42 common Servlet interview questions (with example answers)

Updated 30 May 2023

When you're preparing for an interview in a field such as software engineering, understanding the potential questions that may arise allows you to build out your answers ahead of time. If you learn what to expect in a servlet interview, you're more likely to respond to answers confidently, concisely and in the right tone, which impresses employers. Servlets are vital for executing Java, a common programming language in software engineering, meaning it's critical to show technical knowledge. In this article, we explore 42 common servlet interview questions, including general and in-depth questions and provide three sample answers to follow.

13 general servlet interview questions

An employer typically asks general servlet interview questions to better understand you as a person, your work ethic and your personality. This starts the interview on a positive note and allows you the opportunity to distinguish yourself from other candidates within the application process. The employer may use these questions to determine if your interests and career goals also align with the business culture, which is an increasingly critical aspect of the recruitment process. The general questions an employer may ask include:

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

  2. What do you know about this company?

  3. Tell me about your responsibilities in your current role.

  4. What interested you in software engineering?

  5. How would your colleagues describe you?

  6. What are your strengths and weaknesses at work?

  7. Where do you want your career to be in five years?

  8. What managerial style best suits you?

  9. What skills do you have that set you apart from other candidates?

  10. What skills do you value from a colleague?

  11. What qualities do you value from a manager?

  12. What's your biggest success in your last role?

  13. Describe a time when you faced conflict and how you overcame it.

Related: How to prepare for an interview

13 interview questions about your servlet experience

An employer may ask you questions about your experience, qualifications and professional background to learn more about specific accomplishments. By answering these questions efficiently and effectively, you're revealing an aptitude for the role and showing that you're qualified. Consider practising your answers to these questions so you're able to highlight how your background would help you excel in the new position. Here are several Servlet interview questions that focus on your background and experience:

  1. Tell me more about your work history.

  2. Have you received any formal certifications?

  3. What are the four stages of how servlets operate?

  4. Tell me more about your educational history

  5. What is the most useful skill for a software engineer working with servlets?

  6. What is the scope of servlet attributes?

  7. How do you maintain reliability in your work?

  8. How do you go about fixing errors in your or a colleague's work?

  9. Do you have any experience in managing clients or the relationships that form?

  10. What is your greatest achievement as a software engineer?

  11. Do you have any projects or hobbies related to software engineering outside of work?

  12. How would you go about solving this specific problem with a servlet?

  13. What are the key attributes of a servlet?

Related: Job interview tips: how to make a great impression

13 in-depth interview questions about servlet

In-depth questions are much more situational questions that relate heavily to the industry you're applying for. These questions usually come at the end of an interview and aim to determine how you may approach different tasks, how you work and how your personality influences your working style and culture fit. Below are some of the in-depth questions that you may experience during an interview:

  1. Explain your idea of a successful day at work?

  2. How would you structure your goals for your first 30 days in this role?

  3. Can you tell me a time when you faced challenging professional circumstances and how you approached it?

  4. How do you deal with critical feedback?

  5. Have you ever had a negative experience with a manager or member of senior management? How did you overcome it?

  6. Can you elaborate on a time when you didn't gel with a colleague on your team and how you approached the situation?

  7. Can you explain the role a cookie plays when you use a servlet?

  8. How would you approach submission issues when a user or browser doesn't have Javascript enabled?

  9. What is a deadlock condition in relation to a servlet?

  10. Explain when you'd use encodeRedirectURL over encodeURL.

  11. What is the difference between a servlet and server-side programming?

  12. What's the difference between a servlet and a JSP?

  13. Can you provide an example of when you last used a servlet in your role?

Related: A guide on how to ace an interview (with tips and examples)

3 servlet questions with example answers

If you're preparing for an interview in software engineering, it's vital to have a good idea of how to respond in a clear but informative way. While you can't predict the exact questions, you can understand how to structure your answers correctly. Below are several servlet questions that include example answers:

1. Can you tell us how you'd explain the concept of servlets to someone new to software engineering?

An employer may ask you this question to test your ability to convey technical information to a client or key stakeholders that don't understand coding, programming or software engineering. Consider your own learning process during your education and use this approach when answering the question. While you can expect an interviewer in this type of interview to understand the concept, explain it in basic terms to demonstrate your communication and active listening skills. You may rehearse this answer with a family member that doesn't understand the concept to see if you're clear and informative.

Example: 'A servlet is a programming language class that carries out a request within a standard web browser. A servlet connects all the clickable elements of a website, like the links and buttons, to a server that responds to user inputs. For example, if a user wants to log in to an account on a website, they click the login button, an action that requires a servlet to ensure the server reacts properly. Servlets also comprise the connections between multiple pages as a user goes through a website, removing the need to type in the URL each time.'

Related: Full stack developer vs. software engineer: a guide

2. Tell us a time when you faced an obstacle and how you overcame it

This is a common question, as it reveals to an employer how you deal with pressure or stressful situations. You may explain a time when you faced miscommunication or challenges with colleagues. While any example of conflict can help you answer this question, consider using examples that apply to software engineering or servlets. With this approach, the employer is better placed to contextualise your experiences in terms of the role you're applying for. When you go through this answer, remain calm, concise and demonstrate how you handle pressurised situations.

Example: 'In my old role as a junior software engineer, I discovered an issue with a client's site that wasn't responding properly to user actions. The rest of my team missed this issue, which allowed me to raise the problem with my line manager, who swiftly resolved the issue. This ultimately showed the quality of my detail-oriented skills, the ability to stay calm in a stressful situation and the initiative to raise it immediately with a colleague that could help, rather than trying to fix the issue and potentially making it worse.'

Related: 31 common interview questions and answers

3. What are the major benefits of using servlets in software engineering?

This type of technical question allows an employer to see the breadth and depth of your knowledge, while also addressing how you may bring value to the business. When you respond to this question, consider the benefits that you've experienced personally during your testing. This highlights unique experiences and shows that you're able to retain information and apply it to new situations. Since servlets represent a key element in legacy programming, you may explain how to apply servlets in new applications, which demonstrates agile learning and keeping skills up-to-date.

Example: 'In my previous role, I assisted with the creation of a mobile video game that used servlets frequently. I implemented servlets in a way that responded to player choice, allowing them to have a smooth experience as they played through the game. Servlets assisted the player in logging into their account and progressing through different options, which created a more organic user experience. This process required several rounds of experimenting and testing to ensure the user experienced a functional service. This demonstrates how servlets are still useful in extremely modern applications.'

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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