If you’re in the market for a new development job, you know that interview questions related to roles focused on specific programming languages can be quite complex. Even if you’re an experienced veteran in ASP.NET, you can never prepare too much for your next interview.
We reached out to a panel of ASP.NET pros and development leaders to learn about the most popular interview questions you’re likely to be asked so that you can be fully prepared to nail your next interview and land your next development gig. Here’s what we asked our panel to weigh in on:
“What’s your favorite ASP.NET interview question (and how should developers prepare to answer it)?”
Meet Our Panel of ASP.NET Pros and Development Leaders:
Tapas Banerjee is the CEO of Web Age Solutions. Founded in 1999, Web Age Solutions started out as a training and consulting company offering services to Fortune 500 companies in Canada and the Eastern United States. From their Toronto-based headquarters, Web Age Solutions has expanded across North America to support clients from a wide range of industries.
“One of my favorite ASP.NET interview questions is…”
What is dependency injection, and what are its benefits?
The answer is: Dependency injection is a design pattern used for developing loosely coupled code. It takes away the responsibility of creating dependencies from a class. It implies sending a dependency into a dependent object as opposed to the dependent object controlling life cycle of its dependencies. Some of its benefits are as follows:
- Increases code reusability
- Increases code maintainability
- Improves application testing
- Reduces class coupling
Callum Whyte is a Certified Umbraco Developer for The Cogworks. He based in London and an organizer for the monthly Umbraco London Meetup and the annual Umbraco UK Festival.
“We have been providing our interviewees with methods without letting them know the name…”
They need to look at the logic within the method and walk us through how they would go about choosing the name. Providing the right answer is not important for us. What we are looking for are developers who can clearly explain their thought process. You can tell a lot about developers without having them write any code. For example, you can gauge whether they can apply or extend this method in future applications. You can also weed out inexperience as experienced developers will often have a very clear and concise naming system.
David Webster is Venn’s Head of Development and came from a background in academia as a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, working in collaborative research projects with engineering industries.
“My favorite ASP.NET interview question is…”
Christian Duvall is the Group Vice President of Enterprise Services for Workstate, where he leads the Identity and Access Management practice. Christian has over fifteen years of experience providing strategic leadership, architecture, and execution of complex technical projects for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to start-ups.
“One of the best interview questions is…”
Question: When creating a new application that utilizes ASP.NET (or enhancing an existing one), a lot of decisions need to be made on how to best organize the solution. Take me through your decision process and describe what criteria you use for each step.
Developer Preparation: Even an entry-level developer should understand fundamentals of solution design. Studying classic principles such as SOLID (object-oriented_design) as well as keeping current with newer patterns like the microservice architecture, will help developers make stronger decisions. The key to the question is not to design the ultimate architecture for all situations, but rather to have a working knowledge of what types of decisions need to be made – and how ASP.NET-specific concerns could come into play.
As the Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Webilize, Donald Kim helps to establish short- and long-range strategic goals, objectives, and processes for the company’s marketing and sales functions.
“One important question to ask in an ASP.NET interview is…”
What is the best functionality feature of an ASP.NET website that you’ve built, and why?
How developers should prepare to answer it:
As the interviewer, I look for answers aligned with the following:
1. The Project: Functional features, complexity, and how it would add value to company’s services. They should also be able to showcase their understanding of systems requirements. The developer should do a thorough research about the company beforehand, and have a strong understanding of the company’s core services and past work. The developer should also be able to explain why they enjoyed working on that particular project.
2. Programming Skills: The candidate should be able to speak on what their processes were for developing the ASP.NET site, as well as articulately explain the project in detail so that the interviewer can understand the candidate’s programming abilities.
Randy Zinn has been a professional programmer since 1999. He holds a MCSD and MCDBA and specializes in the Microsoft stack, especially ASP.NET, SQL Server, and SharePoint for web development. He’s a full life cycle programmer and ran his own consulting company for seven years before returning to being someone else’s employee.
