How to Evaluate and Interview Backend Developers for Your Project

Backend developers create and maintain the server-side logic, databases, APIs, and other parts that support your online or mobile application. They make sure that your software functions effectively, safely, and efficiently in the background.

Hiring a backend developer can be really challenging, especially if you don’t have the technical know-how of your project. Not only that, but it would certainly be difficult to rate their hard skills, such as coding abilities and soft skills communication skills. And you’d certainly have a hard time figuring out whether they fit the bill.

But fret not.

In this guide, we have put together some of the best advice and practices you can follow to get the best backend developer for your project.
We’ll talk about the following subjects:

  • What to look for in a CV for a backend developer.
  • What to enquire about in a phone interview for a job.
  • What to test during a live coding session or coding challenge.
  • What to talk about in a technical or behavioral interview.
  • What are the mistakes to avoid in the hiring process?

What to look for in a CV for a backend developer

Well, a CV or a resume is probably the very first thing you see of a candidate. It’s good to look for aesthetics in the resume; however, your main focus should be on their capabilities that at least fulfill the minimum requirements of your project.

What to look for in a backend developer’s resume includes the following:

Education and Certifications

While not required, a formal degree in computer science or a closely related discipline can show a strong foundation in programming concepts. Credible online platforms or organizations’ certifications can also show a candidate’s competence and dedication to learning new technologies.

Skills and Tools

The ideal candidate should have a thorough understanding of programming languages (such as Python, PHP, Java, etc.), databases (such as MySQL, MongoDB, etc.), frameworks (such as Django, Rails, Laravel, etc.), and other relevant tools (such as Git, AWS, etc.) You need to identify whether they are experts in technologies before getting in touch with them. In the initial interview, ask them how they leveraged these technologies in their previous projects.

Projects and Accomplishments

A CV should highlight the applicant’s portfolio of completed projects that show off their expertise in backend development. Look for projects that, in terms of scope, complexity, functionality, and industry, are comparable to or linked to yours. Pay close attention to the specifics of how their backend solutions were created, implemented, tested, deployed, and maintained. Additionally, search for any awards, acknowledgments, publications, or contributions to open-source projects that showcase their impact and accomplishments.

Reviews and Recommendations

A resume should also contain references from prior employers, customers, or coworkers that can verify the candidate’s high caliber of work, effectiveness, and professionalism. You can also look on websites like GitHub or LinkedIn to see if there are any endorsements, suggestions, or reviews made by other users or colleagues.

What To Enquire About In A Phone Interview For A Job?

An easy and quick way to determine a candidate’s basic information, communication abilities, and enthusiasm for your project is through a phone screening interview. You can use it to reduce the number of candidates on your shortlist and choose which applicants to interview further.

Following are some inquiries to put forth during a phone screening interview:

Can You Describe Yourself To Me?

This is a typical icebreaker that might help you learn more about the candidate. Their history, education, experience, skills, interests, and ambitions can all be identified. You may also determine their passion and enthusiasm for your project and backend development.

What Makes You Want To Work On This Project?

You can learn more about the candidate’s goals and project expectations by asking them this question. Check to see whether they have studied your project’s vision, mission, goals, difficulties, and opportunities. Additionally, you might inquire whether they have any queries or concerns about working on this project.

Which Tools Or Technologies In The Backend Are You Most Familiar With Using?

You can evaluate the candidate’s technical knowledge and skills with this question. You can find out if they have expertise in utilizing the tools or technologies you want to use on your project. Additionally, you may determine if they are prepared and able to pick up new skills and tools as required.

What Method Do You Use For Backend Development?

With this question, you can assess the candidate’s problem-solving abilities and development technique. Ask them to define the project’s aim, scope, functionality, features, challenges, and consequences so that you can observe how they plan, design, and code. If possible, you can also request that they provide some code samples or pictures of their backend solution.

What To Test During A Live Coding Session Or Coding Challenge?

A pragmatic approach to evaluating a candidate’s coding capabilities is through a coding challenge or a live coding session. It can help you understand how they create, execute, and debug their code in a practical setting.

Here are some guidelines for running a live coding session or coding challenge:

Select An Essential And Realistic Issue

The issue should be related to your project’s domain, functionality, or specifications. Additionally, it must be reasonable and feasible to solve in the allotted time. Avoid issues that are in the spectrum of too easy, complex, vague, or specific.

Give Clear And Specific Instructions

The problem description, input and output formats, intended behavior, edge cases, and evaluation standards should all be stated in the instructions. To help the applicant understand the problem better, they should also offer relevant examples and test cases.

