Top Computer Science Interview Questions
The tech and computer science industry is growing rapidly. If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, you’ve come across a path that offers a wide range of positions for all levels and skill experiences.
You’re eager to dive into tech. You’re ready for that next career. You want to take the skills you’ve acquired and put them to practical use in the tech world.
However, before you land that dream job, you’ll need to first convince the future employer that you’re the perfect candidate. Interviews can be a great way to share about yourself and let others know about what you’ve accomplished and what you hope to achieve. View it as an opportunity to identify how you can meet the organization’s needs with your unique skill set and talents.
In this guide, we share the perks of working in the computer science industry and some key interview questions you should be comfortable answering during a job interview.
Why Explore Computer Science?
Whether you have had the passion for tech and computer science for the longest time or you have only recently discovered your love for them, there’s a wide range of opportunities that await.
Common job titles related to computer science include things like engineers, software development, and applications. As can be expected in the tech industry, these positions come at impressive average salaries, ranging anywhere from $50,000 to 130,000 annually, according to Payscale.com.
In this role, you’ll serve the organization by developing and maintaining tools to smoothen and enhance operations. You may work within a team, large or small depending on the environment. As a team player, you’ll get to coordinate and plan objectives in research that can help carry the organization forward.
As with other positions in the tech industry, you can anticipate impressive growth potential in both your salary and career opportunities as you learn, develop your skills, and advance as a computer scientist.
Top Computer Science Interview Questions
You know you want that new computer science job. Now it’s time to convince the hiring manager you’re the right fit. As you review your resume, pull together your past projects, and finesse your physical appearance, keep in mind there are certain questions that are commonly asked during such interviews.
These questions may cover both technical and non-technical aspects of the job. Managers want to know that you have the industry knowledge to be successful but also the right attitude and soft skills that equip you to be a great team member to work with.
To help you prepare for your upcoming interview, we’ve pulled together a list of top computer science interview questions you should be ready to answer.
Technical Interview Questions
To be successful in a computer science role, you need to know the basics. Most likely, you’ve gained some experience and knowledge through a bootcamp or other educational pursuit. These technical questions revolve around your familiarity with key concepts like programming, coding, operating systems, and software.
Here are a few technical questions you can expect in a computer science interview:
What is your preferred programming language?
In your response, share which language you work best with and explain why it is your preference. Try to incorporate relevant content that shows your comfort with the terminology and information. You can also share a personal experience of your use of the particular language.
What is the difference between an interface and an abstract class?
These types of technical questions gauge your knowledge about applicable topics you’ll be expected to work with. Being able to compare similar terminologies and note their key differences will demonstrate high proficiency. Sharing your own experience with interfaces and abstract classes elevates your credibility and proves that you know what you’re talking about.
This question is a great opportunity to explain your experience, both positive and negative, of working with different popular tools in the industry. Being able to accurately describe the concepts, as well as explore your interaction and perception of them, will show the manager that you’re eager to add value to the organization through your expertise in computer science.
To help you prepare for these types of questions, familiarize yourself with those fundamental concepts you’ve been learning to master. Review your previous course content and related questions, in case you need a refresher. Being confident in your knowledge of technical areas will shine through in how you answer these questions, thus presenting yourself even better in the interview.
Non-Technical Interview Questions
When looking for a new member to add to their team, the manager is also interested in more than your knowledge of the subject matter. To ensure you will be a good fit to the organization, the hiring manager will likely ask questions to gauge your people skills.
Unlike technical questions, these often are subjective and open-ended. Certainly, there are qualities that you would like to bring to your future employer’s attention, while there are other traits that would be inappropriate to mention. But overall, a hiring manager is interested in learning more about you and your personality within a workplace setting.
Here are some common behavioral-oriented interview questions you may be asked:
Tell me about yourself.
This open-ended question, often asked at the beginning of an interview, provides you the opportunity to share your experience and accomplishments relevant to the position. Explore things like your educational background, applicable project experience, other organizations you’ve worked with, and your career aspirations.
Don’t just use the facts about your life. You can also use this question to showcase your personality and how you’d be a right fit for the organization. Keep your response intentional and applicable to the position you’re looking forward to.
What is your greatest strength?
This common interview question invites you to explore what you see as your best characteristics. Make sure your response is applicable to the position for which you’re interviewing. Match your strengths with what the company is looking for in this position.
Bring out those characteristics others would use to describe you. Back up your statements with examples of past experiences when you’ve demonstrated those important traits. By staying relevant and supporting your claims, you can craft a response to this popular interview question with confidence.
Tell me about a time when you lead in an important project.
These popular situational questions give you the opportunity to share a prominent example of how you’ve successfully thrived in a relevant environment. Remember to be specific in your story-telling without overloading on irrelevant details.
Share how that experience helps contribute to what the organization is hoping to achieve. You’ll also earn impressive points if you can throw in technical knowledge related to the position that you should already be familiar with. Demonstrate that you not only know what you’re talking about, but also have successfully accomplished a similar or relevant task.
Remember to Ask Your Own Questions
Once you’ve answered all their questions, be sure to respond with your own when they ask “Do you have any questions for me?” Having a few questions ready to ask shows the manager that you’re interested in learning more about the company and you’re serious about aligning your skills with their needs.
It also shows that you’ve done your research by preparing well in advance for said interview. Come prepared to ask two to three questions related to things such as the job description or the team you’ll be working with.
Discover Your Next Job in Computer Science
Are you ready to make that career change into computer science? Be ready for that next opportunity with these helpful tips for computer science interviews. Review, practice and enter the interview with confidence and an eagerness to meet the organization’s needs.
With the right preparation, you can answer well and reach for that career opportunity that you’ve been waiting for.