“My favorite ASP .NET question is…”
For error handling, in a try-catch block, if there’s no error, does the finally block still execute? People who don’t instantly know the answer is yes are doomed with me because that means they don’t do error handling, and that’s just bad practice, unprofessional, and tells me they lack real world experience. This is my lead-off question.
Developers should prepare for this by developing real apps, which will definitely have errors that need to be gracefully handled. In lieu of that, understanding the basics of error handling would suffice.
Joe Mitchell is Co-Founder and CTO of ClockShark, a SaaS company founded in 2014 that offers GPS mobile time tracking solutions to companies with mobile workforces.
“My favorite asp.net interview question is…”
To ask the candidate to describe the ASP.NET request pipeline in as much detail as possible. It’s a great question because it allows strong candidates to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge. The best preparation for a question like this comes from experience, and being able to recall situations where implementing custom modules or filters were required to build a feature or address an issue. If you haven’t ever dealt with a situation that called for understanding how the request pipeline works, it’s a good idea to have at least read the documentation and be prepared to explain the main steps.
Toni Solarin-Sodara is one of Andela’s top developers who was recently named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with the .NET platform.
“A good question to ask a candidate in an ASP.NET interview is…”
What’s the difference between ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API? Which one is more important?
ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET Web API are two different web frameworks for the .NET Platform. They can be used interchangeably or standalone. The question is relevant because these two frameworks are so ubiquitous that a developer’s knowledge of the .NET platform should be called into question if they are unable to answer.
Answer Part I:
ASP.NET MVC is a web application framework for the .NET Platform used for building full stack web applications using the MVC pattern (Knowledge of the MVC pattern as well as why it’s important could be a plus, but is not necessary to answer the question). ASP.NET Web API, on the other hand, is (as the name suggests) used purely for building backend web APIs which can be consumed by an array of clients, from the web to desktop to mobile. It forms the server component in a RESTful architecture.
Answer Part II:
It’s actually a trick question; neither is more important than the other. The choice between the two depends on the needs of the project. If one intends to build a server component that can be easily utilized by an array of clients then ASP.NET Web API is the way to go. If, however, the project is purely going to be used as a web application and nothing more, then ASP.NET MVC is a more appropriate choice.
Huib Maat is the in-house perfumer & CEO at Pairfum.
“One question which I have found that very quickly filters out prospective employees during asp .net interviews is the following…”
If we were to hire you, what would you suggest that we change about our company?
There is no correct answer to this question but answering it shows:
- Creativity: can they actually add something new to our organization and it does not matter what it is or whether it is right
- Courage: Offer constructive critique during an interview
- Preparation: How well has the candidate prepared himself?
- Initiative: Is the candidate a self-starter?
I am typically more interested in the person, as the pre-interview filtering will have ensured that any candidate is sufficiently qualified in ASP.NET.
Kevin Weitzner is the Director of Technology for LuxeDecor. He oversees the development team to ensure their sites are running smoothly and ongoing development projects are meeting deadlines.
“Our favorite ASP.Net question is…”
What does the method Finalize do?
How should developers prepare to answer it: The Finalize method puts an object to the finalization queue. The Object will then be collected (by GC) on the next garbage collection. The Finalize method can be viewed as ‘the object’s last wish.’ You can read and learn more about this here.
Pam Sanderson is Director of Operations at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Infomedia has provided web design, web development, and online marketing for clients in the Southeast for over 20 years.
“Our most important question for an ASP programmer is…
How old is your experience? So many people worked with ASP 10 or even 15 years ago, but even though that expertise is largely obsolete now, we still have a lot of people applying who don’t have anything new on their resumes.
If a programmer has experience within the past year or even two, we can work with that. We’d need to see examples of sites they’ve built and be able to examine the source code to really get an idea of whether or not a programmer is a right fit for us.
Pramono Wang is the founder of Pupstand company.
“My favorite ASP.NET question is…”
What is the web.config file and what is used for?
This is a technical question that most interviewers will ask. The web.config file is crucial because it contains the configuration settings for the application. It keeps all your configuration separate from your code so you can easily change settings without code changes. It also allows you to potentially encrypt the configuration settings for increased security.
