Top Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions Asked in Tech Interviews - The first knowledge sharing application in Vietnam (2023)

Senior software engineer interview questions at FAANG+ companies essentially test your problem-solving skills. Questions predominantly revolve around core data structures, algorithms, distributed systems, and behavioral psychology. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, among others, are known to pay hefty salaries to senior software developers, with compensations stretching higher than $400,000 per annum.

Most companies hiring for senior software engineering roles expect you to have 5+ years of experience. Top companies hire for senior software engineering roles all through the year. The interviews, however, aren’t easy to crack. It takes a solid prep strategy and practicing a good number of software engineering interview questions to ace interviews at FAANG+ companies.

If you want to understand the type of senior software engineer interview questions asked at FAANG+ companies, this article is tailored just for you.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready!

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Let’s go ahead and look at some common senior software engineer interview questions asked at FAANG+ companies. We’ll look at software engineering interview questions around coding, systems design, and behavioral interviews.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

  • Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Distributed Systems Design
  • Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Behavioral Psychology
  • FAQs on Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Mục lục bài viết

Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Data Structures and Algorithms

Acing coding interviews is crucial to making it past the on-site interview and landing an offer. Coding interviews mainly involve solving problems in data structures and algorithms. Below is the list of topics to prepare for the eBay coding interview.

Here are some sample coding interview questions to practice for your senior software engineer interview:

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  1. For a given rotated array that is sorted, write a program code to find a particular element in the array.
  2. Write a program to check if a binary tree is a valid binary search tree.
  3. Write a program to find if the permutation of a string (given) is a palindrome or not.
  4. Write an error-free program to check if a given binary tree is balanced or not.
  5. You are provided with a string in the form of a sentence. Write a program to display the characters of the string in reverse order.
  6. For an array of integers and unique values, write a program code to decipher if the sum of any two integers in the array is equal to a given value.
  7. For a given two-dimensional array with integers of unique values, write a program to make the entire column or row of the array zero if any element in the array is zero.
  8. You are given two linked lists. Each of the linked lists has an integer value. Write a program to add the two linked lists and return the value of their sum.
  9. You’re given the root of a binary tree. Write a code to show the node values at every level.
  10. For a given binary search tree where two nodes of the tree are swapped, write a program to correct the binary search tree.
  11. For a given String S, write a program to find non-letter substrings that are palindromes.
  12. You’re given a list of stock prices with the value of buying and selling for each stock. Write a code to determine at what level of buying and selling maximum profit can be derived.
  13. For a given unsorted array with positive integers from 1 to n and one missing element, write a program to find the missing element in the unsorted array.
  14. Write an error-free program to validate a given IP address.
  15. Write an error-free program to clone a given linked list “L” with the next arbitrary pointer.

For more practice problems and solutions, visit our Problems Page to access a vast list of coding problems.

Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Distributed Systems Design

Systems design is an important part of senior software engineer interviews. In fact, these interviews carry higher importance than coding interviews for senior developer positions. You can take a look at some tips to crack a system design interview.

Senior software engineer interview questions on distributed systems design are usually around the following concepts in design:

  • Object modeling
  • Database management Systems
  • API modeling
  • Networking
  • Replication
  • Sharding techniques
  • Cache
  • Distributed file systems
  • Scaling distributed applications

Here are some sample systems design interview questions to expect at your technical interview:

  1. How would you design an IP blocking system?
  2. How would you design a file-sharing system like Dropbox?
  3. Design an API rate limiter?
  4. How would you ensure the security of a scalable distributed system?
  5. What are your thoughts on designing an e-commerce platform like eBay or Amazon?
  6. How would you go about designing a voting system where voters cast their votes, and the results are automatically tabulated?
  7. How would you integrate an end-to-end notification service on the eBay e-commerce platform?
  8. How would you go about designing an online food-delivery platform? What are the aspects you’ll have to account for?
  9. How would you go about designing a cab-hailing service?

Take a look at the five must-have Qualities to Become a Senior Software Engineer here.

Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions on Behavioral Psychology

Senior software engineer interview questions on behavioral psychology are mainly asked to evaluate attributes of your personality and your response to work-related situations. Behavioral interview questions are mainly centered around:

  • Your attitude and characteristics of your personality
  • Your response and reactions to workplace-related situations
  • Past experiences and learnings from past projects

Below are some sample behavioral interview questions asked at eBay’s technical interview:

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  1. Tell us about the most challenging project you worked on
  2. Tell us about a time when you had to make a big decision for a crucial client project
  3. Tell us about a time when you disagreed with your superior
  4. Tell us about a conflict you had at your workplace
  5. What, according to you, are important aspects to maintain productivity at the workplace
  6. How would you avoid distractions at work?
  7. What lessons have you learned from the most challenging project you worked on?
  8. Tell us about a time when you had an uncooperative coworker and how you dealt with the situation?
  9. What are your thoughts on taking periodic vacations?
  10. Tell us about a time when a project suffered because of your superior’s inability to make tough decisions.

