Java Software Engineer Interview Questions

Ready to find your next A-game Java Software Engineer? These sample interview questions will get the right candidates in front of you during the interview process. Don’t forget to add questions specific to your company’s position requirements.

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Java Software Engineer Interview Questions

Java Software Engineers define software requirements by writing clean and efficient code for various applications. They also run tests to improve system functionality. 

Junior positions may require a degree in Engineering/Computer Science along with a relevant internship. For a senior-level role, top hires will have solid experience in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC.), along with relevant education requirements. 

Use a written assignment to test candidates’ coding skills. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who:

  • Are passionate about their field
  • Love working on side projects 
  • Keep up current with the latest tools
  • Take initiative to contribute fresh ideas

Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.

Role-specific interview questions

  • What is the difference between the preemptive threading model and the cooperative threading model?
  • What best tools and practices are necessary for a Continuous Delivery solution?
  • Explain when you would find a linked list with a cycle in it, such that one of the nodes in the linked list points to a previous node in the list.
  • Is Java a statically or dynamically typed language? Explain the difference between the two. 
  • Explain whether arguments in Java get passed by reference or by value.
  • Explain the difference between an abstract class and an interface. When would you use one over the other?
  • You notice freezes for several seconds during high load in a 3-tier application running a Java application server. What’s likely the problems? How would you troubleshoot them?
  • Describe a use case for Servlets 3.0 introduced async support. 
  • Why are lambda expressions considered important for Java 8?
  • What is a factory pattern? How do you implement the Singleton pattern?
  • Explain the difference between “==” and equals(…) method? What is the difference between shallow comparison and deep comparison of objects?
  • What’s the relationship between Java SE and Java EE?
  • What’s the difference between Runtime exceptions and Checked exceptions?
  • What do you consider the most important features introduced in Java 5, 7 and 8?
  • Give a short description of any Java EE platform API.

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