The questions you ask during a Python and Django interview are important since the right questions can help you define whether an applicant is a right fit for your company. It’s been eight years since we became a company providing Python development services. Having screened and interviewed dozens of Python and Django candidates, we’d like to share what we’ve learned through the years and provide firsthand information on how to interview effectively and hire the best talent. In this article, we talk about the most crucial stage in the hiring process — the in-person interview — outline Python and Django interview questions, and conclude with dos and don’ts.
What comes before an in-person interview
There are many steps that come before an in-person interview. At different organizations, the hiring process may take different forms. At Steelkiwi, our hiring process looks like this:
- Analyze and define hiring requirements
- Post a job opening
- Review resumes
- Hold phone interviews
- Send out test assignments
- Conduct in-person technical interviews
Each stage helps us narrow down the number of candidates to find the most skilled.
Skills, education, and experience are the main benchmarks for evaluating Python & Django developers. If clearly defined, your job requirements will let applicants see whether they’re suitable for the position and help you attract the right candidates.
The next steps to find the right developer are reviewing resumes and holding phone interviews. A resume shows us a candidate’s skills, background, and values, while a phone interview helps us clarify anything that wasn’t stated clearly in the resume, reveal salary expectations, and see better whether a candidate meets our requirements. The next stage is a test assignment, which helps us build a portrait of a candidate by checking their competence.
Once we’ve selected the best candidates, we move to in-person interviews. This type of interview is important, since an applicant’s resume, a phone interview, and a test assignment don’t provide a full picture of who a candidate really is. As the last stage of the hiring process, an in-person interview helps you complete the picture and find the best candidate for your Python/Django position. At Steelkiwi, we assess both soft skills and technical skills to define whether a candidate is right for a position. Below, we lay out sample interview questions and dos and don’ts for conducting technical interviews effectively.
Assessing soft skills
Assessing a candidate’s soft skills is a crucial part of an in-person interview. Soft skills are revealed by how a candidate acts in different situations. There’s no good or bad when it comes to soft skills; it’s about finding the right fit for your company. Companies differ, and so do their philosophies. For example, some may consider critical thinking less important than other soft skills and not give it the same level of attention as other companies do.
At Steelkiwi, we look for the following soft skills when hiring:
- Problem solving
- Responsibility and planning
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when evaluating a candidate’s soft skills. We consider the STAR technique the best method to assess soft skills. The questions we ask are behavior-based, as these types of questions demonstrate how a person would behave in different situations and reveal their way of thinking.
Situation ⟶ What was the context behind the situation? What was interviewee’s experience and their involvement?
Task ⟶ What goals did the interviewee set?
Action ⟶ What exactly did the interviewee do?
Result ⟶ Where did that get the interviewee? What was the result?
Take a look at some of the questions we ask to assess teamwork, communication, critical thinking, responsibility, and motivation.
Technical skills: Top Python & Django interview questions
A well-designed technical interview can help you find out a developer’s actual level of technical proficiency. The number of questions may vary. Sometimes, two or three questions are enough to assess a candidate’s technical skills; sometimes, you may need to ask up to fifteen or twenty questions. Our advice is: Start with Python basic interview questions and then move to advanced Django interview questions.
Below is a list of questions we ask at Python and Django interviews. These aren’t one-size-fits-all questions. We suggest that you craft your own questions based on the qualifications you’re looking for.
A list of possible Python & Django framework interview questions
Below are some of the best Python interview questions to check a candidate’s technical expertise in Python and Django development.
- What is the Python Standard Library? What are some of the useful Standard Library modules?
- What styles of inheritance does Python have?
- What is RMO?
- How does Django work?
- Explain the MVC pattern in Django. What’s peculiar about the MVC model in Django?
- What key features are available in Django?
- How are requests and responses processed in Django?
- What are Django middlewares and when should you use them?
- What databases does Django support?
- How do you set up a database in Django?
- What does Django use field class types for?
- What’s the Django ORM?
- What ways of optimizing database queries using the Django ORM do you know?
- How do you customize features of the admin interface?
- What are Django-admin.py and manage.py? What’s the difference between them?
- How do you set up static files in Django?
- What styles of inheritance are there in Django?
- What caching techniques can you use to improve Django performance?
- What command line is used to load data into Django?
- What is the session framework used for?
- What are Django signals? What are their key components?
- How do you decide where to go with packages, when to optimize them, and when to write code from scratch?
Still, a technical interview shouldn’t comprise theoretical questions only. We strongly suggest including some practical Python coding interview questions. Have a look at what Volodymyr Manushko, one of our Python & Django interviewers, says:
I stand for practice questions, for it is what helps better demonstrate how well a candidate is prepared to do real-world tasks and see how they do under pressure. The tasks shouldn’t be too difficult and take long to complete, but should require ingenuity.
Some of the practical Django and Python programming interview questions we ask at Steelkiwi involve code optimization, generator expressions, validation rules, and serialization.
Tips on how to effectively interview Python & Django developers: Dos and don’ts
Below, we outline key dos and don’ts of interviewing Python and Django developers.
- Be prepared and plan your questions ahead of time
- Leave Python & Django-specific questions to a technical consultant if you aren’t a software engineer
- Ask behavior-based questions
- Ask specific questions to get specific answers
- Include practice questions
- Leave out questions assessing soft skills
- Sugarcoat your company’s story and benefits
If you still have some unanswered questions or would like to hire Python and Django development company, don’t hesitate to message us.