Mastering CSS Interviews: Essential Questions with 2024 Expert Answers

Updated 3 November 2023

It is essential to prepare in advance when invited to interview for a CSS developer position. Given the continual advances in the web development industry, you need to stay abreast of the latest CSS standards. Take the time to re-examine and update your CSS knowledge before you go for the interview.

In this article, we will look at some CSS interview questions you may encounter during a job interview and also look at some example answers to help you formulate your responses.

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General CSS Interview Questions

Here are some general CSS interview questions to practice before the job interview:

  1. Explain what CSS stands for and its origin.

  2. List the different CSS variations.

  3. When it comes to integrating CSS on a web page, what methods can you use?

  4. Explain the advantages of using CSS in web development.

  5. List some CSS limitations.

  6. What do you know about CSS frameworks?

  7. What do you know about Embedded Style Sheets? Explain their specific advantages.

  8. Define a CSS selector and list the different types of CSS selectors.

  9. What is a universal selector?

  10. Which CSS property would you use to specify an element's background colour?

Related: How to Succeed in Your First Interview

In-Depth CSS Interview Questions

Here are the top-most advanced CSS interview questions that you are likely to encounter during a job interview:

  1. Explain how the style sheet concept differs from HTML.

  2. Explain the difference between SCSS and Sass.

  3. What are the basic rules of CSS Specificity?

  4. Explain the difference between responsive website coding and mobile-first strategy coding.

  5. When would you use translate() in place of absolute position and vice versa? Explain your reasons.

  6. Explain the difference between visibility: hidden and display: none.

  7. Explain the difference between a class selector and an ID selector.

  8. Explain the difference between physical tags and logical tags.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes to Avoid in an Interview

Commonly asked CSS interview questions with answers

Prepare for your job interview by reviewing these commonly asked CSS interview questions and their answers:

1. What are inline style sheets, embedded style sheets and external style sheets?

Interviewers commonly ask this question to assess your knowledge of CSS basics. Your answer can let them know how well you understand styling elements across your website to ensure design uniformity. You can also explain the differences between the style sheets.

Example: "Cascading style sheets are useful for specifying the type, appearance, size and placement of elements on a web page. You can add CSS to HTML documents using inline style sheets, embedded style sheets and external style sheets. An inline style sheet is used to style a single element and is defined in that element's style attribute. An embedded style sheet is used to style the entire HTML document and is placed in its head section using the style element. An external style sheet consists of an external file that you define in the link element in the HTML page's head section and which is used to style the entire website. It is saved with a .css extension."

2. Explain the use of CSS transitions.

You may encounter this question in CSS job interviews as CSS is also used in animations. You can explain how CSS transitions are useful for controlling animation speeds.

Example: "With CSS transitions, you can list the properties you want to animate, when you want the animation to happen, the duration of the animation and how the transition will happen. The property values you can use are transition-property, transition-duration, transition-timing-function and transition-delay."

3. List the different font attributes that are available in CSS.

The interviewer may ask this question to find out if you know how to use different fonts on a web page. You can list the different properties and their uses.

Example: "Font attributes help you specify how the fonts will appear on the web page. The commonly used property values are font-style, font-variant, font-size, font-weight and font-family. You can also use font: caption, font: icon, font: menu, font: message-box, font: small-caption, font: status-bar, font: initial and font: inherit."

4. Explain RWD and its use in CSS.

The interviewer may ask this question to test your understanding of designing web pages in CSS. You can explain the full form of RWD and mention its use.

Example: "RWD stands for Responsive Web Design. You can use it in CSS to automatically resize your web pages and ensure that these will look good on different devices and screens of various sizes."

5. How would you add a comment in your CSS code file?

CSS programmers often work with other programmers and may need to add comments in the code to highlight or explain certain aspects of it. Interviewers may ask you this basic question to test your grasp of CSS basics. You can show them the syntax by writing it down.

Example: "You can add a comment within the style element in CSS by writing the code snippet for it. Browsers ignore comments, so they will not show up on the web page. Here is how you can write the syntax for inserting comments in your CSS code.

/ This is a CSS comment for a single line /

/ This is a CSS comment


multiple lines /"

6. How do you use the table-layout property in CSS?

This is a common interview question that tests basic CSS knowledge. You can mention this property's usefulness in creating tabular layouts.

Example: "The table-layout property in CSS is useful for quickly rendering table cells, table rows and table columns. The property values used for table layouts are auto, fixed, initial and inherit. With auto, the browser will review your content to automatically render an algorithm for an appropriate table layout. You will get a set table algorithm with fixed. With initial and inherit, you will get the default value and the inherited value, respectively."

7. Explain the use of CSS Opacity.

Interviewers may ask questions about CSS opacity to test your knowledge of designing web page backgrounds using CSS properties. You can explain what CSS opacity does.

Example: "The CSS opacity property is used to control how transparent or non-transparent an element will appear on the web page. It is used to affect the clarity of images and improve the overall look of the web page. The property values for defining CSS opacity are number, initial and inherit. In number, 0 specifies full transparency and 1 denotes full opacity. Initial sets the default value and inherit specifies the value the element gets from its parent element."

8. How do you control the image position in the webpage background in CSS?

The interviewer may ask this question to test your understanding of using CSS for web layout design. You can explain how you will use the CSS style tag to add one or more background images to the webpage. It will also help to mention the default placement of the background image in CSS.

Example: "In CSS, the default placement of a background image is in the left upper corner of an element. The property values for background-image placement are URL, none, linear-gradient, radial-gradient, repeating-linear-gradient, repeating-radial-gradient, initial and inherit. You should set a background colour if you do not have an image."

Related: How to Crack a Job Interview

9. Explain the benefits of CSS sprites.

When you encounter this question during a job interview, you will need to explain how CSS sprites are useful for websites that have a lot of images.

Example: "CSS sprites are useful for reducing the number of server requests made for loading web page images. If your web page contains a lot of large images, having a separate server request for each one would increase the loading time for the web page and put off users. CSS sprites combine the different images into a single image, reduce the number of server requests, save bandwidth and increase loading time."

10. What do you know about the CSS box model? List its elements.

Interviewers often ask this question to gauge your understanding of CSS elements used for website design and layout. You can offer a brief explanation of the CSS box model and also list and explain its elements.

Example: "The CSS box model helps you to understand the design and layout of a website. It comprises boxes that surround HTML elements and define the spaces around them. The different parts of the CSS box model are content, padding, border and margin. Content comprises the text, images and links that appear on the webpage. Padding is the transparent area surrounding the content that makes it easier to view. The border is the border surrounding the padding and the content. Margin is the transparent area around the border."


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