Let's create a list of interview questions for a SharePoint developer role.

Please provide one question per entry and the answer (if known). Vote on the entries that you think are the best!

locked by Alex Angas Sep 22 '11 at 0:19

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  • 1
    I see many great question below, but not the answers! I think most of the interview questions can be 'real questions' being asked (and answered) on this site. Some may be already asked and answered. If so a link to the question could be added to the 'question', or otherwise the question should be added to this site! – Dribbel Feb 9 '10 at 14:04

16 Answers 16

I have one thing I always ask developers (SharePoint, ASP.NET or regular .NET developers) and that is that I let them explain the Global Assembly Cache, what it is, why it exists, when to use it or not.

Surprisingly many developers have no idea, especially if you ask them "What is the GAC?".

  • and developer who successfully answer this question doesn't know Svenska :P – Falak Mahmood Jan 5 '11 at 9:01

Here's my favorite.

Part 1:

"Here is a VM box with SharePoint and Visual Studio installed. You have full access to the internet, so please research and download any tool that you would like that can help you. Now, create me a simple web part that has a label, a textbox, and a button on it. When you click the button on the web part, change the text of the label to whatever text has been typed into the textbox."

Part 2 (which should be done along with part 1): "Deploy the web part as a SharePoint Feature using either STSADM or the UI in central administration, your choice."

I usually give them one hour.

  • Very good one indeed – Jaap Vossers Dec 15 '09 at 15:08

What is SharePoint? How does it enable collaboration across the enterprise?

I would posit that we don't need SharePoint developers, we need people who have great understanding of the collaboration space who happen to be good coders (or not). There's so much that you can do through the UI or with SharePoint Designer that, most of the time, you don't need a "developer" per se.

  • Good point - a developer should know what is possible without requiring development! – Alex Angas Oct 27 '09 at 14:54
  • This reminds me as a developer to convert excel application to a proper windows form application and asp.net application.User should be able to customized SharePoint, but in a controlled way. And we do need developers and proper planning to avoid such "excel application mess". – Ybbest Aug 7 '11 at 9:02

Which SharePoint objects need to be disposed? Why do they need to be disposed? How can you be sure they got disposed?

Compare and contrast Visual Studio and Sharepoint Designer. Name a scenario for each where it would be the most pertinent tool.

What is the difference between a site content type and a list content type? What is the relationship with the content type and a list form in new/edit mode? When should you promote a list content type to a site content type?

I typically ask about their experiences with different types of "development" such as:

  • Web parts
  • Custom Forms
  • Event Handlers
  • Features
  • Time Jobs
  • .NET Workflows

I then ask follow up questions similar based on their responses above:

  • What are the pros and cons to SharePoint development?
  • Where the landmines are buried?
  • What the best method of deploying a custom web part would be?
  • What is the difference between SharePoint development and ASP.NET development?

I will often kick off with:

  1. Tell me a bit about your favourite feature in SharePoint?
  2. If you were building the next version of SharePoint, what would you focus on "fixing"?

Nice way to relax the interview and get people talking. It also helps you get a feel for the passion they have for the product, and also if they have thought critically about the platform.

I also like to ask:

  1. What sort of solution would you never attempt to build on SharePoint? Specifically, what application characteristics.

I like this because I want to avoid the "Hammer and Nail" problem that platforms like SharePoint always fall into. that is, when all you have is a Hammer, everything looks like a nail. The number 1 reason SharePoint project fail, is that it was the wrong platform in the first place.

Do you know what is unit testing? How would you unit test your SharePoint project?

What is the different between the both base web part classes System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts.WebPart and Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.WebPart.

When do you need to use the one or the other?

  1. Explain how data is protected from unauthorised users in SharePoint and how that relates to Types in the SharePoint namespace (SPRoleAssignment, SPRoleDefinition, SPBasePermissions, SPUser, SPGroup, SPPrincipal, ISecureableObject)
  2. Draw a line between WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007
  3. How do you handle updates to content types after a site has gone live and there is loads of content?
  4. Given some flat html templates, how would you customise rendering for server controls to render exactly the required html?
  5. When to dispose - when not to dispose?
  6. Name as many commands that STSADM supports out of the box
  7. What is a WSP, what does it contain, how is it created and what happens with it once you've created it?

Guys, lets not forget Code Access Security!

Describe Code Access Security and how it affects you as a developer when writing code that will execute within a SharePoint farm.

What is the difference between SharePoint Controls and ASP.Net Controls..? When do you use SP controls?

  • Do you mean controls or web parts here? – Alex Angas Oct 28 '09 at 10:10
  • I mean Web controls for building webparts... – Anonymous Oct 29 '09 at 18:32

What are the differences between SharePoint and its competitors?


You can see a bunch of them over the internet.

Here is a four Part sereis of sharepoint developer interview questions @


When and how will u decide whether to go with ASP.Net coding or to go with OOB solutions?

protected by Alex Angas Aug 19 '11 at 7:43

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