The complete guide to Java interview questions and interview prep

Feb 01, 2022 - 14 min read
Erica Vartanian
editor-page-cover

While an older language, Java remains one of the most popular high-level programming languages today. It entered the landscape as a high-level language designed for simplicity and platform independence. Java is running on most of our mobile devices and laptops, and Java developers remain in high demand.

Whether you’re preparing for a role in game development or Android development, mastering Java might take you closer to finding a developer job you love.

Today, we present you with this complete guide to preparing for Java interviews.

We’ll cover:

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Common Java interview questions

Core Java interview questions and answers for beginners


Is Java an object-oriented programming language?

Java can be considered a partially object-oriented programming language. Java supports object-oriented programming along with other programming paradigms. Java employs object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts including encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance, and abstraction.

However, Java is not a pure object-oriented programming language. It fails to satisfy the pure OOP language requirement that all user-defined types are objects. Java supports primitive data types as well

Does Java support multiple inheritances for classes?

No, Java doesn’t support multiple inheritances for classes. Java was designed for simplicity and multiple inheritances for classes was avoided to avoid the “Deadly Diamond Problem.” This problem results when a child class has two parent classes with two different methods for implementing a feature.

What is JDK?

JDK stands for Java Development Kit. JDK consists of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which are essential to Java development.

Method overloading: Which method will be invoked?

Given two overloaded methods, which method will be invoked for the method call myOverloadedMethod(5)?

    void myOverloadedMethod(long arg) {
        System.out.println("Method with long invoked");
    }

    void myOverloadedMethod(int arg) {
        System.out.println("Method with int invoked");
    }

Choose an answer.

Q

Which method will be invoked for the method call `myOverloadedMethod(5)?

A)

method with int

B)

method with long

Execute the following code to verify the result.

class Demonstration {
public static void main( String args[] ) {
myOverloadedMethod(5);
}

static void myOverloadedMethod(long arg) {
System.out.println("Method with long invoked");
}

static void myOverloadedMethod(int arg) {
System.out.println("Method with int invoked");
}
}

What is a default constructor?

If no constructors are defined for a class, the compiler generates a nullary constructor known as the default constructor.

Resources for common Java interview questions

To prepare for basic Java interviews, check out these resources:


Advanced Java interview questions and answers for experienced developers

Can Enum implement an interface in Java?

Enum is a special data type or class that’s used to store constants. Since enum is a type, it can implement an interface.

What are garbage collection (GC) roots?

The JVM references GC roots to guide the garbage collector. GC roots allow the garbage collector to collect only those objects that need collection.

Java has four types of GC roots:

  • Local variables
  • Static variables
  • Active Java threads
  • JNI references

What are the three phases of garbage collection?

Garbage collection in Java occurs in three phases: Marking, deletion, and promotion.

REST API questions

REST APIs are very popular in Java development.

Some questions you may be asked to assess your depth of knowledge on REST include:

Be sure to spend plenty of time studying REST API interview questions and answers.

Resources for advanced Java interview questions

To prepare for advanced Java interviews, check out these resources:

Java coding interviews

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Coding interviews will test your familiarity with Java, your understanding of algorithms and data structures, and your problem-solving skills. The higher the level of the role, the more likely this test will touch on topics such as system design, bit manipulation, and concurrency.

Here are some resources to get you started preparing for a Java coding interview:

Java algorithm interview questions

As with any coding interview, you’ll want to study several algorithms and be prepared to implement them in Java.

Some algorithms to study include:

You can learn about these common Java algorithm questions and more by taking our course, Algorithms for Coding Interviews in Java

Java data structure interview questions

You’ll want to know the fundamentals of data structures in Java. You should know how to declare and initialize data structures, and practice performing different operations on them. It’s a good idea to spend time studying common Java data structure interview questions questions and answers.

Some topics you should be sure to study are:

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Java collections interview questions and answers

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What are collections?

Collections are objects grouping multiple elements into a single unit. The Java collections framework identifies classes and interfaces with which we can implement collections.

What is the collection interface?

The collection interface is used to pass around collections of objects.

The core collection interfaces are:

  • Set : A collection that can’t contain duplicate elements
  • List : An ordered collection that can contain duplicate elements
  • Queue : A collection used to hold multiple elements prior to processing
  • Map : An object mapping at most one value to keys

What are collection interface bulk operations?

Bulk operations are operations that can be performed on an entire Collection. Bulk operations include containsAll, addAll,removeAll and more.

What are the collection types in the Java collections framework?

There are three collection types in the Java collections framework: Ordered lists, maps, and sets.

Other Java collections interview questions could consist of:

Learn how to answer these questions and more through our course on Collections in Java. You’ll learn how to sort collections, modify data in collections, and how to make collections thread-safe.

Java multithreading interview questions and answers

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Multithreading is increasingly important for senior level roles. Multithreading is a resource-efficient way to multitask in Java.

What is multithreading?

Multithreading is a technique that allows us to efficiently leverage CPU by executing two or more threads concurrently.

What are the benefits of multithreading?

Benefits of multithreading include:

  • Increased throughput
  • Increased responsiveness of applications
  • More resource efficient than multiprocessing

Other questions on multithreading might concern:

  • How to implement a semaphore class in Java
  • Difference between a process and a thread
  • Amdahl’s Law
  • Java memory model

Learn how to answer these questions and more by studying Java multithreading interview questions for senior engineers.


