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How to Screen Java Developers

June 30, 2023


WillDom can help you hire a Java developer that perfectly fits your company's needs.

Let’s talk about how to screen Java developers. You want to hire a master of the language without learning it yourself, so how can you tell if they know their stuff? Avoid that fake-it-til-you-make-it candidate with just a few simple steps.

If you don’t have time to read about the screening process to hire Java developers, you can go straight to WillDom! Let us know your needs, and we’ll find the right people for your project.

What is Java?

It is a speedy and scalable programming language. Based on WORA (write once, run anywhere), Java is both easy to learn and known for its stability. From its humble beginnings in 1995, Java has been successful because it’s object-oriented, general-purpose, and can be used across multiple platforms.

Because of its flexibility, Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Without it, we wouldn’t have LinkedIn,, and AliExpress, to name a few. Over 9 million developers use it, and many learn Java as their first programming language. With so many professionals familiar with Java, how do you find those perfect, expert Java candidates?

Criteria Used To Screen Java Developers

The criteria used to screen Java developers can vary from one organization to another, but here are some criteria that are often used:

  • Technical skills: The developer should have a strong understanding of Java and its associated technologies and frameworks. This can be assessed through coding tests, technical interviews, and by reviewing the candidate’s past projects and experiences.
  • Problem-solving skills: The ability to analyze problems and come up with efficient and effective solutions is crucial for any developer. This can be assessed through coding challenges and technical interviews.
  • Experience: The number of years of experience the candidate has with Java and related technologies can be a good indicator of their proficiency. However, it’s important to also consider the quality and relevance of their experience.
  • Certifications: Having certifications can be a plus, as they show a certain level of commitment and proficiency in the language.
  • Soft skills: Communication, teamwork, and time management are also important skills for a developer. These can be assessed during the interview process and by speaking to references.
  • Knowledge of best practices: The candidate should have a good understanding of best practices in Java development, such as coding standards, design patterns, and testing practices.
  • Understanding of the full development lifecycle: The candidate should have experience with all phases of the development lifecycle, from requirements gathering to deployment and maintenance.
  • Familiarity with tools and technologies: The candidate should be familiar with the tools and technologies commonly used in Java development, such as IDEs, build tools, version control systems, and testing frameworks.

Best Practices When Screening Java Developers

The interview process is one of the core elements when screening candidates for a Java development role. However, other processes, like job description creation and document acquisition, require careful planning to ensure everything runs smoothly once you get to the interview phase.

How do you write a Java developer job description?

When seeking a Java developer, it’s essential to create a job description that resonates with what skilled professionals are looking for while also encapsulating your organization’s specific requirements.

Here are various elements to consider when drafting a job description for Java programmers:

Job title

  • Be specific: Instead of just “Java Developer,” consider specifying the role level or specialization, e.g., “Senior Java Developer” or “Java Backend Developer.”

Introduction to the company

  • Company overview: Briefly describe your company, mission, and vision.
  • Culture and values: Describe what makes your company unique. Is it a startup culture? Is it more traditional?

Role overview

  • Purpose: Start with a short paragraph describing why this Java programmer role exists in the company.
  • Position: Explain where this role fits within the larger team and company structure.

Core responsibilities

  • Detail tasks: List daily duties and more significant project responsibilities. For Java developers, daily duties might include software development, debugging, or even software architecture design.
  • Collaboration: Describe how the role interacts with other teams or departments.

Technical requirements

  • Specific technologies: Highlight the key technologies the candidate is expected to work with – Spring, Hibernate, etc.
  • Experience: Specify the years of experience required and in which specific areas.
  • Java-specific knowledge: Mention any specialized Java knowledge areas, like multi-threading, distributed systems, or JVM tuning.

Soft skills

  • Communication: Emphasize the importance of clear communication, especially if they’re expected to interact with stakeholders or clients.
  • Problem-solving: Highlight the need for critical thinking and innovative solutions.
  • Adaptability: With the tech landscape constantly evolving, learning and adapting are crucial.


  • Education: If a certain level of education is required or preferred, mention it.
  • Certifications: While not always necessary, specific certifications might be beneficial. Specify if they’re mandatory or just a plus.

Benefits and perks

  • Salary and bonuses: Even if you only provide a range or state that it’s competitive, this transparency can be appreciated.
  • Professional growth: Mention opportunities for learning and development, workshops, or conferences.
  • Work-life balance: If you offer flexible work hours, remote work, or other benefits that promote a healthy work-life balance, highlight them.

Application process

  • Steps to apply: Clearly outline the process. E.g., “Submit your resume, cover letter, and a sample project or GitHub link.”
  • Point of contact: Mention a specific reference for questions or further clarifications about the role.

Equal opportunity statement

  • Diversity and inclusion: Include a statement showcasing your commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

What documents should companies require when hiring a Java developer?

Not all companies need the same documents from their candidates, so analyzing which ones will be relevant for you is vital. These documents help validate the candidate’s qualifications and experience and ensure legal compliance.

Here are some options of documents to require when searching for a Java developer:

Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

Provides a snapshot of the candidate’s educational background, work experience, skills, and achievements.

  • What to look for: Relevant experience, skills, and qualifications that align with the job description.

Cover letter

Allows the candidate to elaborate on their experiences and interest in the role.

  • What to look for: Personal motivation, understanding of the role, and how their experiences align with your company’s needs.

Professional certifications

Certifications can validate a candidate’s expertise in specific areas, especially in the tech industry.

  • What to look for: Java-specific or related certifications based on the job requirements.

