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11 Important Full Stack Developer Interview Questions (and how to answer them)

Updated: Jun 12

Full-stack developers are never out of job opportunities. In fact, some of the highest-paid jobs in the IT sector are those of full-stack developers. And it’s easy to see why — they can do it all.

That’s the definition of a full-stack developer, of course. A developer who can work both, on the front and back ends of a company’s tech stack.

The pay is high, the demand is evergreen, and there’s no real reason why those things should change. This means that there’s a ton of competition.

This blog intends to help you get ahead of that competition. We’ll look at 10 full-stack developer interview questions. We’ll look at how you should answer them and why you should take a certain approach.

These questions, in one form or another, are bound to come up during most, if not all full-stack developer interviews. So, let’s get into it.

General Interview Questions

full stack developer interview questions

Question 1: Can you tell me about yourself and your journey to becoming a Full Stack Developer?

This is a pretty standard question. The idea is to simply know a bit about you, your background, and your place in the tech industry currently. The interviewer may also simply ask you to tell a bit about yourself. They’re all the same questions.

So, how do you answer?

Now, this question is your opportunity to leave a lasting first impression. Start by providing a brief overview of your educational background, specifically focusing on any degrees or certifications that have prepared you for the role of a Full Stack Developer.

Next, delve into your work experience. Discuss the projects you've been part of, emphasizing your role, the technologies you've used, and the impact your work had on the project or organization. This could involve developing a streamlined back-end system or crafting an intuitive user interface on the front end.

Your journey to becoming a Full Stack Developer is unique, and narrating it will help the interviewer understand your drive, passion, and commitment to this multidimensional role.

Question 2: How do you stay updated with the latest technologies and trends in full-stack development?

Here, the idea isn’t to check if you know the latest trend or development. No. The reason for asking this question is to check if you make it a point to stay updated. The recruiter wants to know if you keep tabs on the industry. The recruiter is trying to assess if you’re really passionate about tech.

A good answer should begin with you sharing your go-to resources for knowledge. These could include technology blogs like TechCrunch or Smashing Magazine, online forums like Stack Overflow, or even social media platforms where tech leaders share their insights.

Mention any webinars, podcasts, or meetups you regularly participate in, and don't forget about online courses from platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning.

Detail your learning practices, such as setting aside a few hours each week for self-study, or building small projects to test out new technologies or frameworks.

By demonstrating your proactive approach to learning, you'll show your potential employer that you're someone who takes initiative and is excited about growing in your field.

Remember, as a Full Stack Developer, your strength lies in your broad knowledge base and your ability to connect the dots between different layers of web development. Show your potential employer that you're not just keeping up with the trends, but eagerly anticipating what's next.

Technical Interview Questions

We have a whole guide on how to crack technical questions for full stack developer interviews here, if you’re interested. Below are some of the more important questions.

Question 3: Can you explain the concept of MVC?

The Model-View-Controller (MVC) is a popular design pattern commonly used in web development. Understanding and explaining it showcases your grasp of efficient, organized coding practices.

The MVC pattern is all about dividing an application into parts. Three parts, actually: the Model, the View, and the Controller.

This represents the application's data structure and business logic.

The View, of course, refers to the UI — what the user sees and interacts with. The Controller acts as an intermediary, handling input from the user (via the View), manipulating the Model as needed, and updating the View accordingly.

Explaining the benefits of MVC is crucial: it provides a clean separation of concerns, improving code organization and making it easier to maintain and scale the application. It also promotes parallel development; for instance, one developer can work on the View while another works on the Controller or Model.

Question 4: How would you handle data migrations and schema changes in a database without causing disruptions in the service?

Handling data migrations and schema changes without service disruption has become somewhat of a litmus test for full stack developers. The idea is to ensure that customers have a great experience irrespective of what work’s going on in the back offices.

To answer this question well, start by explaining the importance of careful planning and risk assessment before any changes. Mention the use of version control systems, like Git, to track changes and revert if necessary.

Discuss the concept of writing backward-compatible migrations, which allow the application to work with both the old and new schema.

Next, talk about various testing strategies, such as using a staging environment to test the changes before applying them to the production database. Stress the importance of backups before any migration.

Lastly, discuss deployment strategies. For instance, zero-downtime deployment (also known as blue-green deployment) where you have two production environments running the old and new versions of the application.

Once the new version is tested and ready, the traffic is gradually shifted from the old to the new with no disruption of service.

Question 5: What is REST and why is it important in web services?

Representational State Transfer (REST) is a set of principles that define how web standards, like HTTP and URL, should be used — the guidance that they provide is critical for creating efficient, reliable web services.

Explain that RESTful web services allow for interaction between systems using simple, stateless, cacheable requests, making them fast and efficient.

This is done through a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations — with HTTP, these operations are GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, and more.

Emphasize that REST uses a client-server architecture, separating concerns between the server, which stores information, and the client, which presents it to the user. This allows each component to evolve independently.

The importance of REST lies in its simplicity and scalability. It's an industry-standard that developers use to create APIs for their web services, and understanding it is a must for any Full Stack Developer aiming to create high-performance web applications.

Full stack developer interview questions based on your projects

Question 6: Can you describe a challenging project you've worked on, and how you overcame the difficulties?

This question gives you the chance to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and adaptability. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answer in a clear and concise manner.

Graphical representation of the STAR method


Start by setting the scene. Describe the project, your role, and the specific challenge you faced. This could be a tight deadline, conflicting project requirements, or technical issues.


