Decoding the Front-end Interview Process

Emma Wedekind ✨ on January 02, 2019

As a front-end developer, it’s inevitable that you will encounter a front-end technical interview (or ten). Unfortunately the process for a front... [Read Full]
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Front End interviews are crazy nowadays, So hard to study for. I first started interviewing for Front End opportunities back in 2014-2015. At that point if you had a solid understanding of JS, CSS and HTML you would not have many problems.

But this last year in 2018, I interviewed with Paypal, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, Cruise, Google and I'm sure I'm missing a few. The interviews were all different. Airbnb was truly tough, they got straight to the point, they have a very specific way of working with JS using classes and objects and despite all other front end skills I was kicked out of the process on my second interview because I was not as knowledgeable about their specific style of working with JS.

They could care less that I was very strong in the UI area, that I was a member of the JavaScript community, that I had worked with JS for 20 years and learned very quickly. They didn't care that I had full stack skills, Instead, it was only important that I be able to answer one specific question that was very specific to the way they did things in that one department.

I spoke with one person, and was also rejected by that one person.

Facebook actually has a good approach, they progressively get tougher as the interviews go and they are able to know exactly where you land as a front end developer and they have a good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are and they are prepared to help and understand that you may not have trained all summer on their very specific way of doing things.

Today's front-end interviews can run the gamut. Great advice in this article, but I warn people that the front end is potentially more complex these days than it was only a few years ago. Good luck!


99% of devs (probably more) are not interviewing at Paypal, Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Airbnb, Cruise, or Google. More often than not, you are interviewing at a company you have very little knowledge of, and the bit that you do know about them, you are corrected about on the interview.

One of the main reasons why the Front End is so complex now is because you have companies like Airbnb doing their own thing and then blogging about it. Then devs at these random companies feel that they need to do things the Airbnb way and end up creating a disaster then leave.

The cycle continues on and on and on. Devs trying to be too smart, instead of just building something reasonable.


^ This

I think everyone should have this in mind. I also had FE interviews, where the only FE concept I had were ordered lists. In bigger companies, you will usually be tested on your understanding as a whole - DS, Recursion, other Algorithms and Fundamentals of FE (of course it will depend). In lesser ones, you'll probably encounter more coding knowledge testing.


Hey Eric,

I just want to develop my skills, and i'm trying to get into product based companies like mentioned above. my questions is, What will be your technical question if you interview me? i'm basically Front End developer having 4 years of experience, and 2 years in Angular 2+.

you response will definitely help me in future.



Great list of subject matter to familiarize yourself with before the interview. The in person coding challenge type of thing, where they watch you code and everything, is where I have struggled in the past. All the sudden I'm all nerves and I forget what a variable is lol.

Thanks for writing!


Hi Emma, thanks for sharing your experience! Very clear and helpful 👍🏼


This is a good list for dealing with how interviews are commonly done today.

It's just so sad that it's 2019 now and people are still asking questions about linked lists and bubble sort and 'gotcha' questions. Hopefully some of the changes Microsoft has made will become more mainstream soon.


Thank you very much for writing this, Emma! This post is very helpful!


I love the way you've presented this advice and coaching. We are working on Frontend Interview prep content for Educative right now and it would be great to collaborate. We also get a lot of demand for Behavioral Interview prep that could benefit from your approach.


Thanks for the insight Emma. What's your recommendation to portfolio we build to get a job?


Thanks for sharing! This will be helpful, so I can start working on front end stuff on my free time/


Nice. Backend or Frontend interviews, these guidelines apply broadly to both. Although you missed out on the Tries data structure😊.


I'll definitely be referencing a lot of the areas and resources here as I keep going with my own self-education! Thanks!


Thank you for sharing, such a good tip to prepare even for the "easy" questions! It can be difficult to be at your best when you are put on the spot. 👌🏻


I still don't get why a front-end dev should be profound at cs algorithms, are you writing your business logic in front end?🤔🤔


Great post, thanks for sharing these useful tips :). I myself have worked several years in the industri but I havent thought of such things to go through in an interview.


“It’s okay to pull yourself out of the candidate pool. If my skills weren’t where they needed to be”. Thanks


Thank you Emma, I have interview coming up and I hope I can ace it

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