10 Web Services Interview Questions With Answers

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 March 2023

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.

A web service is a medium or service that helps clients and servers interact with each other by using an available network. Web services provide a friendly interface for users of varying devices and operating systems to communicate, send and receive information or data. In a web services interview, employers may ask you a combination of questions related to your technical knowledge and experience and possibly some situational questions. In this article, we discuss some web services interview questions and their sample answers to help you pursue a career in this field.

10 Web Services Interview Questions

Following are the popular web services interview questions and their sample answers:

1. What do you know about web services?

As a web service developer, it is essential you display deep knowledge and understanding of how applications connect with the internet. The hiring manager may want to ascertain that you possess wide knowledge and expertise on different web services so that you are able to serve customers that use them. It is important to be very clear in your response without deviating to topics that are irrelevant to what they have asked.

Example: "Web services operate on a client-server model that allows applications to access them through a network. It is any piece of software that is accessible over the internet and uses an XML messaging system to transport data between applications. We use common programming languages to properly display this data. A web service does not maintain user sessions, unlike web applications that usually do."

2. Briefly describe the different types of web services

The company may want to know if you can handle any challenge associated with working in web services. You can demonstrate your ability to navigate through the various aspects of web services, which can be critical to the company's progress and success.

Example: "You can divide web services into two types—SOAP which stands for Simple Object Access Protocol and REST which stands for Representational State Transfer. SOAP uses XML or Extensive Markup Language to send data or information in a code that is easy to understand by the users. REST uses HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure protocol to send data that is identifiable by URLs."

Related: Difference Between XML And HTML (With Definitions)

3. In what areas do you feel you have a scope for improvement?

The hiring manager is curious to find out what your weakness and improvement areas are in terms of work. This can help the company to create adequate conditions to help you enhance your abilities and productivity within the team. Recall an instance when you received feedback from your manager and talk about what you learned from that experience. At this point, it would be very helpful to use the STAR method to deliver a well thought out and structured response. STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Describe a difficult situation that you faced at work.

  • Task: Explain your specific role and responsibility.

  • Action: Talk about the actions you took to resolve the situation.

  • Result: Relay the outcome of your actions.

Example: "I often help team members whenever they need me and work to ensure they complete all tasks correctly. In my previous job, I sometimes worked late because I spent significant time assisting my team members with completing their tasks and sometimes completed these duties for them. My manager noticed this pattern and raised concerns. He suggested that I should conduct weekly training sessions to upskill my team members so that they can do the same things I can. At first, I was hesitant, but then I noticed that it really helped me improve my training abilities."

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

4. Tell us about a challenging situation you have faced in the past

You can use this chance to talk about your interaction with your team members or customers to showcase your ability to work well in a team or provide excellent customer service, depending on the nature of your role. Explaining how you overcome challenging situations lets employers know you have impressive motivational abilities to push yourself to find a solution to certain problems. Use this answer to demonstrate your process for approaching a problem and how you use to your critical thinking abilities to overcome obstacles.

Example: "My manager was facing a challenge trying to please a customer. This customer seemed quite irate because their project had not gone according to their expectations and specifications. My manager invited me to see what the problem was and to create an action plan to quickly resolve it. I went in and checked through the codes, found the errors and fixed them. The new changes impressed both my manager and the client."

5. Why are you interested in this role?

Employers would like to know about your motivations in seeking employment and whether they can meet your expectations. This helps them understand whether you'd be a strong addition to their team and whether you might enjoy working with their employees. You can be honest in your response, but an effective strategy is typically to remain positive about your previous role, team and employer.

Example: "I enjoyed my role at the previous company but I feel, at this new position, I would have more room to grow and may have opportunities to suggest ways to improve the current service processes. I think this is going to add a lot of incentive for me to improve my own ways as well and assist the entire team in progressing and becoming more efficient. I also believe this role can enhance my technical, management and problem-solving abilities."

Related: Interview Question: ‘Why Did You Choose This Job?'

6. What is SOAP?

Once the interviewer is confident about your work ethics and teamwork capabilities, they may move on to more technically relevant questions that test your knowledge of the subject. Show your expertise by explaining the type of software solution you have experience using. You can also share a story to tell employers about a time when you used this solution to successfully complete a task.

Sample answer: "SOAP is a messaging protocol for transferring data between two computers based on XML over the internet. It is used in web services development to facilitate the development of web pages regardless of the programming language."

7. What are the advantages of SOAP?

When answering this question, be sure to relate your experience directly to the position. You can mention the advantages for both the users and the developers.

Sample answer: "With SOAP, a customer can receive all the details they need to properly use their web service without divulging how the service implementation techniques. Moreover, SOAP provides the function of transferring data in such a way that users can understand it across applications without the need for specific operating systems or languages. SOAP also allows you to get past firewalls and we develop it as a W3C standard."

Related: What Is C Programming Language? Benefits And Career Advice

8. What is REST?

Your knowledge can place you in a strong position to be considered for management roles, where you may supervise the work of subordinates in the team. Try to be direct when answering questions about industry jargon and stay relevant to the topic the interview is asking you to discuss.

Sample answer: "REST, also known as RESTful web services, stands for Representational State Transfer. It uses HTTPS for communication, which is a more secure method than SOAP. In contrast to SOAP, its architecture shows the resources of the web services in the URL, which eliminates the need to transfer data from one site to another."

9. What are the advantages of REST?

To showcase your technical knowledge and expertise, try to give as many details as possible in your answer. They may ask you follow-up questions to ensure you possess the necessary in-depth knowledge on the subject.

Sample answer: "It is fast because it requires less bandwidth to operate and there is no specification of programming language. You can encrypt data in different formats, such as HTML, XML, plain text and JSON. It is also easy to learn and more secure."

10. What factors would influence your decision on which web service to use between SOAP and REST?

The recruiter is asking you to give your recommendation for the most beneficial web service for clients which suits their individual needs. It may help you to combine aspects of your technical expertise along with your customer service experience to provide the most convincing answer.

Sample answer: "In my opinion, REST would be the better choice as it is easy to maintain. You do not need to have the sophisticated technical knowledge to secure the network by implementing an HTTPS protocol within the browser. If a client is comfortable sticking to SOAP because they have already been using it for a while, then that might be a better option for them. But if a client was open to a recommendation, I would suggest REST for its security benefits."

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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