If you are applying for a job as a web developer, you may need to answer CSS interview questions to get hired.
Now, if you know your stuff, you should be able to ace an interview quite easily. However, as with any job interview, how you respond to questions can be just as important as the technical answer you provide.
How Prepared Do You Need to Be for CSS Interview Questions?
How prepared you need to be for your technical job interview depends on who is doing the interviewing. It also depends on the level of job you are applying for.
1. Who Is Interviewing You?
You might ask before you get your interview who will be interviewing you. While you cannot guarantee what someone?s technical knowledge is based on a job title, it can give you an idea.
For example, if you are being interviewed by the head of the marketing department, it is not very likely that they will understand anything technical about CSS at all. Thus, you can probably relax a bit if this person is interviewing you. You can probably talk circles around them with CSS and not worry about it.
In fact, you could probably get an answer dead wrong and still get the job.
Let?s face it, a lot of people who are in the business of managing websites have absolutely no clue about the technical underpinnings. If this is the type of person who is interviewing you, you are in luck. You can relax and worry about how you are presenting yourself over.
On the other hand, if the person interviewing you happens to be a tech guru, and you know they know their stuff, you need to be prepared in advance.
2. What Level Job Are You Applying For?
Are you applying for an entry-level job as a webmaster? Is managing a WordPress installation the main thing you are going to be doing? If this is the case, you will not need to know a lot of detail about CSS. You can even be honest and say to the interviewer that you are competent in CSS but not an expert, but you know how to look things up if need be.
Now, if you are going to be a top-level developer and the expectation is that you will know all the advanced technical aspects of CSS, well, you better know your stuff. If that is you, then we can?t really improve on your technical knowledge with this article. We can help you spin your knowledge, so it comes off in the best light.
What About Bad CSS Interview Questions?
In the process of preparing for your interview, you may come across some examples of really bad interview questions about CSS. Some of these were probably thrown together by a writer who did not really know CSS or what is important about it.
1. Be Cautious of Bad Internet Advice
For example, we found this bizarre question in one article:
Why are background and color separate properties if they should always be set together?
Huh!? Not only is the question poorly worded, you do not need to set background and color properties at the same time. One (background) deals with the color or texture of the page, while the other (color) deals with font color. Thus, the default page color for a website, which would be white, can have any number of different font colors on it, which means these do not have to be set together.
Yes, you can have a ?color? noted in the background shorthand code, but it is not required.
That is just one example of a wrong CSS question and answer.
If a website offers some advice on the proper answer to a CSS question, and that answer is wrong, then trust your own knowledge. That includes this article! (It could be, for example, that by the time you read this, the CSS specification has been updated.)
You will also see some other less-than-helpful CSS questions online, such as ?What is CSS?? But you are not likely to be asked this in a real interview. You are also not likely to be quizzed on the history of CSS and its relationship to ?SGML,? as no one cares about that when it comes to completing a real-world project.
2. How to Deal with Bad Interview Questions
Now, what if you get asked a bad question by a non-technical person in your job interview? Or perhaps the interviewer also wants to know something unimportant, like the history of CSS or what CSS stands for? (You got nervous and just plum forgot.)
It is okay to say that you don?t know something. If someone asks you what CSS stands for and you forgot, just say honestly, ?I?m honestly a bit nervous right now, and I just forgot what it stands for.? Sometimes, honesty is the best policy.
(CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, in case you forgot.)
If someone asks you something that really doesn?t apply or just makes no sense technically, you can acknowledge the question but steer them onto some sort of positive accomplishment of yours. We will cover that in question one of the next section.
Top 10 CSS Interview Questions
Now, in no particular order, here are some of the top 10 CSS interview questions that you might be thrown at during an interview.
1. What Is the History of CSS?
We are starting off with one of the ?stupid? questions ? as knowing the answer to this has absolutely no bearing on your ability to handle CSS. You could just shrug this off and say ?Honestly, I don?t know, I?m too busy coding to learn about this.?
You could also explain that it was an outgrowth of HTML in the 90s, where people needed to have some sort of styling for web pages. Keep it simple.
2. What Is CSS? What Does It Stand For?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and it is the code that determines how a webpage is delivered visually.
3. How Long Have You Been Using CSS?
This is one of those questions where honesty is the best policy. If you are new at it, say so, but immediately emphasize your depth of knowledge or recent success.
4. Can You Give Some Examples How You Have Used CSS?
You do not necessarily need a portfolio but be prepared to explain some of the projects you have done. If you are new, you should have made some websites even as a hobby, so you can have something to talk about.
6. Do You Know How to Make or Adjust Themes in WordPress?
Many hiring managers aren?t concerned about the technical stuff, they just want to know if you can handle WordPress themes. So, learn WordPress if you don?t know it already. It?s free to download.
7. Do You Know How to Make Themes in Drupal?
The same advice applies to Drupal. If you are applying for a job that requires some Drupal knowledge, you better take some time to learn it first.
8. What CSS Frameworks Do You Use?
CSS frameworks are all the rage, but you may not have used any yet. So, if you haven?t used them, explain why (you are too busy custom-coding, for example), but reassure the boss that you can learn these fairly quickly.
9. Can You Do Responsive Design or Mobile Websites?
You will need to know responsive design if you want a CSS job these days. If you don?t know how to adjust the styling based on browser window size, you need to learn, fast.
10. Are You Up on the Latest CSS Trends?
We can?t answer this question for you. But be prepared to answer it if you are applying for one of those ?hip? places that tries to be tech-trendy. Look it up and be prepared to answer at the interview.
Knowing CSS Interview Questions Is Half the Battle
Make sure you are well-prepared for your interview by keeping your CSS knowledge current and up-to-date. During the actual interview, you are not likely to be quizzed in-depth on technical gotcha questions ? however, those may be presented to you in a written exam or online test. The more you know, the better you will do.
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