANG Full Stack Interview Prep Questions

Your  preparation for the full stack developer interview remains incomplete without understanding some of the commonly asked questions and their importance. Below are some of the frequently asked questions:

  1. Which programming languages are you familiar with?

Interviewers expect a professional full stack developer to have adequate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge, as these are basic languages. However, one must be well-versed in more languages, such as Ruby, Python, PHP, and the likes to increase their chances of securing the job at the company.

  1. What are you working on presently?

Passionate full stack developers mainly prefer working on individual projects. As a part of the full stack developer interview preparation, you should practice showcasing your idea at the interview, providing details of your work plan, describing the process (dynamic or non-dynamic), and other such nuances.

  1. How do you deal with inefficient coding inputs from team members?

Employers expect to hire efficient coders who can deliver a flawless job, irrespective of individual behavior in their team. Thus, explaining the issue to a team member while, at the same time, appreciating their efforts is the most appropriate answer to this question. 

  1. What is CORS?

CORS or Cross-Origin Resource Sharing allows you to make requests for various resources from a different domain from the original domain of those resources.

  1. How to reduce the load time of a web application?

Reducing redirects, enabling CSS and JavaScript synchronous loading,  removing plugins, and optimizing CSS delivery are some of the ways to lower load time of a web application. You can add other factors such as using CDN, reduced image sizes, and lesser images, enabling compression, and others if necessary.  

  1. What is your understanding of referential transparency?

Referential transparency and opacity are properties of parts of computer programs. You can change an expression or value without impacting the final result. It is a part of functional programming and applicable in the case of imperative programming. It also helps to make your code clearer and build better-defined subprograms.

  1. What is your understanding of long polling?

Long polling or HTTP long polling allows a client request to remain open even if there is no adequate information available on the server instead of sending an empty request. When the server receives the desired information, it responds to the client.

Tips to Keep in Mind During the Full Stack Developer Interview

You might spend weeks and months preparing for the interview, but nothing can prepare you for D-day. Here are a couple of pro tips to help you deal with the pressure:

  • Think Out Loud: According to experienced full stack developers, when you’re given a problem, discussing strategies with interviewers can be helpful. It helps interviewers understand your thought process and lets you gather information and ideas quickly to process them and solve the problem. 
  • Composure: Maintaining your composure while determining a possible solution is critical. Interviewers want candidates that do not succumb to pressure or stress. The ability to handle difficult situations logically and with a calm mind is desirable in a candidate.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a high demand for full stack developers?

There is a rising demand for full stack developers in the US due to their flexibility to work in various divisions, thus enabling versatility. Furthermore, their in-depth knowledge allows them to adapt to challenging environments, thereby helping them to become valuable assets in both startups and established organizations.

  1. Which are the highest-paying cities for full stack developers in the US?

Based on our research, the top three spots are taken by Seattle, New York, and Boston, with average salaries between $120,000 and $135,000 per year. These cities are followed by Denver and Chicago, with median wages ranging between approximately $100,000 and $115,000. However, these may vary depending on experience and skill set.

Are You Ready to Crack That Full Stack Developer Interview?

If you need help and guidance, consider Interview Kickstart. We have trained over 5000 software engineers. Our alums work for the biggest names in tech — including Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and more!

Want to know more? Join our free webinar today!

Last updated on: 
September 22, 2023

Swaminathan Iyer

Product @ Interview Kickstart | Ex | Business Management - XLRI Jamshedpur. Loves building things and burning pizzas!

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