Educational documents

Proof of academic qualifications.

  • What to look for: Degrees, diplomas, or transcripts relevant to the field, such as Computer Science or Software Engineering degrees.

Professional portfolio or work samples

Demonstrates the candidate’s actual work, showcasing their expertise.

  • What to look for: Code samples, GitHub repositories, or case studies relevant to the role.

Professional references

Contact details of past employers or colleagues who can vouch for the candidate’s skills and work ethic.

  • What to look for: Feedback on the candidate’s technical prowess, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, and general work demeanor.

Identification documents

Validates the identity and legal work status of the candidate.

  • What to look for: Government-issued ID, passport, or work visa (for international candidates).

If your company decides not to require certifications or degrees, that’s valid! Real-world skill is not always measured in coursework, and some of the best programmers may be too busy working to get a certification.

What tests should Java developers complete in a recruitment process?

Hiring a Java Developer requires more than just vetting resumes and conducting interviews. Testing plays a pivotal role in identifying candidates who not only have the theoretical knowledge but also the practical skills to excel in real-world situations.

Here are some vital tests when looking for a Java developer:

Technical coding tests

  • Purpose: To evaluate the coding prowess and problem-solving capabilities of the candidate.
  • Types:
    • Algorithm challenges: Questions that require candidates to craft efficient solutions to programming problems.
    • Debugging tests: Presenting candidates with faulty code and asking them to identify and rectify errors.
    • System design: Testing their knowledge of designing scalable and efficient systems.

Framework and library assessments

  • Purpose: To gauge the candidate’s expertise with specific Java frameworks and libraries.
  • Types:
    • Hands-on tasks: Providing a mini-project or task to assess their expertise in a specific framework.
    • MCQs: Multiple-choice questions about particular functionalities or best practices related to the framework.

Soft skills assessment

  • Purpose: Evaluate interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Types:
    • Situational judgment tests: Presenting candidates with hypothetical, job-related situations to assess their problem-solving and decision-making skills.
    • Group discussions: Observing candidates in a group setting to evaluate their teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.

Since every project and company is different, there is no one-size-fits-all skills test.

Many platforms, sites, and software are created to test Java developers’ skills. Some are customizable and can even use your code base. However, if your company is looking for a custom assessment, WillDom can help you design one that fits perfectly with your company’s needs.

The Ultimate Method for Conducting a Java Developer Interview

All interview processes should be carefully crafted to ensure a successful outcome. The following blueprint gives a holistic approach to evaluating a Java developer’s technical and interpersonal attributes. However, you may tailor it to match your company’s specific needs, values, and the role’s nuances for the best results.

Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Welcome and settling in:
    • Warmly greet the candidate.
    • Ensure they’re comfortable.
  • Introduce the panel: Mention the names and roles of everyone present.
  • Explain the interview flow: Give a brief overview of the interview.

Ice-breaker (5 minutes)

  • Small talk: Discuss a neutral topic, like a recent industry event.
  • Encourage ease: Mention that the interview is a two-way street; they assess your company as much as you assess them.

Candidate’s background review (5 minutes)

  • Resume walkthrough: Ask the candidate to describe their professional journey briefly.
  • Discuss specific experiences:
    • Dive into specific roles, projects, or technologies listed on their resume.
    • Understand their contribution, challenges faced, and outcomes.

Technical assessment (10 minutes)

  • Questioning:
    • Begin with fundamental questions to assess basic understanding.
    • Progress to advanced topics or specific areas, depending on the role.
    • Discuss topics like Java memory management, concurrency, and the latest features.
  • Problem-solving: Pose real-world problems or scenarios they might encounter in the role.
  • Code review: Discuss specific code segments if they’ve shared prior work or a portfolio. Ask about design choices, optimizations, and improvements.

Soft skills and behavioral assessment (5 minutes)

  • Situational questions: “Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member. How did you handle it?”
  • Teamwork and collaboration: “How do you handle feedback or criticism about your code?”
  • Motivation and drive: “What excites you most about Java development or the tech industry?”

Company and role explanation (5 minutes)

  • Job role and expectations: Detail the responsibilities of the position and what a typical day might look like.
  • Company culture and values: Share the company’s mission, values, and work environment.
  • Growth opportunities: Highlight potential career paths, learning opportunities, or upskilling initiatives.

Candidate’s questions (5 minutes)

  • Open the floor: Allow the candidate to ask questions. Doing so can provide insight into their priorities and interests.
  • Clarify doubts: Ensure all their queries about the role, team, company, or future projects are addressed.

Conclusion and next steps (5 minutes)

  • Interview Feedback: Share any immediate feedback or observations if appropriate and possible.
  • Next steps: Explain the following stages of the hiring process.
  • Timeframe: Give them an estimated timeframe for when they can expect to hear back.
  • Thank them: Express gratitude for their time and interest.

Let Us Take Care of The Screening Process

The screening process to hire Java programmers is more than just ticking boxes. It’s about ensuring a seamless fit, both technically and culturally. Following this guide guarantees you onboard the best Java developers out there and ensures they’re a synergistic fit with your team.

If you are still unsure about the quality of your company’s screening process, look for external assistance! Navigating the world of tech recruitment can be complex. Crafting the perfect job description to thoroughly vet candidates requires precision and expertise. This is where WillDom steps in!

With years of experience hiring Java developers, our professionals are well-versed in spotting genuine talent. We differentiate the best from the rest, saving you time and resources. With WillDom, you’re not just getting a staff augmentation agency but also partnering with a team committed to your success.

Contact WillDom today to hire top remote Java developers.

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