Check out these Behavioral Interview Questions for Software Engineers and Developers for more insights on behavioral interviews.

These senior software engineer interview questions will help you get an idea of the type of questions and problems asked at FAANG+ interviews. Practice these questions to stand a good chance at acing tech interviews.

FAQs on Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions

Q1. What type of senior software engineer interview questions are asked at FAANG companies?

Senior software engineer interview questions at FAANG+ companies are primarily around core data structures, algorithms, distributed systems design, and behavioral psychology.

Q2. What is the interview process for senior software engineers at FAANG+ companies?

The interview process for senior software engineers comprises three main rounds – a) The Initial Recruiter Screen – where you’re asked questions about your experience, skills, and compensation expectations b) The Technical Phone Screen – where you’re asked to solve 1-2 DSA problems, and c) The On-site Interview – consisting of coding, systems design, and behavioral rounds.

Q3. What coding concepts should you prepare to answer senior software engineer interview questions at FAANG companies?

(Video) I ask this question to every Backend Engineer I interview

Senior software engineer interview coding questions are primarily around arrays, graphs, trees, dynamic programming, greedy algorithms, hash tables, and recursion.

Q4. What is the average salary paid to senior software engineers in the US?

The average salary paid to senior software engineers in the US is approx. $114,784.

Q5. How many years of experience do you need to apply for senior software engineering positions at FAANG companies?

The minimum work experience to apply for senior software engineering positions at FAANG+ companies is usually five years.

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What are the interview questions for senior software engineer? ›

General questions
  • Tell me about your interests in current development trends.
  • Do you enjoy contributing to open-source projects?
  • What do you know about our firm's technology services?
  • How do you approach setting professional goals?
  • How do your qualifications support your success as a senior developer?
Dec 2, 2022

How to prepare for interview for senior software engineer? ›

Tips to Ace Senior Software Engineer Interview at Top Companies
  1. Start your prep early. ...
  2. Focus more on systems design concepts, as companies give more weight to design interviews for senior developer positions.
  3. Practice dedicatedly for the behavioral and leadership interview. ...
  4. Identify patterns in problems that you solve.

What knowledge is required for senior software engineer? ›

One of the most important hard skills a senior software engineer can possess is a vast knowledge of programming languages including Python, C++, Java, and CSS. The more in-depth your knowledge of these and other crucial web tools, the better.

What is the most important part of the senior software engineer role for you? ›

Some of the most important responsibilities of a senior software engineer include: Translate business requirements to technical specifics and develop software architecture and design based on the client or company requirements.

How to crack senior level interviews? ›

5 Interview Secrets to Crack Senior Level Jobs | Tips and Tricks | Career Guidance | Crescendo
  1. Highlight your experience and what value addition you will bring to the organization. ...
  2. You should be open to learning new technology and processes. ...
  3. Showcase your personal goals are aligned with the organization's goals.
Aug 9, 2022

How do you ace a senior interview? ›

6 ways to impress in your next senior interview
  1. Prepare for scenario-style questions. ...
  2. Own your mistakes. ...
  3. Have confidence in your managerial strategy. ...
  4. Ask the right questions. ...
  5. Don't make it all about you. ...
  6. Go the extra mile.

What are the key responsibilities of a senior software engineer? ›

  • Develop high-quality software design and architecture.
  • Identify, prioritize and execute tasks in the software development life cycle.
  • Develop tools and applications by producing clean, efficient code.
  • Automate tasks through appropriate tools and scripting.
  • Review and debug code.

How many years of experience should a senior software engineer have? ›

An individual seeking to advance to a senior-level software engineer role typically requires a minimum of five years of experience in the industry. Junior developers have an average experience level of one to three years.

What questions to ask in an interview with senior management? ›

Strategic questions to ask senior leaders
  • What are the biggest challenges facing our industry?
  • How did you get where you are today?
  • What do you see as the next big trend in our field?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to career growth in our industry?
  • What are some tips for success in our field?
Nov 12, 2022

What salary should I ask for senior software engineer? ›

What is the total pay trajectory for Senior Software Engineer?
Job TitleSalary
Senior Software Engineer$150,178 /yr
Software Engineer IV$169,071 /yr
Principal Software Engineer$209,885 /yr

What is the average age of a senior software engineer? ›

39 years old

What age range is senior software engineer? ›

What age is an average senior software engineer? Many people assume you can't work in tech beyond a certain age. However, the average age for senior software engineers ranges from approximately 37 to 42 years.

