How do you determine which candidates really know their stuff during an interview? Here are the top Python developer interview questions to help you recruit only the best for your company.
Among the most popular programming languages, Python ranks as one of the most preferred. With a number of Python developers, you need to select the best fit for your business needs. Now, how do you ensure that the developer you hire is the one?
This article aims to help you solve this problem by providing the top Python developer interview questions. These questions are designed to help companies assess both the technical and soft skills of the interviewees. Before proceeding to the interview questions, let us first talk about what Python developers are and their qualifications.
Python Developers: A Description
Python is a developers’ most preferred programming language for machine learning and other tech trends. What makes Python special is its ease of use and large community. Hence, developers have access to massive libraries and support.
It’s not just developers who love Python. Companies also love the programming language. Aside from being free (open-source), Python helps keep low development costs and is both scalable and highly compatible. Python also has large libraries and utilities.
Now that we defined Python, let us look at what Python developers do.
As mentioned earlier, Python is a versatile and powerful programming language. In fact, many developers use it to develop different types of apps. These applications include data science, web development, scripting, automation, data processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and data mining. Therefore, a Python developer is in charge of creating, developing, testing, and scaling Python-based programs.
The following are the day-to-day duties of a Python developer:
- Coordinating with teams to define the project requirements
- Writing Python code that are reusable, scalable, and efficient
- Regularly checking, testing, and debugging applications
- Developing back-end components for Python applications
- Using server-side logic to integrate user-side elements
- Administering data protection, security, and integrity measures
- Improving the functionality of existing databases
- Combining and improving data storage options
- Collaborating and working with UI and UX teams to improve the user experience
These responsibilities are just the general duties assigned to Python developers. You should add more specific tasks that fit your business needs in your job description posting.
Python Developer Qualifications
A Python developer must have a strong grasp of software development basics. They must have fundamental software development skills and a deep understanding of development tools and techs.
As such, a Python developer must have the following qualifications:
- A degree in computer engineering, IT, or related studies
- Expertise in Python and its associated frameworks (Django and Flask)
- Understanding of data structures, OOP concepts, generators, and iterators
- Experienced with server-side templating languages such as Jinja 2
- Know-how in integrating multiple data sources into one system
- Knowledge in web frameworks, machine learning, and AI
- Familiarity with different testing tools
- Ability to collaborate with various teams
- Can work on minimal supervision
- Analytic and detail-oriented
- Excellent communication skills
You now know what to look for from Python developer candidates. The next step would be to determine how much you can offer for the position. To do this, you can research the current average salary for a Python developer.
Further on, your next step will be to conduct interviews. To do that, you have to prepare interview questions designed for Python developers.
Top Python Developer Interview Questions
Before presenting the questions, there are things you need to consider. Firstly, you have to remember that the purpose of the interview is to check each candidate’s technical skills and qualifications. Next is to determine whether or not the candidate has the right attitude or soft skills to fit your company culture.
Finally, here are ten of the most asked interview questions for Python developer job applicants.
1. What is Python, and why do you use it? What are the biggest pros and cons of using Python?
Questions like these are general in nature. They help ease the interviewee into the process. Python developers should have an in-depth knowledge of the programming language they use. Similarly, they should know its advantages and disadvantages.
2. How long have you been coding Python as the primary language?
The candidates’ answers should show you their experience working with the programming language. It would be rare for you to encounter a developer who exclusively uses Python. What is more important is how long they have been using it. Usually, developers who have worked with Python longer are more comfortable with the language.
This is also an opportunity to check your candidate’s seniority level and if they meet your requirements. Read more: Software Engineer Titles Hierarchy.
3. How do you manage version control with your code?
Asking this type of question will help you check the organizational skill of the candidate. Great developers do more than coding. Organizing their code allows them to track the changes and keep backups.
Here is an example of a good answer:
To manage the different versions of my code, I do the following things:
- I create a repository and configure Git using “git init.”
- Then, I write my code and files the directory structure.
- Using Git Add, I stage the files and directories.
- I check and track changes using Git status.
- To run the changes, I use Git Commit.
- If I want to revert to the previous versions, I Git Checkout and Git Reset.
Read more about software version control.
4. Walk me through your process of identifying bugs in your code.
Another sign of a great developer is that they constantly test and troubleshoot their code. By asking this question, the candidate can show you that they know how to address problems in Python. At the same time, their answers can show you that they mastered the tools available for handling bugs in Python.
Here is an example of a good answer:
For me, debugging is an indispensable part of coding. And I usually do it in four steps:
- I analyze which sections of my code may have bugs.
- After identifying the section, I inspect the code one line at a time.
- Identify which lines have errors and correct them.
- Lastly, I repeat the steps while choosing another section until my code works.
5. Do you ever use Python for personal projects? Tell us about them.
The way the candidates answer this question can reveal their interests and passion. Candidates who spend their free time innovating and experimenting means that they are continuously improving their skills. Plus, their answers can reveal their awareness of how to use Python in many ways.
6. Explain the difference between shallow and deep copy when using Python.
This question will test the candidate’s deep understanding of the coding language. They should explain both the basic and advanced features of Python. Pay attention to how well the candidates can explain complex Python features and terminologies. Remember, communication skills are as critical as technical skills in a software development team.
In Python, both are commands to copy objects. What makes them different is that Shallow Copy, while faster, only creates a second variable that references the original. If you make changes to either the original, the copy will reflect the said changes and vice versa.
Meanwhile, Deep Copy will allow you to create a second instance of the original object. This means that a change in either one will not reflect in the other.
7. How does slicing work in Python?
Advance knowledge of the programming language is a great asset for your team. Candidates who are able to explain clearly how “slicing” works in Python can most likely contribute to your team quickly.
Here is an example of a good answer:
In Python, slicing means taking a part of something. Developers use [start : stop : step] as the syntax for slicing. Start means where the slicing starts, while ]stop is where the slicing will stop. Finally, step is the number of steps to jump. Additionally, you can slice strings, lists, tuples, and arrays in Python.
8. What was your most significant achievement in your previous companies?
During the interview, you should also test the self-awareness of the candidates. Their answer to this question can tell you how they rate their skills. Additionally, you can also get a glimpse of whether or not a candidate considers their team goals as part of their achievements.
9. Conflicting opinions often happen when tackling technical problems. How do you resolve them?
Conflict resolution is a critical skill to have in a team. Developers should know how to communicate their ideas well to avoid miscommunication. Additionally, great developers can collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to accomplish their tasks.
10. How do you keep your Python coding skills up to date?
Software development is a field that is constantly evolving. It is, therefore, a developer’s responsibility to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. Their answer should show you that they are driven and continuously looking for ways to improve their skills.
Here are a few indicators that you’re interviewing someone who is committed to keeping their Python skills sharp:
- Joins online forums to ask and share their knowledge and skills
- Does personal Python projects to try and experiment with newly learned skills
- Does coding challenges
- Shows open-mindedness to suggestions
Need Help Finding Great Python Developers?
Python is such an in-demand programming language that it can be extremely hard to find enough qualified developers when you need them. You also need developers who have the right soft skills to work with your current team. But how do you find the best software developers? This is where we come in!
At Full Scale, we recruit, assess, hire, and retain the best software developers. We hire only the top 3% of developers we interview. Take a look at our rigorous assessment process:
Our recruitment process ensures that our talent have the skills and experience to succeed as a part of your team.
Are you looking for world-class Python developers? Get in touch now, and let’s start setting up your dream development team!