Java 8 interview questions and answers

Java 8 introduced several valuable new features, including the Lambda expression, virtual extension methods, a new Date and Time API, as well as support for functional programming. Check out our course for a deep dive on mastering the features in Java 8

What is function composition?

Function composition is one of the 5 key principles of functional programming. It refers to combining simple functions to create a complex function.

What is a functional interface?

Functional interfaces are interfaces that have a single abstract method. Functional interfaces are implemented with Lambda expressions. The Lambda expression contains the body of the abstract method.

STREAM API questions

Stream API questions questions can include:

  • What’s the difference between streams and loops?
  • What are advantages and disadvantages to the Stream API?

Check out our blog post on mastering Stream API for answers to these questions and more.

Other questions on Java 8 could include:

  • What are the advantages of Date-Time APIs?
  • What is a collector?
  • What is the random keyword used for?

You can find answers to these questions and more in this article covering the top Java 8 interview questions.


Java EE interview questions and answers

If you’ll be working with the Java Enterprise Edition, or Jakarta EE, you’ll likely be asked about web frameworks such as Spring and Hibernate.

Spring framework interview questions

Spring framework questions can include the following:

  • What is aspect-oriented programming?
  • What’s the difference between the IOC containers BeanFactory and ApplicationContext?
  • What is the Bean lifecycle?

You can find answers to these among the top 40 Spring framework interview questions.

List the Hibernate framework’s core interfaces.

Hibernate’s core interfaces are:

  • Configuration
  • Session
  • SessionFactory
  • Criteria
  • Transaction
  • Query

Are singleton beans thread-safe?

Singleton beans are not thread-safe. A singleton is a design pattern for creation. Thread safety is specific toward execution.

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How to prepare for Java interviews

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How much you prepare depends on your experience. If you’re interviewing for a job with additional language requirements, you won’t be able to spend all of your time on Java. You’ll want to use your time wisely and cover as many bases as you can during interview prep.

Study the fundamentals

If you’ve been working with Java for a while, you can skip this.

Before you start preparing for interviews, make sure you’re well-versed on the fundamentals of Java programming. Check out our learning path tailored for Java for programmers .

Prepare for specific interview rounds

You’ll often go through several rounds of interviews, from behavioral interviews to coding interviews, up to system design interviews.

Java coding interviews

You’ll want to practice answering various interview questions. Since you have limited time to prepare, it’s important to have a strategic coding interview prep plan. In addition, you need to plan for what to do if you’re given a coding problem you can’t solve (Hint: You can still get the job).

Here are some resources to help you prepare:

How much time will you need?
Check out this coding interview roadmap.

Java system design interviews

The system design interview is common practice if you’re interviewing for a role as a senior developer.

Here are some resources to help you prepare for the Java system design interview:

Prepare for specific roles and companies

All interviews vary! In addition to studying industry-standard interview questions, you should tailor your interview preparation for your unique circumstances:

  • The level of the role: Expectations differ based on the level of the role you’re applying to. It’s difficult to provide a template, since every company is different, but a ballpark of the topics you could expect based on your level of experience include:
    • Java interview questions for junior developers will assess your general programming knowledge, OOP knowledge, and your understanding of Java basics.
    • Java interview questions for experienced developers are more likely to expect your knowledge of multithreading, concurrency, JVM internals, and Java collections.
  • The individual job description: This is the most important aspect to consider. Your job description gives you a rubric for all the qualifications your interviewers hope to see in you. You should prepare to highlight and justify the qualifications you meet. If there are qualifications you can’t meet, don’t sweat it. The deal-breaker qualifications are already addressed during the phone screening.
  • The company you apply for: Each company conducts interviews differently. Spend some time on forums and Glassdoor to explore what others have said about interviewing with the company. If you’re interviewing at a top tech company such as FAANG, you’ll be able to find many company-specific interview guides, such as Netflix coding interview guides and Facebook coding interview guides.

Here are some additional resources that are specific to company interviews:


Wrapping up and next steps

There are several ways to approach preparing for a Java interview. You’ll want to review fundamental concepts based on your experience level. You’ll also want to get hands-on practice with real-world problems. You’ll want to tailor your preparation based on the level and responsibilities of the job you’re applying for, as well as the company. While you can’t know everything about an interview in advance, there’s a lot you can do to be sure you walk in prepared.

At Educative, we love to support developers as they advance in their careers. That’s why we created Interview Prep with Educative. Here, you’ll find all our resources for Java interview prep in one place, from courses and tutorials to walkthroughs on real-world interview problems.

We’ve also created these courses and learning paths to help you master Java programming and and ace your Java interview:

These courses are not specifically designed for interviews, but they’re interactive and cover other essential skills for Java interviews:

  • Java for Programmers: This learning path covers basic and advanced concepts. It has six modules covering Java fundamentals such as main method, object-oriented programming in Java, recursion, Java multithreading, Java collections, and Java 8.
  • Become a Spring Boot Developer: This learning path will prepare you for Spring framework interview questions. It has three modules covering Java fundamentals, the Spring 5 framework and Spring Boot 2, as well as building with Maven.
  • The All-in-One Guide to Java Programming: This course covers fundamentals of Java and progresses to more advanced topics such as microservices and concurrency, as well as other JVM languages such as Groovy and Scala.
  • Modern Android App Development with Java: This course covers Android app development with Java.

WRITTEN BYErica Vartanian

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