Any business that is dependent on technology and has a user-facing website or application needs a back-end developer. The job of a back-end developer is to maintain the various databases and prepare all the information on the server to power the client-facing side of the website/application. This includes looking after core application logic, data and application integration, and API.
Needless to say, back-end developers are in great demand right now. Given that a vast majority of businesses have moved online to keep up with challenges posed by the pandemic, the need for highly specialized people who can harness the technology and keep things running is like never before. It’s not surprising that the hiring of specialized engineers such as back-end developers is expected to follow an upward trajectory.
Now comes the challenging part -- to get hired as a back-end developer, you need to ace the back-end developer interview questions. If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation ebook to get interview-ready!
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This guide has been created to help you prepare for a back-end developer interview. We will discuss:
Here’s a breakdown of the core skill set of every developer looking to ace the back-end engineer interview questions:
While the exact responsibilities may vary depending on the company’s business, below is a snapshot of what to expect:
Confused about which technical topics you need to master before you can breeze through the back-end technical interview questions? Here’s a checklist:
There are two types -- Object-oriented programming languages (OOP) such as Python, .NET, and Java, and functional programming languages such as Clojure, Haskell, Ruby On Rails, and SQL. It's important to know both because different organizations use different languages for their back end.
For example, Uber, Mozilla, and Spotify use Python, whereas AirBnB uses Ruby on Rails. If you want to crack Java back-end developer interview questions, make sure to know these programming languages like the back of your hand.
Learn more about the Popular Back-end Development Languages to Get a Job at FAANG.
APIs serve as the medium through which data gets transferred. They act as a bridge between the back end and the databases and allows the developers to fetch the user data. Typically, most back-end developers work with Python and NodeJS to create the APIs.
Data structures are a fundamental aspect of organizing, accessing, and modifying data, and back-end developers need to have a thorough knowledge of the same. Popular data structures a back-end developer should know include:
Servers are the backbone of any back-end development. They work round the clock and aid in delivering essential services such as receiving requests for web-based files and transferring such files to the client.
Back-end developers should have knowledge about deploying or hosting servers and be familiar with commonly used servers like Apache, Nginx, IIS servers, and Microsoft IIS. Proficiency of cloud-based platforms such as AWS, Heroku, Google Cloud Platform is a bonus for cracking those server-side interview questions.
Any type of problem-solving in software development is dependent on algorithms. A majority of the back-end engineer interview questions test your algorithmic skills.
That’s why back-end developers should learn about depth-first search and breadth-first search algorithms, sorting algorithms like the bubble sort, selection sort, insertion sort, merge sort, quicksort, iterative and recursive algorithms.
The back end of any application or website involves a communication network between various servers, browsers, and databases. As a back-end developer, it is your job to ensure seamless communication between these components so that the user-facing side performs as expected.
Regardless of the company where you interview, you can expect the back-end engineer interview questions to be classified into three buckets:
Here are some sample questions to help you to nail your interview prep:
If you are a beginner back-end developer, most of the back-end engineer interview questions will evaluate your basic understanding of different programming languages. If you are a mid-level back-end developer, be prepared to get grilled on more advanced concepts about the framework of backend development.
Lastly, if you are an advanced back-end developer, the questions will focus on why you want to work with specific frameworks, technologies, languages, etc. Here are some sample questions:
Unlike technical questions, behavioral questions do not vary based on your experience level. Ultimately, the interviewer is trying to evaluate your working style to check whether you are the right fit for the company.
Here are some of the common back-end developer interview questions for the behavioral round:
Read Behavioral Interview Questions for Software Developers for more.
Your soft skills are your personality traits. All questions for this segment are designed to assess your ability to work with others and grow within the organization. Check out some sample soft skills questions mentioned below:
Q. Can a front-end developer work on back-end development?
As the name suggests, the front end is concerned with the user-facing side of an application or website. Back-end, on the other hand, is concerned with the server-side of a website or application. While these two roles are two sides of the same coin, the roles and responsibilities are very different. In fact, a back-end developer works with a front-end developer to deliver a seamless experience to the user.
Q. Which programming language is the best for back-end development?
There is no correct answer to the question as the use case determines which language you should use. It also depends on how proficient you are with a particular programming language.
Q. What is the average salary of back-end developers?
The salary depends on the skills you bring to the table. However, the average base salary of a back-end developer is $117,868, plus a $4,000 cash bonus per year (Indeed.com).
Thorough preparation is the best way to nail back-end engineer interview questions and impress your interviewer. Interview Kickstart can help with your preparation!
If you need help with your prep, join Interview Kickstart’s Back-End Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed specifically for back-end engineers. Click here to learn more about the program.
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