38 Microprocessor Interview Questions With Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Microprocessors are computer processors with a single integrated circuit serving as both the control and logic for data processing. A microprocessor engineer develops, designs and tests computer hardware and microprocessor chip and solves logic problems. If you want to pursue your career as a microprocessor engineer or programmer, reviewing some interview questions and preparing answers can help you gain confidence and perform better in the microprocessor interview. In this article, we list general, in-depth and experience-based microprocessor interview questions, provide a few sample answers and share some useful tips to help you better prepare for the interview.

General Microprocessor Interview Questions

During an interview, general microprocessor interview questions aim to assess your personality, previous work experience and long-term career objectives. Here are some questions you can consider studying when preparing for the interview:

  1. Tell me about yourself that is not on your resume.

  2. From where did you get to know about this role?

  3. Why do you want to pursue your career in microprocessors?

  4. What made you apply for the job in this company?

  5. Tell me your greatest strength and weaknesses.

  6. What do you do to motivate yourself?

  7. How do you manage stress and work pressure?

  8. What are you looking for in your next job?

  9. How would your knowledge and skills benefit the company?

  10. What is your preferred working style?

  11. How are you a suitable candidate for this role?

  12. Ask questions if you have any.

Related: 13 Digital Electronics Interview Questions And Answers

Questions About Background And Experience

The hiring manager may ask questions about your background to learn more about your prior experience and how it may prepare you for a position with their organisation. Here are some background questions you can consider preparing:

  1. When did you decide to become a microprocessor programmer?

  2. Tell me the responsibilities of a microprocessor programmer.

  3. Did you ever have a conflict with your previous employer? How did you manage the situation?

  4. Why did you leave your last job?

  5. Describe a previous project of which you are proud.

  6. Tell me about the knowledge or skills you have acquired through your previous job that you can apply for this position.

  7. Have you ever instructed a non-tech person about using new technology? How did you do that?

  8. Describe a problem you encountered at your previous job and how you resolved it.

  9. Describe a problem from your last job that you want to address differently if given the opportunity to do so again.

  10. How do you keep yourself updated with the latest microprocessor features or updates?

Related: What Is A Structured Interview? (With Example Questions)

In-Depth Interview Questions

Following are some in-depth questions related to microprocessors you can consider studying while preparing for your interview:

  1. Explain microprocessor.

  2. Tell me about the fourth-generation processor.

  3. Describe tri-state logic in your own words.

  4. What are the steps into a fetch cycle?

  5. Explain the importance of interrupting in a microprocessor.

  6. Tell me the relevance of subroutine in the microprocessor.

  7. Tell me about the flag types in the 8085 microprocessors.

  8. Which language is good for microprocessors?

  9. What are maskable and non-maskable interrupts? Explain with examples.

  10. Name the interrupts you may frequently use for critical events.

Related: Common Operating System Interview Questions (With Sample Responses)

Microprocessor Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Here are some interview questions with sample answers you can use as a guide when preparing for your interview:

1. Explain the working of a microprocessor

With this question, the hiring manager may want to determine if you have practical knowledge of the microprocessor. Your answer can show if you have experience working with microprocessors. While answering, consider explaining the working procedure of the microprocessor in simple and precise words.

Example: 'The microprocessor follows the order of fetching, decoding and then execution. The memory stores the instructions in sequential order. After that, the microprocessor retrieves these instructions from memory, decodes and executes them until they get the STOP instruction. It then sends the output to the output port in binary format. The register is responsible for temporarily storing data while the arithmetic logic unit performs the computations.'

Related: 14 Basic Components Of A Computer System (With Functions)

2. Tell me about the microprocessor types

The hiring manager may ask this question to determine if you have an understanding of microprocessor fundamentals. This question also allows them to test your soft skills like communication skills and attention to detail. In the answer, give a brief description of all the three microprocessor types.

Example: 'There are three microprocessor types that are, reduced instruction set computer or RISC, complex instruction set computer or CISC and explicitly parallel instruction computing or EPIC. RISC processor helps reduce the execution time by simplifying the computer's instruction set. CISC processors minimise the number of instructions per programme while disregarding the number of cycles per instruction. EPIC enables instructions to compute in parallel with the help of compilers.'

Related: 14 Basic Components of A Computer System (With Functions)

3. Explain memory mapping in relation to the microprocessor

When applying for a microprocessor-related position, an interviewer may ask such questions to test your technical knowledge. Try to ensure that you prepare for some basic technical questions before your interview. In your response, consider mentioning the purpose of memory mapping.

Example: 'All the logical address spacing in physical memory happens by transferring the logical address spacing in physical memory using a microprocessor of a smaller size, which has some microprocessor settings and relevance with external memory size. The purpose of memory mapping is to increase access to physical memory.'

Related: 35 Embedded Engineer Interview Questions And Sample Answers

4. What is a program counter?

With this question, the hiring manager may want to determine if you are familiar with the basic technical terms in the field. In response to this question, you can briefly define the program counter.

Example: 'A computer processor's program counter is a register that contains the address of the instruction currently under execution. The instruction cycle begins with a fetch, during which the central processing unit places the program counter value on the address bus to send it to the memory.'

Related: Common Control System Interview Questions (With Answers)

5. Define maskable interrupts

With this question, the interviewer may want to test whether you are familiar with the concept. When interviewers ask to explain any term, consider describing the term briefly in simple and precise words.

Example: 'Maskable interrupts are hardware Interrupts programmers can disable, turn off or ignore by the instructions of the CPU.'

Related: C Embedded Interview Questions (Sample Answers And Tips)

6. What do you understand by SIM and RIM instructions?

This question allows the hiring manager to determine whether you have relevant microprocessor knowledge. While answering, start with the full form of RIM and SIM and further mention their function.

Example: 'SIM is the abbreviation for set interrupt mask and it allows masking hardware interrupts. While RIM is the acronym for read interrupt mask and it determines the condition of hardware interrupts. It can also determine the status of the serial input data bit on the microprocessor.'

Related: 7 Types Of Interview Methods With Advantages And Tips

Tips To Prepare For The Microprocessor Interview

Here are some tips to help you better prepare for your microprocessor interview:

  • Research about the company. Research the company, its work culture, product and services, goals and mission prior to the interview through its website, press releases and social handles. This information may assist you in answering questions and demonstrate to the hiring manager you took the time to conduct research.

  • Review the job description. Consider reviewing the job description prior to the interview and think about including your skills for the listed roles and responsibilities. Consider earning certificates and skills if there is any particular skill required for the job.

  • Wear proper attire for the interview. It is important to wear proper and clean interview attire. You may do some research on suitable interview attire to learn more about the available options.

  • Prepare yourself for the microprocessor interview. Practise your answers to some frequently asked questions for the microprocessor interview. You can consider asking your friends or family member to conduct a mock interview to help you better prepare for the actual interview.

  • Understand the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action and outcome. Learning the STAR method can help you answer more effectively in the interview.

  • Prepare questions to ask your interviewer. The hiring manager might ask you if you have any questions about the role, business or hiring procedure at the end of the interview. Consider preparing these questions in advance to help ensure you ask appropriate and thoughtful questions during your interview.

  • Follow up further to the interview. You may email the hiring manager, thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in the position. If they do not respond within a week, consider sending another email to inquire about the status of your application.

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