How to Screen Java Developers?

how to screen java developer

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 really 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 how to screen java developers, you can go straight to WillDom! Tell us what you need and we’ll find you 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 way, way back in 1995, Java is 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?

Recruitment for Java Candidates

As with hiring for any position, starting with clear expectations and communication is paramount.

  1. Write an accurate job description. Include the nuts and bolts of the position: the project, technology stack, title, and responsibilities. But don’t forget to mention the team dynamic and company culture. You need to weed out people who don’t know the basics. Ask the candidate to define Java-specific terms in the original application process (see below for details). 
  2. Collaborate with one of your current developers. They will be able to spot a diamond-in-the-rough or a fast-talker a mile away. Use their expertise to write a job description that resonates with the right kind of developer. Invite them to the interview so they can talk shop with the candidates.
  3. Do a skills test (see details below). Talking about the talk isn’t as valuable as walking the walk. Keep in mind that Java evolves. Someone who was a Java developer 7 years ago will have some catching up to do.
  4. Interview with your team in mind. Personalities and attitudes matter. A great developer who alienates their team isn’t worth the headache.

Don’t require certifications or degrees. If a candidate has certificates and a degree, that’s great! But some weak programmers are great test-takers. Real-world skill is not always measured in coursework and some of the best programmers may be too busy working to get a certification.

The Interview

After you’ve sorted through resumes, it’s time to talk to your Java candidates!

  • Ask open-ended questions about skills you need or skills they mention on their resume. The answer to “Why” questions will show you their expertise – or lack thereof. Even if you aren’t sure their jargon is correct, you can tell a lot from the way they answer these questions. Quick and self-assured? Waffling and wandering? A short yes or no?
  • Ask about their experiences working with a team. Assess their communication skills and interpersonal style the same way you would for any person joining your team. Amazing tech skills don’t make someone easier to work with!

Java Skills Testing for Employment

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

Do It Yourself

Take a small part of the project you are hiring for. Make this into a test for the candidates. This step is only for those who make it past the interview. This should be a paid test with a deadline and clear expectations. You should never use the product of these tests for your business unless you hire that candidate.


There are many platforms, sites, and software created specifically to test Java developers’ skills. Some are customizable and can even use your own code base.

Done for You

Reach out to us at WillDom for candidates who have already completed our skills tests! Tell us what you need and we’ll match you with a team that fits your project perfectly.

Java Coding Test Questions and Answers

Application Process: Define These Java Terms

Object, super keyword, bytecode, constructor, method overloading, & Unicode. 

Interview Process: Open-Ended Questions

Q. Which open-source libraries do you use most often? Why?

A. Find out their preferences and their thought process. There are many options so your candidate should be able to rattle off several and their specific uses.

Q. Tell me about the most successful project you worked on. When did you join? What was your input? What technologies did you use?

A. Check their measurement criteria for success, their knowledge of the project lifecycle, and some information about how they work with a team.

Q. I see you worked on X in the past, would you use it again? Why or why not?

A. X is something on their resume. They should have an opinion about a project they feel confident enough to write on their application. A great developer has the ability to reflect on past projects and make improvements for the future.

If you follow this framework for how to screen Java developers, you’ll end up with a great addition to your team. If you don’t want to go through this process alone check out our LinkedIn or visit us at

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