Next, outline your responsibilities in this situation. What was required of you to overcome the challenge?


Here's where you dive into the details. Discuss the steps you took to address the issue. This could involve anything from researching new technologies to improving communication within your team.


Finally, share the outcome. How did your actions benefit the project? Did they lead to a successful product, improved processes, or lessons learned?

Remember to focus on what you did. Even if you were working as part of a team, the interviewer wants to know about your specific contributions.

Question 7: If you were to start a new project from scratch, what tech stack would you choose and why?

Your answer to this question should reflect your technical knowledge, your understanding of the project requirements, and your ability to make well-reasoned decisions.

Begin by asking clarifying questions about the hypothetical project. Is it a web application or a mobile app? Will it need to handle high traffic volume? What kind of data will it manage?

Once you have this information, you can discuss your preferred tech stack.

For instance, you might choose the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js) for a web application because of its performance capabilities, or Flutter for a mobile app because it allows for cross-platform development.

Explain why each technology in your chosen tech stack is suited to the project's needs. Discuss their benefits, such as scalability, community support, or development speed, and how these will contribute to the project's success.

Project-based questions are your opportunity to show that you can apply your technical skills in a practical context. Use these questions to demonstrate your problem-solving abilities, your knowledge of different technologies, and your capacity to adapt to the needs of the project.

Problem-solving Full Stack Interview Questions

Question 8: How would you debug a web application that's slow?

A Full Stack Developer is often the go-to troubleshooter when a web application starts to lag. Your answer should demonstrate your systematic approach to problem-solving.

Begin with the basics, and check for network issues that might be affecting the application's speed. This could involve testing the server response time or examining the loading time of different components of the website.

Next, move on to the back end. Slow applications can often be traced back to inefficient database queries. You could discuss using tools to analyze and optimize these queries, or strategies like indexing to improve database performance.

Don't forget the front end. Heavy, unoptimized images or excessive JavaScript can slow down a site significantly. Explain how you would assess and optimize these aspects.

Lastly, consider external services. If your app relies on third-party APIs or services, these could be a bottleneck. Talk about strategies for identifying and mitigating these issues.

Question 9: If a website isn't rendering correctly on a user's device, what steps would you take to troubleshoot the issue?

This question tests your understanding of responsive design and cross-browser compatibility — two crucial aspects of front-end development.

First, identify the issue. Is it happening on all devices or just one? Is it browser-specific? Tools like BrowserStack can help with this.

Next, review the website's CSS and JavaScript. These are often the culprits when a site isn't rendering correctly. You might need to adjust CSS properties for different screen sizes or ensure your JavaScript functions are compatible with all browsers.

If the issue is device-specific, it could be due to features that aren't supported on certain devices, like specific CSS properties or JavaScript functions. Here, progressive enhancement or graceful degradation strategies would come into play.

Lastly, consider the user's network. If they're on a slow connection, heavy images or scripts could be causing the page to load incorrectly. Discuss how you would optimize these elements to ensure a smooth user experience.

These problem-solving questions allow you to demonstrate your troubleshooting skills. A Full Stack Developer needs to be a proficient problem-solver, able to dive into issues, analyze them from all angles, and apply effective solutions. Show that you can do this, and you'll show your interviewer that you're ready for any challenge they throw your way.

Cultural Fit/Soft Skills Interview Questions

We have an in-depth guide on soft skills for developers here. These are some of the more important questions.

Question 10: How do you handle feedback and criticism on your code?

The ability to handle feedback and criticism is a vital skill for a Full Stack Developer. Coding is often a collaborative effort, and you'll be constantly learning and improving. Your answer to this question can show your potential employer that you're open-minded, humble, and eager to grow.

Start by emphasizing that you view feedback as a learning opportunity. Explain that you understand everyone has different perspectives and strengths, and you can learn a lot from your colleagues. It's not about being right or wrong, but about collaborating to create the best product possible.

Next, discuss how you respond to criticism. This could involve asking questions to fully understand the feedback, thanking the person for their perspective, and taking time to consider their comments before making changes.

Show your proactive side by discussing how you implement feedback. This might include adjusting your coding practices, doing more research, or seeking additional training.

Finally, highlight that you also appreciate positive feedback. It's a great way to know what you're doing right and to reinforce good practices.

Remember, being a Full Stack Developer isn't just about technical skills. Soft skills, like being able to handle feedback, are equally important.

Question 11: Can you describe a time when you had to work as part of a team to complete a challenging project?

This question provides an opportunity for you to showcase your teamwork and collaboration skills, which are essential for a Full Stack Developer. Again, you can structure your answer using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).


Begin by outlining the context. What was the project? Why was it challenging?


Describe your role in the project. What were your responsibilities? What were the team's goals?


Discuss the specific actions you took to contribute to the team's success. Did you help resolve conflicts, propose innovative solutions, or take on extra responsibilities to ensure the project's completion?


Finally, explain the outcome. What was the result of the project, and how did your contributions help achieve this?


Getting a full-stack developer job isn’t easy but it’s certainly not impossible. Preparing well for interviews is a huge part of the process.

We have some in-depth guides on front-end and back-end interview questions that you should take a look at. Given that you’re looking for a full stack developer role, those questions should help you, too.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for full-stack developer jobs, make sure you check out Simple Job Listings. All jobs posted on Simple Job Listings are remote, most pay amazingly well, and a significant number of them aren’t posted on any other website.

So, check out Simple Job Listings and find your dream remote full-stack developer job. Good luck!

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