PHP Developer Interview Questions and Effective Hiring Tips

Let’s find out what questions you should ask a PHP developer to make sure they fit your web project.

Posted by IT Master Soft Oct 05 | 2021

What you should know about PHP? Indeed, you as a business owner, have the right to know nothing about this programming language, in contrast to a PHP developer you intend to hire. They, in turn, are better to know as much as possible to make your project technically powerful, and your task is to verify the skills and competencies highlighted in their CV are actually strong. Asking PHP developer interview questions is one of the ways to do it

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PHP development interview questions you should ask

There are three types of interview questions for experienced PHP developers. You should ask them all to make sure the candidate has enough technical expertise to create your project, there is enough evidence to rest assured their qualifications are backed up by their real experience, plus there is a cultural and value match. Evaluating your PHP developers from three different angles will help you make the right choice and avoid overspending on the hiring process.

Below are the interview questions for experienced PHP developers you should ask.

1. Technical interview questions for PHP developers

The first task is to evaluate the technical background and make sure the candidate understands the technology. Ask up to ten questions - these are enough to verify the candidate either has strong knowledge or there are some gaps. When preparing the list of questions, keep in mind that the junior PHP developer interview questions are pretty different from the ones you can ask a Senior programmer. Below are some sample ideas for the simplest to advanced PHP interview questions:

  • What is PHP?
  • What apps can you create with this programming language?
  • Is PHP used on the front or backend?
  • What are PHP scripts?
  • What is an array in PHP?
  • Are multiple inheritances supported in PHP?
  • How to handle exceptions in PHP?
  • How objects are passed in PHP?
  • Why is PHP called a hypertext preprocessor?

2. Experience and skills PHP backend developer interview questions

At the next stage, ask full-stack PHP developer interview questions that are directly related to the candidate’s journey in the world of PHP. Here is what you can ask.

  • Ask about their previous experience. Ask a candidate about their previous workplace but don’t leave the programming language context. For example, you can ask the candidate to briefly describe their learning and career path by briefly describing the companies and industries they have worked for.
  • Finished projects and their challenges. Then, proceed with the details. Ask the candidate to tell you about the most prominent PHP projects they handled, and pay special attention to the challenges they faced. Ask to tell more about the ways to avoid PHP pitfalls in different use cases.
  • Hard and soft skills evaluative-questions. After asking the previous two questions, you are likely to get the first impression of both hard and soft skills of the candidate since interview storytelling is impossible without mentioning them, showing the attitude to the previous team and employee. Still, make sure to ask additional questions that may be essential for the candidate to become a part of your team.
  • CV and portfolio review. Align the portfolio and CV with stories and case studies the candidate has shared in response to the previous questions, and ask additional questions if you feel like any of the projects mentioned in their CV can be the source of insights for your own one.
  • GitHub profile review. As the last step, review the candidate’s GitHub profile or ask the third-party tech specialists to help you if you have no PHP coding skills.

3. Value-based full-stack PHP developer interview questions

On the final step of your interview, ask some questions about the candidate's values and expectations to make sure the candidate fits the project as a person and there is no expectation vs reality mismatch. Here are some ideas:

  • Describe your perfect team collaboration specifics.
  • What is the biggest problem of modern web projects?
  • How can your Project Manager or Team Lead support your best?
  • What values do you appreciate most in your future employee?
  • What are the kinds of projects you will never work on?
  • What was your biggest career mistake?
  • What traits do you value in your colleagues?

This list of PHP developer interview questions can go on and on. Make sure to shortlist the most essential value-based questions aligned with your project specifics and ask them first

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How to hire a PHP developer effectively

Interviewing your PHP developers can take some time and effort. Here is how you can make the process of hiring and interviewing even more effective.

  • Be specific. PHP has a lot of use cases. With the help of this programming language, you can build dynamic content apps, social platforms, chatbots, and much more. That’s why it is always better to consider the candidates with experience in the specific use-case, which, logically, matches or at least coincides with your project specifics.
  • Offer the opportunities instead of just salary. Modern IT specialists know their worth, and mostly, aren’t eager to work in exchange for the salary only. They want collaborative environments, knowledge exchange and professional growth opportunities, flexible schedules and no micromanagement, adequate corporate culture, and the values worth standing for. Make sure to offer something beyond the salary only to make your company attractive for the top talents.
  • Make sure there is a cultural match. Some companies intentionally staff their development teams with specialists from different countries, since teams will thus have different mentalities, mindsets, and cultures. This is called cultural diversity, and some experts agree that it actually helps with solving the problems better and suggesting non-standard solutions as different people have different problem-solving approaches. Still, it is important to find the balance between cultural diversity and cultural match, making sure your future PHP developers understand your project values, the values of its future users, and most importantly, sincerely share them.
  • Consider a ready-made team we already have. Hiring technical specialists is challenging, especially if you don't have enough engineering background to correctly evaluate a candidate's skills and competencies, and match them with your project. What’s more, the process of hiring on your own can cost a lot. On average, filling the position with the help of a recruiting agency costs 50-100% of the salary of the candidate hired. Additionally, you have to pay onboarding and training costs, plus retain your employees since replacing them costs even more than hiring from scratch. Considering all these expenses for hiring a PHP developer in-house, outsourcing your PHP development is a wiser option. We, at IT Master Soft, already have a PHP development team that will be able to get down to your project almost instantly.
  • Get in touch with a reliable team staffing vendor. As one more effective option for making your in-house PHP development team stronger, consider extending it with third-party developers. This is a top strategy for the development team scaling since it also allows you to avoid hiring overspending and time waste while making your remote team flexible, effective, and easily controllable.

Let’s scale your PHP development team together. We are here to strengthen your in-house programmers with our remote PHP specialists right now!


When hiring a PHP developer, you have to make sure that the candidate not only has all the necessary knowledge and skills but there is also a cultural and value alignment. All these points are equally important when outsourcing your software development and extending your tech team. IT Master Soft is ready to help you with any of these tasks, perfectly matching our programmers with your project needs and the development strategy with your business goals.

Contact us to hire PHP developers for your project today!

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