Andrew Yunisov is the CMO at Virto Commerce, an enterprise .NET commerce platform.
“Here are the 3 basic questions and answers for an ASP.NET interview…”
Q: Explain MVC (Model-View-Controller) in general.
A: MVC (Model-View-Controller) is an architectural software pattern that basically decouples various components of a web application. By using MVC pattern, we can develop applications that are more flexible to changes without affecting the other components of our application.
- Model is basically domain data.
- View is user interface to render domain data.
- Controller translates user actions into appropriate operations performed on model.
Q: What’s the difference between ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET WebForms?
A: ASP.NET Web Forms uses Page controller pattern approach for rendering layout, whereas ASP.NET MVC uses Front controller approach. In case of Page controller approach, every page has its own controller, i.e., code-behind file that processes the request. On the other hand, in ASP.NET MVC, a common controller for all pages processes the requests.
Q: Can you please explain the request flow in ASP.NET MVC framework?
A: Request hits the controller coming from the client. Controller plays its role and decides which model to use in order to serve the request further passing that model to view which then transforms the model and generates an appropriate response that is rendered to the client.
Michael A. Reddy
Michael is a co-founder with HireSphere, building complete candidate profiles and using analytics to identify the best candidates. He has worked with multiple Fortune 100 companies in these roles: media mix modeling, statistical modeling, test & learn, web analytics, product management, and project management.
“Our favorite question to ask .NET candidates is…”
Tell me about some of your project’s coding with Visual Studio.Net? This question is set to measure the experience of the candidate with the main Integrated Development Environment (IDE) from Microsoft that is used to develop all the applications. Their knowledge of this environment would prove hands on experience coding in .NET.
For over 30 years, Randy Schrum has had the opportunity to lead an outstanding team of passionate professionals in the marketing, technology, and advertising fields. He’s worked with a wide range of clients in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and education. His reputation and career were built on consistently delivering quality, creativity, and great value for my clients. He works at Visual Impact Group.
“Running a marketing agency for 20+ years that used to focus primarily on hiring .NET developers…”
The interview process was always a bit of a challenge to ensure we’re hiring the right skill set required to not only help the team in building new technologies and systems but also demonstrate a level of confidence in our team to dive into some of our older systems and be able to help update and maintain them.
I always liked having one of my senior developers in the interview with me, but one question that always got our conversation started was: “Walk us through your largest .net application you’ve developed and your role in that?. What was the biggest struggle of that application and how did you overcome it?”
This question obviously opens up a trail of potential questions to follow, but it allows us to hear about the size of the project they’ve worked on, what problems they may have faced with that project, how they managed to work through that problem (whether it was with a team or an individual effort), and we get to learn about the end result.
James Lloyd-Townshend is the CEO of Nigel Frank International.
“As experts in Microsoft recruitment, we find that our candidates are often faced with challenging ASP.NET questions in interviews…”
A great question is to ask what the advantages are of ASP.NET compared to other web frameworks. This gives the company an opportunity to test the candidate’s knowledge of not only ASP.NET and its outstanding features, but web development and coding on the whole.
As a candidate, this offers the chance to demonstrate your technical knowledge of ASP.NET as well as your passion for what you specialize in. While you would be correct to point out that it allows easy separation of code from HTML, state how useful this is in the context of web design and how it makes it easier for designers and programmers to work together. Mention the ASP.NET class library and how it has allowed you to improve communication with the server — what problem did you have and how did ASP.NET help solve it? Demonstrate your knowledge using examples of work you have done in the past, particularly if you can show this work to the interviewer.
With over 20 years in IT, Calvin Brown is now referred to as an Enterprise Architect. He’s founded a few brands, and he successfully runs a consulting firm on a day-to-day basis.
“One of my favorite ASP.NET interview questions is…”
What different type of ASP.NET applications can you deploy and why would you choose one over the other?
Response: ASP.NET can be deployed in multiple variations. Web Forms and MVC. Web Forms are the original way to develop ASP.NET applications, which still is supported and a good choice to this day. MVC, arguably the most-loved design pattern in software, makes it easier for teams to come to an agreement on where all the UI (things the users sees) and the code will live in the application. This is to prevent spaghetti code and a host of other common bad practices.
