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Front end developer interview questions

09 January 2024, by Josh Nel

When scaling your team, finding the right front end developer can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for niche skills or roles. A poor hiring decision can lead to setbacks, low-quality code, and wasted time. Here, we look at front end developer interview questions you can use to find the perfect technical and cultural fit for your team.


Questions to ask when interviewing a front end developer

Before diving into the technical details, it can be helpful to start with a few questions to assess a candidate’s approach to technical problems, their knowledge of the latest ecosystem developments, and how they might collaborate with your team. Here are a few questions you can use in your next interview:

  • Can you explain the difference between div and span elements in HTML, and when would you use each?
  • How do you create a responsive design using CSS? What are media queries?
  • What is the CSS “box model,” and how does it work?
  • Explain the difference between class and id attributes in HTML and when to use them.
  • What is the purpose of the z-index property in CSS, and how does it work in stacking elements?
  • What are pseudo-classes in CSS, and can you provide examples of when you would use them?
  • How can you optimize the loading speed of a web page? Mention some techniques and best practices.
  • What is the Document Object Model (DOM), and how does it relate to JavaScript?
  • Explain the concept of closures in JavaScript and why they are important.
  • What are the differences between null and undefined in JavaScript?
  • How do you handle asynchronous operations in JavaScript, and what are callbacks, promises, and async/await?
  • Describe the concept of event delegation in JavaScript and why it’s useful.
  • What is the purpose of the “this” keyword in JavaScript, and how does its value change in different contexts?
  • How do you prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks in JavaScript? Mention some security best practices.
  • What is the importance of responsive web design, and how do you implement it?
  • Describe the concept of progressive enhancement and why it’s important in web development.
  • Can you describe a challenging problem you’ve encountered in a previous project and how you solved it?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with the latest front-end development trends and technologies?

Front end technical interview questions

Now that you’ve covered a few behavioural questions, you can move on to assessing a candidate’s technical ability. Here, we’ll look at some general interview questions, plus a few specific questions for front end developers at different levels of seniority.

  • Can you explain the difference between React, Angular, and Vue.js, and when you might choose one over the others?
  • Have you worked with any CSS preprocessors or post-processors like Sass or PostCSS? How do they improve the development process?
  • What is the virtual DOM in React, and how does it improve performance in web applications?
  • How do you manage state in a React application, and what are the options for state management?
  • How do you debug JavaScript code, and what tools do you typically use for debugging?
  • What is unit testing, and can you explain the importance of testing in front-end development?
  • Have you worked with any testing libraries or frameworks, such as Jest or Mocha?
  • What are the key principles of web accessibility, and how can you ensure your front-end code is accessible?
  • How do you optimize a web page for performance, and what tools or techniques do you use?

If you’re interviewing for junior or intermediate front end developers, consider including a few of these questions:

  • What are the main components of the HTML5 boilerplate?
  • Can you explain the difference between block-level and inline elements in HTML? Provide examples of each.
  • How do you centre an element horizontally and vertically in CSS?
  • What is a CSS reset, and why might you use one in your projects?
  • Describe the concept of a “clearfix” in CSS, and when is it needed?
  • What is the Document Object Model (DOM), and how does JavaScript interact with it?
  • Explain the difference between let, const, and var in JavaScript when declaring variables.
  • How do you declare and call a function in JavaScript? Provide an example.
  • What are data types in JavaScript, and can you give examples of each?
  • Describe the purpose and usage of conditional statements (if, else if, else) in JavaScript.
  • How do you handle receiving feedback and learning from more experienced team members?

For more senior front end developers, more advanced questions might be appropriate:

  • Can you explain the purpose of HTML5 semantic elements like <article>, <section>, and <nav> and when to use them on a web page?
  • How would you implement responsive typography and layout techniques using CSS Grid and Flexbox for a complex web application?
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of CSS preprocessors like Sass and Less. Can you provide examples of how you’ve used them in past projects?
  • What is the Critical Rendering Path, and how can you optimize it for better website performance?
  • How do you handle memory leaks in JavaScript, and what are the common causes of memory leaks?
  • Explain the differences between synchronous and asynchronous JavaScript, and discuss scenarios where you’d choose one over the other.
  • Describe how you manage state in a large-scale React application, including state management libraries and patterns you’ve used.
  • How do you implement client-side routing in a single-page application (SPA) to enhance user experience and SEO?
  • Discuss the concept of micro-frontends and how they can be implemented to modularize and scale a front-end codebase.
  • What is server-side rendering (SSR), and how does it differ from client-side rendering (CSR)? What are the advantages of each approach, and when would you choose one over the other?
  • Can you explain lazy loading in the context of front-end development? How can it benefit web performance and user experience?
  • How do you ensure code maintainability and scalability in a large front-end project? Describe your approach to organizing and structuring code.
  • Explain the role of unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing in front-end development. Can you describe the testing libraries or frameworks you’ve used?
  • How do you approach debugging complex front-end issues, and what tools or techniques do you use?

Further reading

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