Senior Java Developer Interview Questions

Ready to find your next leading Java Developer? 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. These questions are also relevant for similar roles like Java Programmer, J2EE Developer, Java Application Developer, Java Integration Developer and Java Backend Developer.

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Senior Java Developer qualifications to look for 

Senior Java Developers are computer programmers proficient with coding in Java. They design and implement Java applications, developing and testing software and resolving technical issues that arise.

For this 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

  • Explain if arguments in Java get passed by reference or by value.
  • What do you feel are the best features introduced in Java 5, 7 and 8?
  • What is the relationship between Java SE and Java EE?
  • What’s the difference between Runtime exceptions and Checked exceptions?
  • Is ForkJoinPool introduced in Java 7 always a better alternative to ThreadPoolExecutor? Explain why. 
  • Why do you think lambda expressions are considered crucial for Java 8?
  • Explain the difference between HashMap, ConcurrentHashMap and Map returned by Collections.synchronizedMap.
  • Is it useful for a static or final method to use dynamic binding? Explain your answer. 
  • You notice freezes for several seconds during high load in a 3-tier application running a Java application server. What are the most likely reasons? How would you troubleshoot them?
  • Describe a use case for Servlets 3.0 introducing async support.
  • Explain a use case for Java Scripting API.
  • Explain a Just in Time compiler. Do you know of any programming language runtimes that use one?
  • What are the key differences between the preemptive threading model and the cooperative threading model?
  • What is a solution to synchronize 5 threads to start at the same time? 
  • What is a weak reference and how could it be useful?
  • Give a short description of any  Java EE platform API. 
  • What tools and practices are necessary for a Continuous Delivery solution?
  • What’s the relationship between a code point and a code unit in Unicode?
  • Explain the components of a quality unit test good. What about functional ones?

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