Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Ready to find your next top-hire Software Engineer? These sample interview questions will help you find the right candidates during the interview process.

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Software Engineer qualifications to look for

Software Engineers possess excellent coding skills and a deep understanding of full lifecycle software development. They are charged with designing, developing and implementing software solutions.

Hands-on experience is your biggest ally in the hiring process. Past experience should demonstrate how they handled technical projects end-to-end on tight deadlines, plus how they kept budgets under control and their team motivated. 

Your top candidates may also have a Computer Science and certificates for specific programming languages. 

Your top hire will have an insatiable appetite for learning and stay on the up and up with innovations in tech.  They may even attend seminars and events like hackathons. 

This senior-level role requires team management skills, so your best hire will be comfortable making difficult decisions and can effectively delegate tasks to their team members. 

It’s a good idea to test your candidates’ skills to better evaluate how they would handle their role in your company. 

Keep an eye out for candidates who have:

  • A solid technical background
  • Strong communication skills
  • A knack for collaboration  
  • Practical skills
  • Theoretical background
  • Team-leadership skills

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

Problem-solving interview questions

  • What mentorship do you offer a new team member? What’s the best way to onboard a new hire?
  • What are the steps you take to negotiate a bigger budget for your team? How do you create a case for your argument? 
  • One of your top Software Engineers questions your decisions. How do you handle it? 
  • If senior managers disagree on system requirements, how do you intervene?
  • How do you motivate a disengaged team member?

Role-specific interview questions

  • What are the advantages of cloud systems? Are there any limitations? 
  • What are the most crucial tests to perform before deployment of a new system or feature?
  • What software configuration management tools have you used?
  • What would you check in a legacy system that has frequent downtime?
  • What are some ways to store data outside of a relational database? When would you use them?
  • What’s your process when reviewing someone else’s code? Where do you put most of your focus?
  • How important are regularly scheduled meetings with your team members? Do you meet with your entire team or just team leaders? What is the communication process like for you?
  • What metrics do you use to monitor your team’s performance? How do you like to deal with performance evaluations?

Behavioral interview questions

  • What’s your biggest professional success? What did you learn from the experience? 
  • What’s your feedback style? Do you give team-wide or individual feedback? How often? 
  • What do you work on to become a better manager? How can we support you in the process?
  • Tell me about a time you identified a potential problem and proactively implemented a software solution.
  • What resources do you follow to stay current with changes in technology? 

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