Once you have been invited for a Python Developer job interview, you’ll need to brush up on your programming language knowledge and review your projects and achievements.
The interview format will vary depending on the company. Typically, you can expect an on-site and/or take-home coding challenge. In addition, you will likely also be asked Python interview questions that assess essential soft skills, such as communication and teamwork.
To ace the interview, you should know the ins and outs of Python, including frameworks, data structures, functions, and libraries. You will be asked a mix of questions that test your knowledge and understanding, as well as your technical abilities. For technical questions, it is usually more important to clearly explain your thought process than arrive at the correct solution.
When prepping, practice a range of interview questions and answers, including programming and behavioral questions. You should also go over your Python projects. You will be asked about your past work, so practice talking about your projects and successes.
Python Developer Interview Tips
- Ensure you know the ins and outs of Python frameworks, data structures, functions, and libraries
- For technical questions, clearly explain the thought process used to arrive at the correct solution
- Prep for questions related to soft skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork
- Gather past Python projects and practice talking about successes and challenges
To help you prepare for the interview, we have put together a list of the top Python interview questions and answers.
Common Skills-Based Python Interview Questions
Expect interview questions that test your knowledge in all areas of Python. Top Python interview questions and answers may include:
Question: What are the key features of Python?
Answer: Given your experience as a Python programmer, you might have your own unique answer to this question. But among whatever other features Python supports that you think are worth mentioning, try to hit upon the following key Python features:
- Python is an interpreted language, like PHP and Ruby, that does not need to be compiled before it is run
- Python is a good choice for object-oriented programming because of its capacity to define classes along with inheritance and composition
- Python is dynamically typed
- Writing Python code is comparatively quick
- Python is one of the most versatile programming languages and is used for a wide variety of applications including web development, automation, data science, scientific modeling, and many more.
Question: How is memory managed in Python?
Answer: To answer this relatively straightforward question, you just need to know that Python Memory Manager allocates memory in the form of a Python private heap space. This private heap – inaccessible to the programmer – stores all Python objects. Python also has a built-in garbage collection to recycle the private heap space’s unused memory.
Common Python Interview Questions
|What is Python? What are the benefits of using Python?|
|What is the difference between list and tuples in Python?|
|How is memory managed in Python?|
|What are the tools that help to find bugs or perform static analysis?|
|What are Python namespaces? Why are they used?|
|Explain how to delete a file in Python.|
|What are python modules? Name some commonly used built-in modules in Python.|
|What is the difference between Python Arrays and lists?|
|Is Django better than Flask?|
|Mention the differences between Django, Pyramid, and Flask.|
|What is the difference between NumPy and SciPy?|
|How can you copy an object in Python?|
|How can you convert a string?|
|Is Python and multi-threading a good idea? List some ways to get some Python code to run in a parallel way.|
|What is monkey patching in Python and is it ever a good idea?|
|What would you say are the most common mistakes made using Python?|
You should also be able to define and explain a number of terms, including:
Common Technical Python Interview Questions
You will need to show that you have the right technical skills to back up your knowledge of Python.
Compared to other roles in tech and even software development, interviews for a Python Developer tend to be highly technical, and a hiring manager will ask some pretty specific questions to ensure that you have mastered a variety of different Python-related concepts.
Here is an example of a technical frequently asked Python and data science interview question:
Question: How would you sort a dictionary in Python?
Answer: You use the sorted() function to sort a dictionary in Python (dictionaries are unordered data structures that map keys to values).
The method takes in three parameters: object (required), as well as key and reverse (both optional). The sorted() function in Python is not just useful for dictionaries but can be used to sort any iterable objects by a key, such as lists and tuples.
Additional Technical Interview Questions for Python Jobs
|Write a program to produce Fibonacci series in Python.|
|Write a program in Python to check if a number is prime.|
|Write a program in Python to check if a sequence is a Palindrome.|
|How would you display a file’s contents in reversed order?|
|How would you perform unit testing on your Python code?|
|How do you keep track of different versions of your code?|
|Using pseudo-code, reverse a String iteratively and recursively.|
|A palindromic number reads the same both ways. The largest palindrome made from the product of two 2-digit numbers is 9009 = 91 × 99. Find the largest palindrome made from the product of two 3-digit numbers.|
|How do you debug a Python program?|
|How would you sort a dictionary in Python?|
|What are the data types in Python?|
|Implement slicing in Python.|
|Write a Python function and explain what’s going on.|
|Reverse a string in Python.|
|Check if a Python string contains another string.|
|Implement breadth-first search in Python.|
|Implement depth-first search in Python.|
|Implement wildcards in Python.|
|Implement merge sort in Python.|
|Find the height of a binary search tree.|
Common Professional Python Interview Questions
You may be asked questions about your Python programming background and work style. The interviewers are assessing how well you would fit in with the company, so remember to show your passion and enthusiasm.
