10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Mobile App Developer

Two years ago, Arthur Aron and others published the results of a study about intimacy. They developed a list of 36 questions that could eventually bring two people closer. The point was not to give or get the right answers. Rather, asking the 36 questions, the two have to disclose some uncomfortable truth about themselves. As paradoxical as it may seem, job interviews work in the same way. Interview questions aren’t aimed at comparing candidate’s qualifications with the job requirements. Ideally, their goal is to help you find mobile app developers that are capable and responsible for what they do.

Why checklist interviews don’t work

As a company hiring mobile app developers, we know that the articles offering 10-something uniform interview question (with answers) just don’t work. They are ineffective for several good reasons:

1. Companies are different. Potential employers vary in scale, technologies, and types of projects. Big product company often have a separate QA department and don’t need to dive into questions about testing.
2. People are different. Some professionals are self-taught. They may lack the knowledge of terminology, but they know how to make things happen.
3. There may be other circumstances. Some companies are intentionally looking for inexperienced mobile app developers for hire. They teach young developers from the ground up. In this case, questions about the projects that they worked on may be unnecessary.
Dilbert comic stripe below is a good example of just how ineffective ‘checklist interviews’ may be.

Personal approach works better than a list of questions to ask an app developer. Let’s figure out how to use it at a job interview.

4 traits of reliable employees

No matter if you are looking for junior or senior developers, you need them to be reliable. They should understand what they are doing and should not (preferably) abandon the project halfway.

Reliability can be broken down into 4 basic traits:
1. Interest – A good candidate takes his or her profession seriously. He/she knows a lot and tries to learn even more. Professional developers are genuinely interested in technical details such as the disadvantages of iOS or Android.
2. Cooperation – Programmers don’t work in a vacuum. They should be able to interact with designers, project managers, app publishers, and each other. Good employees typically know (or at least want to know) the results of their work: the number of downloads, critical reviews and so on.
3. Compatibility – You need to feel comfortable working with a person. You may need an innovator or a diligent performer, a researcher or a team player with whom you will be comfortable working with. Most app developer interview questions your HR might ask are designed just for this.
4. Business thinking – Once again, this is about working together. Good candidates should be ready to achieve measurable goals. Unfortunately, too many people on the market seem to misunderstand that they build products for real consumers, and their income is always at stake.

CNN claims that mobile app development is the most popular job in the US in 2017. The industry is growing, too. However, it is not as high-paying as many young developers expect. So, shouldn’t there be some other motivation for working in the field than just easy money?

Grouping mobile app development interview questions

Below, you can find 10 questions to ask a mobile app developer that are broken down into groups related to different aspects of reliability. You can add or take away some of the questions to suit your business needs. This list is only a guide help you make sure that the potential employee will live up to the expectations.

Questions linked to interests:
– What kind of smartphone do you use and why?
– What apps do you like and why? What apps do you dislike and why?
– How do you build interaction with a cloud database? (+any other technical questions)

Cooperation questions:
– How do you interact with UI/UX designers when working on a project?
– What were the outcomes of your previous projects?
– Name the reasons why major platforms can decline your apps.

Questions about business thinking:
– If you were in charge of the development process, what would you do to save time and cost?
– How do you get feedback on your work?
– What is the metrics you would like to achieve with your apps?

Compatibility issues:
– What special features have you implemented? Which ones would you like to master?
Corporate developers like Softermii know that there is no universal instruction on how to hire a mobile app developer. So, feel free to comment on this model and tweak it up to your needs.