The boom in mobile applications is creating a surge in demand for developers working on a variety of platforms. Companies look for candidates with knowledge in at least one (but usually more) mobile development languages such as Objective C and Xcode for iPhone, Java for Android, HTML, CSS and Java for Blackberry, C# and .NET for Windows mobile, and C/C++ for Palm. They look for developers skilled in mobile user interface design who can translate business requirements and fit specific functionality into smaller smart phone screens.
When you’re sitting in an interview, be ready for these questions.
The surest way to display your experience is through your own app on one of the mobile app storefronts. If you have that, you have instant credibility since you not only know mobile application development, but the process to submit and get an app into iTunes or other stores.
Explain the previous applications you worked on and your level of involvement.
Even if you have an app in one of the stores, you’ve got explain the roles you played in previous projects. Explain your role in the process, including the different application platforms you’ve worked on, methodologies, data management, algorithms and other applicable technology concepts.
What’s the importance of user interface (UI) in mobile application development?
Similar questions: Explain how you design user interfaces for mobile applications. How do you translate the development code usability and functionality of the end user interface design?
UI is key to successful mobile applications, so expect a lot of UI questions. “What we see is a lot of mobile apps that are very thin, meaning there’s not a lot of functionality,” says Tom Becker, Sr., vice president of recruiting for Manpower Professional/COMSYS. “What the app developer needs to do exceptionally well is understand the user and create a great interface.”
Follow up question: Tell me how you’ve developed a consumer facing mobile application and how you designed that application to be very user friendly and intuitive.
Explain your experience migrating mobile apps to different platforms.
Similar question: How do you write mobile applications for different screen sizes?
Mobile app developers need to be experienced not only with different languages for different mobile platforms, but also know how to reconfigure or migrate to different platforms.
Show how you would design a particular application.
Some interviewers ask for candidates to sketch out and/or explain how they’d go about designing a particular application. An example asked by Avinash Birnale, vice president of Technology at the Mobility Company is: Show me how you would create an app for a car mechanic who needs to interact with the device with one hand.
“I ask them to design one or two screens and sketch it onto paper,” says Birnale. “I attempt to find out what his thinking process and aptitude is when approaching the problem put it in front of him.” Other times, Birnale will give a homework assignment, such as completing a code to animate a GIF.
How do you ensure the data on a mobile phone is secure?
Similar question: When you create a mobile banking or healthcare application, how do you secure data if a person loses a phone?
The portable nature of mobile phones makes them susceptible to security breaches due to loss of a device. You should be able to talk about general security for mobile devices, such as how to encrypt data, password authentication and other ways you’d go about protecting sensitive information.
When do you allocate and release memory in a mobile application?
Similar questions: How do you identify memory leaks in a mobile application? Do you use specific data structures to manage data when developing mobile applications? When does an application read the data and keep it in the memory? For how long and why?
How do you design software to interact with hardware functionality?
Similar questions: How do you capture sound in a microphone? How do you design a program to interact with GPS? How do you get software to interact with a mobile camera?
How do you build animation for a mobile device using an animated GIF?
What is fundamental concept of animation for mobile apps?
How do you write apps for multiple screen sizes?
What are the design patterns you’ve implemented?
How do you make your app interact with a cloud database?
How do you implement communication between an SSL-based server and the mobile application?
When developing a mobile app, how do you test for stability?
— Chandler Harris