An Essential Guide to App Developer Interviews

It is a multipolar smartphone world that dominates our existence with Android, iOS and Windows OS leading the app marketplaces. You need a smart breed of developers that have either superb native app development expertise or cross platform experience to be able to deliver modern, multi-platform apps.

Smartphone app development differs from other types of development because it has a lot to do with the various device screens and user interaction and experience. There are tons of app developers looking for freelance gigs and app development projects but the hiring company or recruiter must have a top-notch vetting process. We bring you a list of some important questions to ask your candidates that can help you select better and faster.

1.) What are some of the most challenging apps that you have worked on? How did you resolve the challenges?

This question helps you understand the technical know how of the developer and what he/she may perceive as challenging or complex. Do they have some lateral, creative thinking that they use when working on projects?
Essentially, this allows the developer to talk about how they convert any challenge or threat into an opportunity.

2.) How can you build monetization features into my app?

Making money from your app comes at a much later stage but your developer needs to understand monetization well enough to implement it when required. There are a number of ways to make profit from your mobile app such as:

  • Paid apps (pay per download)
  • In-app advertising
  • Freemium model
  • In-app purchases
  • Subscriptions
  • Sponsorships

If you are building a free app that plans on making money from ads then ensure that your developer is familiar with mobile advertising networks like Millennial Media, AdMob etc. Bear in mind that the programmer needs the know-how for in-app purchases – both the technology and the user flows necessary to increase conversions.

3.) What kind of smartphone do you use?

This is an important question because it tells you about the developer preferences in technology. The answer can tell you how passionate and informed a candidate is about specific mobile platforms. A developer who claims to be an expert in iOS apps should have an iPhone and should interact with their own and other people’s iOS apps regularly. The same line of thought applies if you are looking to hire for Android app development using Android.   

4.) Explain differences in error handling between Android and iOS.

In Java (and therefore Android) all issues that arise during the execution of a code are expressed through the concept of throwing and catching exceptions. An exception stops the execution of the current process and continues in catch and finally blocks of try-catch-finally construct somewhere up in the function calling hierarchy

The same try-catch-finally construct exists in Objective-C, but it is commonly used in iOS. Instead, Apple’s Cocoa handles exceptions by using objects of type NSError. The two most common approaches are:

  • Pass a blank NSError object into a method and when the method completes, check to see if that object is still blank or contains an error.
  • Pass an NSError object to some failure delegate method or callback method.

NSError objects contain information about the error that has occurred which the error handling code can use to decide further course of action.

Make sure you have a list of technical questions in your arsenal. Some other technical questions you could possibly ask:

  • What are the advantages of Swift over Objective-C?
  • How are animations created on Android and iOS?

5.) What kind of special features can you create?

To stand out in the apps marketplace, you need an excellent UI and UX. But what you also need are stellar features that make users want to download your app in the first place. What does the developer bring to the table in terms of innovation and creativity? Has the developer created something unique in the past? Ask if the candidate can work on 3-D gaming, social media sharing, GPS media sharing, product coupons etc.

Conclusion: The list of questions that you can ask the shortlisted candidates is quite exhaustive. But suffice to say that you need to cover areas like app store submission, QA and testing, portfolio of previous app work, client references, certifications and awards. The more thorough you are in the selection process, the higher your chances of a smooth build process.

Have you recently hired or interviewed app developers? What are some questions you would add to this list? Please share them in the comments area below

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