What is the hierarchy after senior software engineer? ›

Level 1 - Software Engineer. Level 2 - Senior Engineer. Level 3 - Staff Engineer (alternate: Senior Staff Engineer) Level 4 - Principal Engineer.

What is the difference between software engineer and senior software engineer? ›

Junior software engineers take on routine tasks with some supervision while senior software engineers handle complicated tasks like overseeing a software development process from start to finish.

What are the four professional responsibility of a software engineer? ›

As a software engineer, you'll need to: analyse user requirements. write and test code, refining and rewriting it as necessary and communicate with any programmers involved in the project. research, design and write new software programs (e.g. business applications or computer games) and computer operating systems.

What are the 5 hardest interview questions and answers? ›

The most difficult interview questions (and answers)
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What's something that you didn't like about your last job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?
  • Here's an answer for you.

Which method of interview is most predictive of a senior level position? ›

1. Structured interview questions/work samples. When it comes to spotting talent, work samples are the single most predictive assessment you can use.

How do you nail a tough interview? ›

Use these five tricks to nail the tough questions:
  1. Identify your skills and expertise.
  2. Know the company.
  3. Know your value and share what you can bring to the table.
  4. Ignore superlatives.
  5. Ask questions (before the end of the interview).
Sep 7, 2016

What questions are asked in final interview? ›

Examples of final interview questions and answers
  • What salary are you hoping to earn?
  • Can you describe a conflict you experienced in your previous position?
  • Have you experienced times in your career when you were under a lot of pressure and had to deal with stress? If so, how did you cope?
Aug 8, 2022

How do you score high in an interview? ›

20 Tips for Great Job Interviews
  1. Research the industry and company. ...
  2. Clarify your "selling points" and the reasons you want the job. ...
  3. Anticipate the interviewer's concerns and reservations. ...
  4. Prepare for common interview questions. ...
  5. Line up your questions for the interviewer. ...
  6. Practice, practice, practice.
May 25, 2021

Is senior engineer and senior software engineer same? ›

The Senior Engineer is an individual role within the scope of a team that (not necessarily) reports directly to the Team Lead. Technically, the Team Lead and Senior Software Engineer roles are not much different each from other.

Is 60 too old to become a software engineer? ›

Becoming a programmer at any age is possible; all you've got to do is try. If you're interested, there's no time like the present to jump-start a meaningful new hobby, project, or career in coding. Ready to get started? Explore Columbia Engineering Coding Boot Camp.

What is the salary of senior software engineer with 10 years experience in USA? ›

Salaries by years of experience in the United States
Years of experiencePer year
1 to 2 years$110,095
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$125,926
More than 10 years$144,269
1 more row

Is 45 too old to become a software engineer? ›

So whether you're just beginning learning to code at 30, becoming a software engineer at 40, or looking for the best jobs to retrain for at 50, we've got you covered! It's absolutely possible to start a career in tech at 40+. And here to prove it are several people who've done it themselves.

What are the top 10 questions to ask an interviewer? ›

Smart questions to ask about the interviewer
  • How long have you been with the company?
  • Has your role changed since you've been here?
  • What did you do before this?
  • Why did you come to this company?
  • What's your favorite part about working here?
  • What's one challenge you occasionally or regularly face in your job?
Mar 3, 2023

How do you demonstrate strategic thinking in an interview? ›

Strategic-thinking interview questions and answers
  1. Set long-term objectives.
  2. Proactively identify and address potential risks.
  3. Use resources efficiently.
  4. Develop action plans in the face of obstacles.
  5. Successfully deal with competition.

How do you close an interview? ›

How to end an interview
  1. Ask specific and well-thought-out questions about the position and company. ...
  2. Reiterate your qualifications for the job. ...
  3. Inquire if the interviewer needs any additional information or documentation. ...
  4. Address any issues. ...
  5. Restate your interest in the position.
Feb 3, 2023

Is 100k a good salary for software engineer? ›

Yes, you can make $100,000 per year as a software developer.

The chances of earning over $100k for a software developer are actually pretty good because the highest-paid software developer positions typically pay at least $122,000 per year. The average annual salary is $94,431 for software developer jobs.

Is 70k a good starting salary software engineer? ›

A good starting salary for a software engineer is $70,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a software engineer in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field.

