20 Common Scala Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 November 2022

Published 30 April 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.

If you're a professional in the IT field, understanding Scala can help you advance in your career. Scala is a common coding language that many IT professionals use today. Learning about potential interview questions can help you be better prepared and increase your chances of securing the job. In this article, we discuss the definition of Scala, explain why hiring managers ask about it and provide the top five questions with sample answers.

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What are Scala interview questions?

To prepare for your next position in programming, you may wonder what Scala interview questions are. Interviewers may specifically ask about the coding language, your knowledge of it and the differences between it and other languages in the market. This may give the hiring manager a better understanding of your capabilities and help them determine if you're a good fit for the position.

If you're interviewing for an entry-level position, the hiring manager may look for some prior knowledge of it to gauge how much training may be necessary at the beginning of your work. This may help the hiring manager prepare the team along with company resources used to facilitate in-office learning. If the interview is for an advanced-level role, the hiring manager may want to learn about your prior use of Scala and how that may benefit the current IT team.

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What is Scala?

Scala is a programming language that works on Java, JavaScript and LLVM. It's a general language that can support both object-oriented and functional programming. Though it isn't a new method of coding, it's updated according to present-day uses, making it popular among developers. Additionally, companies utilise it for its high functionality and efficiency. Companies may use Scala to develop a visually engaging platform for a heightened customer experience.

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Why do hiring managers ask questions about Scala?

When interviewing for a programming position, the hiring manager may want to assess your professional experience. Asking about your Scala knowledge can help them understand your previous work with the language and how you might use your knowledge and skills in your next position. The company may also use Scala extensively, so it may be a key requirement for candidates to be well-versed in this programming language.

15 Scala interview questions

During an interview, you may also come across several types of questions about the language. These questions may be more generalised or related to specific functions within the code. You may get more in-depth questions may during higher-level interviews or if you have prior experience with the language. Here are several questions you can prepare for:

  • What are the different types of Scala literals?

  • What are some main features of Scala?

  • What are case classes?

  • What is the Scala trait in the program?

  • What are implicit parameters?

  • What's the use of Tuples in Scala?

  • What's the difference between var and val?

  • What are Scala variables?

  • What are the times that you can use traits?

  • What's Scala anonymous function?

  • What's the difference between an object and a class?

  • What's a closure in the program?

  • How can you format a string?

  • Why does Scala prefer immutability?

  • What are the four types of Scala identifiers?

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5 Scala interview questions with sample answers

Here are five interview questions and sample answers to help you craft your own responses:

1. What is Scala?

Hiring managers may begin with this question during an entry-level interview. Managers may ask this question to get an initial understanding of your knowledge on Scala. Prior to the interview, it's beneficial to do some research to clearly understand the program.

Example: ‘Scala is a programming language used by different IT professionals. Many professionals compare it to Java, which is a very popular coding language. While they're similar, Scala has greater efficiency language, making it more preferable for developers.'

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2. What is a Scala set?

A set is a common function within the Scala code. Hiring managers may ask this because they want to know the extent of your working knowledge. Give a detailed answer with specific technical terms.

Example: ‘A Scala set is a collection of elements that are pair-wise and are considered either immutable or mutable. These collections of elements are also of the same type. This means that the elements are unique, and no duplicate items can exist in either set.'

3. What is a Scala map?

Similar to a set, the map function is an essential aspect of Scala coding. Using a map can help users find and pull information easily within the system, which may be valuable when developing reporting functions. The hiring manager may ask this to understand your basic knowledge.

Example:A map is a code function used for retrieving information. It's a collection of key or value pairs, and its key determines how to pull certain information. Maps are either mutable or immutable and only the keys can be unique within the map.'

4. What is an advantage of Scala?

Scala is a highly productive code that's up-to-date with present technological demands. While other programming languages exist in the market, it's popular among professionals and many companies. Hiring managers may ask about an advantage to find out about your knowledge of how standards have changed.

Example: ‘It's a preferred language among programmers because it has high functionality and productivity with lower chances for errors. Developers updated Scala to today's technological standards and feature a simplified coding system with fewer characters involved. Additionally, professionals can test Scala with more efficiency than other languages.'

5. How is Scala better than other programming languages?

You may encounter this question because the hiring manager wants to know your knowledge of other languages as well. Understanding how Scala compares to other products may be valuable to showcase your competence. Research other programming languages in the market to prepare a better answer.

Example: ‘Programmers prefer Scala because it requires less code to achieve the same outcome as other commonly used languages. They can have more authority over the functions within the code and can also test their programs with ease. Besides being more user-friendly, it also creates an appealing end result for the user.'

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Tips on answering questions about Scala

Being prepared and improving your interview skills can help you outperform other candidates. Follow these useful tips to excel at your next interview for an IT position:

Research Scala ahead of time

Understanding how Scala works and knowing about its primary functions is essential to give comprehensive answers. Consider how and why businesses use the software, including how you might best utilise it. If you're applying for an entry-level position, search for online resources to familiarise yourself with the program further. If you have access to the code, you can practise doing a few coding exercises to understand its functionality. As a second resource, Scala's website might also be a valuable tool in your research.

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Bring a portfolio with relevant work

Portfolios can be highly effective in showcasing past IT projects. For those working in technology, a portfolio can include completed programs or screenshots of software they've developed in the past. Before your interview, compile a list of your most impressive work to share with the hiring manager. You may also want to print out screenshots of your work or leave a link to your portfolio, so the hiring manager can review it later.

Read more: How to Create a Portfolio and What Content to Include

Speak clearly and confidently

It's important to present yourself well, as this leaves a positive impression on the interview. Speaking clearly and making eye contact are two examples of confident expression, though you can also practise your answers ahead of time. An effective way to do this is to conduct a mock interview with a family member or friend. Consider recording the mock interview to review your facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. Your family member or friend can also give you valuable feedback on improving your answers and the way you present yourself.

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

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