“My favorite ASP.NET interview question is…”
What is the ASP.NET application lifecycle? The developer needs to understand how the ASP.NET application works during its life cycle and must be able to explain the purpose of each event/stage in the life cycle. Having this kind of knowledge, the developer has the ability to know where to handle authentication/authorization, occurred exception, and how a browser request is processed through the application code.
Marco Cirillo is an Application Architect at Clearbridge Mobile where he uses his broad base of technical and business consulting skills building world-class apps for enterprises. With an extensive development background starting his own app development company, Marco helps clients transform their app idea into a successful business.
“I would ask the candidate to explain ASP.NET MVC and how to use the framework to develop an application…”
This would be the most important question I’d ask during an interview because I want to see if they really know MVC and how to apply it. MVC is a common design pattern in computer programming. It’s one of the basic building blocks of websites and applications, so before an ASP.NET interview, developers should brush up on their MVC knowledge to understand the benefits of using it. Candidates should also devote some time keeping up-to-date with current developments in the field.
Imran Abdul Ghani
Imran Abdul Ghani has more than 10 years of experience in designing/developing enterprise-level applications. He is Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET(MCSD.NET) since 2005. You can read his work at WCF Tutorials, Web Development, and SharePoint for Dummies.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Top 10 ASP.NET Interview Questions and Answers via Code Project.
“One of the most commonly asked interview questions is…”
What is the difference between custom controls and user controls?
Custom controls are basically compiled code, i.e., DLLs. These can be easily added to the toolbox, so it can be easily used across multiple projects using a drag-and-drop approach. These controls are comparatively hard to create.
But User Controls (.ascx) are just like pages (.aspx). These are comparatively easy to create but tightly coupled with respect to User Interface and code. In order to use them across multiple projects, we need to copy and paste to the other project as well.
With over 6 years of vast development experience on different technologies, Nitin Pandit is Microsoft certified Most Valued Professional (Microsoft MVP) as well as a C# Corner MVP. His rich skill set includes developing and managing IT/Web based applications in different technologies, such as – C#.NET, ADO.NET, LINQ to SQL, WCF, and ASP.NET 2.0/3.x/4.0, WCF, WPF, MVC 5.0 (Razor), and Silverlight, along with client side programming techniques, like jQuery and AngularJS. Nitin possesses a Master’s degree in Computer Science and has been actively contributing to the development community for its betterment. He has written more than 100 blogs/articles and 3 eBooks on different technologies to help improve the knowledge of young technology professionals.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from ASP.NET Interview Questions And Answers via C# Corner.
“One of the best ASP.NET interview questions is…”
What are the different validators in ASP.NET?
Answer: ASP.NET validation controls define an important role in validating the user input data. Whenever the user gives input, it must always be validated before sending it across the various layers of an application. If we get user input with validation, then chances are that we are sending the wrong data. So, validation is a good idea whenever we are taking input from the user.
There are the following two types of validation in ASP.NET:
- Client-Side Validation
- Server-Side Validation
When validation occurs on the server, then it is known as Server-Side Validation. Server-Side Validation is a secure form of validation. The main advantage of Server-Side Validation is if the user somehow bypasses the Client-Side Validation, we can still catch the problem on server-side.
The following are the Validation Controls in ASP.NET:
- RequiredFieldValidator Control
- CompareValidator Control
- RangeValidator Control
- RegularExpressionValidator Control
- CustomFieldValidator Control
For more information on validation controls, visit this link.
If you’re considering a new career in development but have never interviewed for an ASP.NET-focused role before, being prepared to answer these 21 questions is sure to help you make a lasting impression. Interviewing for a Java development role? We’ve got you covered there, too – check out this post for some of the most popular Java interview questions.
No matter what programming language you specialize in, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your DevOps expertise. Check out our roundup of the most popular DevOps interview questions here, and read this post for more tips on hiring and interviewing for DevOps roles.
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