What is the median salary of a senior software engineer in the US? ›

The average salary for a Senior Software Engineer in US is $150,790. The average additional cash compensation for a Senior Software Engineer in US is $21,657. The average total compensation for a Senior Software Engineer in US is $172,447.

Is 35 too old to become a software engineer? ›

Certainly not! Lots of people have learned to code at 35 or older. The tech industry has a lot of demand for developers. Software engineering is also one of the best prospects for building wealth as you don't need a college degree to become a Software Developer.

Is 34 too old to become a software engineer? ›

In conclusion, it's never too late to become a software engineer. With the demand for technology continuing to grow, there will always be a need for people who can adapt to change and continue learning throughout their careers.

What happens to developers once they reach 35? ›

Once a developer reaches the age of around 35 – 40 they start experiencing more rejections from employers. This can be attributed to varying factors such as not keeping up with the latest and most in-demand technical skills or, on the other end, being overqualified.

At what age do software engineers make the most money? ›

Earnings peak in the late 40s

The late 40s represent the highest earnings of a developer's life, where the average developer earns 28.7% more than the typical 26-30 year old (the most common age range in the data), after which pay stabilizes before finally beginning to decline in the early 60s.

Do senior software engineers need a Masters? ›

Many senior-level engineers and engineers seeking to move into a management role also have a master's degree. It is possible to start your career in software without a formal degree.

What level is senior software engineer at Apple? ›

Apple Senior Software Engineer Salary

Senior software engineers are at levels ICT 4 and above. The average senior software engineer salary at Apple is $214,115.

What is the next promotion after senior software engineer? ›

Instead, in many companies, Senior Software Engineers can be promoted to the role of Principal Software Engineer. Principal Software Engineers have many of the same duties as others on the software engineering team.

Which engineering has highest salary? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying Engineering Jobs of 2022
  • Systems Engineer. ...
  • Electrical Engineer. ...
  • Chemical Engineer. ...
  • Big Data Engineer. ...
  • Nuclear Engineer. ...
  • Aerospace Engineer. ...
  • Computer Hardware Engineer. ...
  • Petroleum Engineer.
Mar 24, 2023

What level of experience is a senior engineer? ›

They are highly trained, and most companies require a minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience. This is considered to be a high-level position, so you will likely have to gain experience through entry- and mid-level positions before being promoted to a senior engineer position.

What is next for senior software engineer? ›

A software developer career jump to CTO and beyond

Beware of job titles, but consider job descriptions carefully. The next step could be becoming lead developer or a tech architect. At the upper levels there are directorships, and then Chief Technical Officers.

What does senior software engineer salary mean? ›

Senior Software Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹ 5.1 Lakhs to ₹ 24.0 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 10.8 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 226.9k latest salaries received from Senior Software Engineers.

What comes before senior software engineer? ›

Junior Engineer

Junior engineers perform a wide range of entry-level operations, such as writing and maintaining code, debugging software, and helping to design software applications. Junior engineers typically start on a team and report to a more senior engineer, such as a team or manager.

What are the four 4 important attributes that all professional software should have? ›

The four most important characteristics of professional software are Acceptability, Dependability and Security, Efficiency, and Maintainability.

What are 3 ethical responsibilities of a software engineer? ›

According to the Code, software engineers shall commit themselves to “making the analysis, specification, design, development, testing, and maintenance of software a beneficial and respected profession.” The eight principles summarize aspirations for the profession at a high level and are further broken down into ...

What are 4 key skills characteristics that someone interested in being a computer software engineer should possess? ›

6 Skills That Make Software Engineers Indispensable
  • Computer programming. Computer science is clearly important to succeed in this role. ...
  • Coding. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Logical thinking and problem-solving. ...
  • Mobile development. ...
  • Interpersonal skills.

What questions should I ask a senior level interviewer? ›

In-depth questions
  • Describe your leadership style.
  • Can you describe a time when you led a team to solve a problem?
  • How would you handle an underperforming employee?
  • As a leader, how do you deal with difficult colleagues?
  • How do you evaluate your team members' performance?
  • How do you approach giving employee feedback?
Dec 2, 2022

Why should I hire you senior software engineer? ›

Over the years, I have acquired relevant skills and experience, which I shall bring to your organization. I have also worked tirelessly on my communication abilities and teamwork skills, which I will put to use in my future career, which would be in your organization if I am selected for the position.

How do you evaluate a senior software engineer? ›

6 Essential Criteria to Evaluate Software Engineers
  1. Years of Experience. ...
  2. Specific Programming Languages. ...
  3. Async Communication. ...
  4. Debugging/Problem Solving. ...
  5. Systems Thinking and Design. ...
  6. Specific Software Tools & Needs.


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