Top Python interview questions in this area include:
Question: Why did you decide to specialize in the Python programming language?
Answer: Some of the reasons you’ll likely want to highlight include Python’s versatility and diversity of applications, its intuitive nature, and ease of use, or the use of Python by top companies including Google, YouTube, Dropbox, Quora, Mozilla, Spotify, and more.
You’ve already proven your technical know-how when it comes to Python, so treat this as an opportunity to discuss why Python specifically interests you.
Additional Common Python Interview Questions
|How long have you spent coding primarily in Python?|
|Do you use Python in any of your personal projects?|
|Tell me something you don’t like about Python.|
|What can you offer us that nobody else can?|
|Tell me a little about yourself.|
|How would people describe you?|
|Would you say you work better independently or on a team?|
|What’s your biggest weakness?|
|Describe your work style.|
|What do you do in your spare time?|
|What motivates you?|
|Where do you see yourself in five years?|
|What project are you most proud of?|
|What can we expect from you in the first three months?|
|Do you like to participate in the analysis, design, and deployment phases of a project, or do you prefer to concentrate on the pure development of a well-described task? Why?|
Common Situational Python Interview Questions
Whether you’re managing a project or interacting with other teams, strong leadership and communication are needed to thrive as a Python Developer. To test your leadership and communication skills, expect interview questions such as:
Question: Pretend I’m not a tech person. Can you explain [Python concept] in simple terms?
Answer: This might be the toughest question you face during your interview – most Python Developers are adept at explaining complex Python concepts, but not in the straightforward way necessary to teach a layperson about concepts and functions in Python like multiple inheritances, string representation, xrange, and range, or import array.
Try use simple analogies and stay away from technical jargon and concepts. Developers will often have to work with diverse teams of product managers, marketers, designers, and other roles, so the ability to communicate complex technical ideas is important for many companies.
Additional Situational Interview Questions for Python Developers
|What do you do if there’s a disagreement within your team?|
|Are you comfortable giving in-depth presentations?|
|Are you able to explain complex technologies in simple terms?|
|What is your preferred way of communication with the team?|
|How do you convince someone to agree with you?|
|How to deal with a team member who disagrees with you?|
|Have you ever worked directly with clients or have been in a customer-facing role in the past? If not, would you like to?|
|What was the last presentation you gave?|
|What are the qualities of a successful team or project leader?|
Common Behavioral Python Interview Questions
Behavioral Python interview questions focus on how you have handled past work situations. These help to reveal your personality and skills.
Behavioral questions also give the interviewers an idea of how you might behave if a similar situation were to occur in the future.
To answer behavioral interview questions, select a specific example and describe the actions you took and the results you achieved.
Examples of behavioral Python interview questions and answers are:
Question: Do you remember a programming project decision you made that was a failure? Why do you think it was a mistake? What did you learn from the experience?
Answer: The focus of your answer here shouldn’t be on the project you were working on or the bad decision you made, but instead, you should detail how you determined that the decision you made wasn’t the right one, how you corrected course after realizing your mistake, and how this lesson changed the way you approached future projects.
By this point in the interview, you should have already had opportunities to showcase your skill and knowledge as a Python programmer. This question is more about showing your ability as a critical thinker and someone who is capable of both acknowledging and learning from your errors.
More Behavioral Python Interview Questions
|What was the most interesting project you have participated in? Can you describe it and tell me why you consider it to be so interesting?|
|Tell me about a time when you handled a challenging situation.|
|Tell me about a time when you were in conflict with a peer and how the situation was resolved.|
|Tell me about a time you had to work under pressure.|
|Give me an example of a time you made a decision that was unpopular. Explain how you handled implementing it.|
|Share an example of how you were able to motivate a coworker or your team.|
|Tell me about a goal you achieved and how you achieved it.|
|Tell me about a goal you failed to achieve.|
|Tell me about a time you felt you went above and beyond.|
Advanced Python Interview Questions
If you’re curious about the skills and expertise top tech companies are looking for in job candidates, here are a few Python interview questions for experienced professionals from Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
|Why do we use join() function in Python?|
|Give an example of shuffle() method?|
|How do you find bugs or perform static analysis in a Python application?|
|What are the different ways to create an empty NumPy array in Python?|
|What are the principal differences between the lambda and def?|
|What is the output of L[1:] if L = [1,2,3]?|
|How would you take input from the user in Python?|
|How do you terminate a line of code in Python?|
|Merge two sorted linked lists.|
|Write a function that counts the total of set bits in a 32-bit integer.|
|Given a string as your input, delete any recurring character and return the new string.|
|Tell me about a time when you took a risk and failed.|
|What is the most complex thing you know a lot about? Teach me about it.|
|What scares you?|
|Given a list and a number, find two numbers in the list that sums up to the number given.|
|What steps do you take to keep your skills current?|
|What motivates you to excel in a role?|
|Tell me about a project where your initial assumptions ended up being incorrect. How did you move forward after?|
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