Utilize A Proper Tool Or Platform

The candidate should be able to write, run, and debug their code in their preferred programming language and environment using the platform or tool. You should be able to keep an eye on, examine, and comment on their code both in real time and after submission.

Observe The Candidate And Engage With Them

The coding challenge or live coding session tests the candidate’s mental process, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills, in addition to their code quality. You should study their methodology, coding quality, handling of exceptions and errors, optimizing solutions, and code documentation. Additionally, you want to communicate with them by guiding, encouraging, and posing questions.

What To Talk About In A Technical Or Behavioral Interview?

A behavioral or technical interview is the best method to fully assess a candidate’s personality, attitude, values, and suitability for your project and backend development team. It can show how they respond to various issues, difficulties, and circumstances that might emerge in backend development.

The following issues can be raised in a behavioral or technical interview:

Past Experiences And Projects

You can ask the candidate to go into further detail about any past experiences they have undertaken that are relevant to your project. You might enquire about their position, duties, contributions, successes, lessons learned, challenges faced, and failures. Ask them how they used what they had learned from prior projects and experiences in their present or upcoming ones.

Technical Knowledge And Skills

Asking the candidate specific questions on backend development concepts, principles, patterns, practices, tools, and technologies will allow you to assess their technical knowledge and proficiency. You can also request that they contrast and compare various backend strategies or solutions, outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Critical Thinking And Problem-Solving Abilities

You can ask the applicant to find solutions to a few hypothetical or real-world issues connected to your project or backend development in general. You can request an explanation of their approach to problem-solving, assumptions, options, trade-offs, and solutions. You might also request that they provide details, information, or evidence to support their approach and methodology.

Communication And Collaboration Skills

Asking the applicant how they interact with other developers, stakeholders, or users on their projects will allow you to evaluate their communication and teamwork skills. Inquire them about their communication frequency, style, tools, and approaches. You can also inquire about how they communicate information, plan tasks, settle disputes, and provide or receive feedback when working on a project with others.

Motivation And Passion

Ask the prospect to show you how motivated and passionate they are about backend development and your project. Ask about their strengths and weaknesses, where they excel, and where they need to improve. What are their accomplishments, and what experience will they gain from working on your project?

What Are The Common Hiring Mistakes To Avoid?

You need to have a meticulous hiring process. Not only will it help you find the right candidate for your project, but it will also allow you to establish a rapport with them from the get-go.

That’s why you need to avoid some of the most common mistakes that could hinder and compromise your organization’s reputation and the hiring process.

Following are some hiring mistakes to avoid:

Being Unprepared Or Unprofessional

These are one of the major flaws in a recruiting manager. It alienates the candidate and sometimes makes them uncomfortable, even disrespected. Therefore, preparing yourself and thoroughly reviewing their résumé, listing all essential questions, setting up a platform or tool, and scheduling the time and date is important. Moreover, you should have to empathize with the candidate and give them respect by being on time, responsive, and honest.

Being Unrealistic Or Unreasonable

Set reasonable and realistic expectations for the applicant. You shouldn’t expect them to know everything or have all the answers. Avoid asking for excessive work, such as a lengthy or challenging coding assignment or an insignificant or unnecessary task. Additionally, you shouldn’t expect them to work for no money or pay them too little.

Being Unfair Or Biased

When assessing and making decisions, you should be impartial. Don’t evaluate a candidate based on your own personal bias in terms of their gender, race, the color of their skin, nationality, or religious beliefs. Not only that, but you must also be fair in judgment and how you treat your candidates. You mustn’t give someone special treatment over another candidate just because they seem to your liking. Your assessment must be solely based on the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and suitability for your project.


Finding a decent backend developer is challenging, but it is surely worth your while. You need to work on getting the one that fits the bill with all the essential skills and expertise required for your project. For that to happen, you must conduct a meticulous and impartial hiring procedure that may assess and highlight the candidate’s skills and potential.

If you’re looking for affordable backend developers for hire, contact VinnCorp. We have a rigorous recruiting process that all our backend developers have to go through to become a part of our diverse talent pool.

Our prevetted backend developers have the utmost experience and expertise in fulfilling your every stringent project requirement. Whether it’s coding, debugging, mentoring, or consulting, you can rest your head on our shoulders.

Don’t let a talent gap in the backend hurt your project. A backend developer through VinnCorp will help you complete your project more quickly, effectively, and affordably.

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